1. What was that one thing that had you believe in what you were doing (or what you wanted to do then) and that was the right thing for you?
Many people wonder if they are in the right job. For me, there is only one way to tell: on most work days, do you wake up with a burning desire to go to work and excel at what you do and do you have fun doing so? When you are doing something with total passion, creativity flows, you are fully energised and time flies. You can go on for hours and hours. That’s the wonderful feeling of validation that you are doing what is right for you.
2. Could you share with us the struggles that you faced, right when you started. What helped you overcome them?
Most of my struggles have been internal ones. Self-belief, self-confidence, courage and resilience against setbacks. The week after I joined Landor back in 2001 in San Francisco, we had massive layoffs. I didn’t get the cut but I was coming to work with a constant fear that I could be next! This actually was a catalyst to my transformation. When you have a setback, you just have to double down. I did that by seizing every opportunity to work harder, take on more responsibilities and add value in every way possible. In the early years I really struggled with developing a voice and expressing my opinions through writing. I didn’t think I had what it took and I was afraid to put myself out there but all it took was the encouragement of colleagues and my first published piece to overcome my fear. The first success begat many more!
Lulu Raghavan, Managing Director, Landor
3. How do you define strength? Could you tell us more about your strengths and the course of developing them as an inspiration for our readers?
Strength to me is staying positive and optimistic in the toughest of circumstances. You need both physical and emotional strength. Physical is about energy and stamina to keep persevering. It should be developed through a regular exercise/fitness regime and healthy eating. Emotional strength is to look at every setback or failure as an opportunity to do better next time. It is important to look at the setback and think about what it is telling you to pay attention to. It should be developed through regular reflection. A daily journal has proved to be helpful to many. Strength is also about character. It’s having a North Star and having clarity on the personal and organizational values and behaving in a manner consistent with those values. It can be developed through daily practice and reflection.
4. Have you ever faced a situation where you thought “It would have been easier if I were a guy”. How did you overcome it?
Not really. I am absolutely unapologetic about being a woman. Everybody has to live out their authentic lives. I think that being a woman is a strength in almost every situation – or at least you have to make it one. Women have incredible natural strengths like empathy, listening skills, collaboration, encouraging others which are all very helpful in different situations.
5. I believe a woman can _________.
I am inspired by Oprah who says that women should have the grandest vision for their lives that they can imagine. We have the power to do whatever we set our hearts to do. The world is in desperate need of better understanding of each other, more empathetic solutions to a host of global problems and a generous dose of kindness and love for family, friends and society at large. I know that women in every continent in every country has the potential to create a positive impact in her community in her own inimitable way.
Want the inspiration to keep flowing in? Check out Jacqueline’s Dream. Believe. Do. Repeat.