How To Accomplish The Seemingly Impossible: Lisa Callinan Shares Her Advice

At Gartner, we believe that as individuals, as communities and as an organization, we get stronger and better by bringing diverse perspectives and experiences together. In celebration of Women’s History Month, we are highlighting the successes of associates from around the world. Below, Lisa Callinan, a VP Team Manager on our Logistics & Customer Fulfillment team, shares her career story and what she’s learned along her corporate journey.

Accomplishing The Seemingly Impossible: How To Manage and Create Time

I recently read one of Bill Gates’ LinkedIn posts that said, “Busy is the new stupid.” Well in that case, I must be in the stupid camp, because I am a slave to my calendar. It is both my arch nemesis and best friend. It helps me to manage and create time — my most precious commodity.

These are the contradictions of the full and busy lives we lead today, and I’d wager most of us still wouldn’t change a thing. As a generation, we have never been more productive. I have been fortunate in my career — I have been surrounded by driven individuals who have had a profound influence on me personally and professionally. These people, who have been my bosses, my mentors, my employees and my friends, have taught me how to navigate my way through the highs and lows of corporate life. It hasn’t all been smooth sailing, either. At times I have felt overwhelmed, disillusioned and faced disappointments. But it’s these very experiences that make us better managers, better coaches, better leaders.

Take a Risk and Believe in Yourself

Working in an industry that is predominantly male, it is of little surprise that many of my clients, managers and peers are men. When you are in the minority, you can exploit the opportunity that being different can bring instead of letting it hold you back. At times, it’s true you have to be an exaggeration of your comfortable self — bolder, louder and overtly more assertive. But if that’s what it takes, then “Fake it ‘till you make it.” I have two children, a boy age 8 and a girl age 10. My son has no difficultly in making his point and being heard whereas I often say to my daughter, “If you want people to listen and hear what you have to say, do three things: Make eye contact, speak loudly (no need to shout) and speak clearly.” Simple things, but important.

Take a Leap of Faith

Young women these days will get plenty of advice about seeking out mentors and finding good role models. I agree, and these are very important. But sometimes, it’s just about taking a leap of faith, believing in yourself and your ability to learn on the job. Women especially must remember, it’s okay to take a risk and have the self-belief to go for it even if you feel you are not ready.

If you wait until you think you are ready, someone else will beat you to it!


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