Career: Focus on What Matters Most

Kay KrillYou’ve heard me say it ad nauseum: Just say no!

Maybe you need to hear someone else say it, too. How about Kay Krill, CEO of Ann Taylor? Here’s what she told Forbes staffer Jenna Goudreau:

I admired Shelly Lazarus, one of my favorite mentors, because she was the CEO of Ogilvy & Mather and a mother of four children. She figured it out.

She said you have to jettison the people and things out of your life that don’t matter, and focus on what’s meaningful for you. I can’t tell you how liberating that advice was to me. In order to do what I do every day–run a company, run a family, be a great mother and great friend–you have to focus on what’s important. I don’t love the statement: Women can’t have it all. Nobody can have it all! Men or women. But you can have what you want if you focus on it and figure it out.

I used to say yes to everything. Now I easily say no to things that don’t matter to me, personally and professionally. You really find out who your true friends are on a leadership journey–the ones who are really there to support you and cheer you on.

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