Top tips for women CEOs from their Fortune 500 counterparts

To celebrate women CEOs and their achievements, the Fortune 500 women executives share their tips and opinions on what makes an outstanding leader.

1. “Be open to opportunities and take risks. In fact, take the worst, the messiest, the most challenging assignment you can find, and then take control.” 

  • Angela Braly, CEO of WellPoint
2. Ursula Burns, CEO of Xerox talks about taking risks and succeeding. She says: “There were lots of reasons for Xerox no to acquire Affiliated Computer Services. […] In the two years after we purchased ACS, we are transforming our company – more than half of our revenue comes from our services business and we continue to maintain a leadership position in the technology that made Xerox great.’

3. “I develop a strategic process for my career plan that set the final destination, developed the career track, identified skills to build, took line positions to gain experience, and sought leadership and management training on the job, through special assignments, coaching and networking. For example, as VP of Marketing for Nestle, I actually worked in a manufacturing plant which gave me a deep appreciation for how the supply chain works” 

  • Denise Morrison, CEO of Campbell Soup
4. “In order to lead an organization, you have to be incredibly comfortable in your own skin, and the only way to do that is to be confident in who you are.” 

  • Gracia Martore of Gannett, GC
5. “I had a very strong work ethic, and was willing to do whatever it takes to get the job done. There is simply no substitute for hard work when it comes to achieving success.”

  • Heather Bresch, CEO of Mylan
6. “The biggest myth that I’d like to set to rest is that women can’t have a family and a successful career,” says Ilene Gordon, CEO of Corn Products. “The skills that make a good business leader—organization, drive, trust, delegation and compassion—also go a long way to balance the responsibilities of work and family life.”

More powerful women will hit the stage at the London Marriott Hotel, Grosvenor Square on June 12, 2014 for the First Women Awards 2014.

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