Monday, September 22, 2008

How I Got There

Back in 2005, Newsweek did a great cover story on 20 of America's most Powerful Women on their lives, and the lessons they've learned. The main article titled "How I got there," features none other than Oprah Winfrey, Vera Wang, Karen Hughes, Vera Rubin, Anne Sweeney and several others. I feel like it all ties in to DRIVE. I wrote an earlier blog about Drive and found it interesting how Oprah, Vera, Anne Sweeney and other powerful women got there...

On Oprah, "I'm very conscious and cautious about what I do in my personal life and what I put out into the universe through the airwaves because I realize I'm speaking to millions of people in 118 countries who all have their varying ways of interpreting what I have said. Where I am on the show is always where I am personally, and where I am right now is in a space where I realize that I have less time remaining on earth than I have had--unless there's going to be some miracle that's going to give me another 50 years. The realization of that is exciting and constantly stimulating."

"Success is a magnifying glass on your personality. Who you are just becomes more intense. The real beauty of having material wealth is that you don't have to worry about paying the bills and you have more energy to be concerned about the things that matter: How do I accelerate my humanity? How do I use who I am on earth for a purpose that's bigger than myself? How do I align the energy of my soul with my personality and use my personality to serve my soul? My answer always comes back to self. There is no moving up and out into the world unless you are fully acquainted with who you are. You cannot move freely, speak freely, act freely, be free unless you are comfortable with yourself."

On Vera Wang: "I knew the world I wanted to be in, but I wasn't sure I could break into that world. My mother was an incredible clotheshorse, so I grew up loving fashion. I lived in Paris during my junior and senior years at Sarah Lawrence. When you're in Paris, you can't help but notice fashion. I wanted something to do with fashion. I would have done anything. I would have swept floors. I would have licked envelopes. I just wanted to be part of it."

"In the summers, I worked for Yves Saint Laurent--as a salesgirl in the boutique on Madison Avenue. I met Frances Patiky Stein, an editor at Vogue. She told me to give her a call when I got out of college. I did and I got a job. She felt I had a special something. On my first day at Vogue, I wore Saint Laurent and my nails were painted black or red, which was very much the rage in Paris at the time for young women. The editors looked at me and said, Go home and get changed because you're going to be doing dirt work. I came back wearing jeans. It was a dream come true."

"Vogue is a seductive place because of what you get to see and what you're privy to; it's a world that I can't even explain. I thought I would do it for a year or two and I ended up staying 16 years. During that time, I rose to be one of the youngest editors ever in the history of Vogue. By 23, I was a senior editor, and then I became European editor for American Vogue in Paris."

As Cathie Black says "drive is what sets you apart from everyone else. Focusing on your strength's and work on your weaknesses and keep a balanced perspective you'll naturally accrue power along the way." What are YOU focused on? I know what I am focused on and its on my pipeline. The seeds I'm planting. The relationships I am building. Giving back and being of service. I'm not focused on anything or anyone else. I care that you read my blog but at the same time, I don't have an attachment to whether you read it or not. I want you to succeed just like I want to. In my opinion our drive says a lot about who you are and what makes you tick. I feel that I share the same drive like that of Black, Wang and Oprah. How about you?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

It's great that these are the role models and words that have inspired you as you will undoubtedly inspire others!