Lead a Gr8 Life

Melinda Benavides is a Diabetes Care Associate for Novo Nordisk, a pharmaceutical company that specializes in diabetes care, haemophilia care, growth hormone therapy and hormone replacement therapy. She holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Communication, and worked on her Master’s in Business Administration Degree, both from St. Edward’s University. Melinda has served in a number of leadership roles throughout her early career and continues to cultivate new opportunities as they come her way. She currently resides in Austin with her husband, Roland, and German Shepherd, Drogo. She can be contacted at melindajane10@gmail.com.
Twitter: @melindajane

I can honestly admit that I’ve made monumental strides since my last SOS Leadership post, where I reflected on how I brought my leadership to life.

I remember pulling my mentor, Amber Fogarty, aside after our inaugural session for the Gr8 Women Leaders Program. I timidly told her, “I don’t belong at the same table as these other women leaders.” She reassured me that I did belong at the table and that I provided just as much value as the person sitting next to me.

As women, our mindset often gets hijacked from the voices in our head telling us why we aren’t fit to excel in our personal and professional lives. I regretfully admit that I was part of this problem. I always took a backseat to leadership opportunities, never raised my hand with probing questions, dodged responsibility & accountability, and never felt that I was capable of the things I aspired to be in life. This was the ideal cocktail for complacency, stagnation, and to a degree, failure.

That ALL changed after completing the SOS Leadership – Gr8 Women Leaders Program! I will forever be indebted to the staff, the women in my cohort, and the programing, guidance and mentorship that SOS Leadership provided.

Now, let’s delve into how I am applying what I learned from the program and leading a gr8 life.

Setting clearly, defined goals & protecting them

The program helped me to gain clarity with my personal & professional goals. This provided a blueprint on how I was going to strategically implement each goal, staying true to a “SMART goal” format. This required balancing the non-negotiables, saying no to the things that hindered me from achieving my goals and demonstrating a higher level of confidence. Three entities essentially stand in the way of you achieving your goals: other people, yourself, and your other competing goals.

Your network is your net-worth

This is actually a book by Porter Gale that I read shortly after attending the Texas Conference for Women in 2013. The importance of our network reminds us how to unlock our human potential. We make meaningful connections by showing authenticity, following our passions, nurturing relationships and leveraging technology to improve and accelerate our connections.

Never burn those bridges that you may have to come across again. If a relationship, goal, project, or job is not bringing out the best in you, do something about it. Take action. At the end of the day, you have to ask yourself if you’re happy, if you’re being challenged, and if you’re representing the best version of yourself. Utilize your network to help get you through those tough times, to encourage you to live a more prosperous life, and to help guide you to make the best decisions.

Having a “what matters most” mentality

This really is the meat and potatoes of leading a gr8 life. This was the one lesson from the program that had the most influence on me, and it remains at the forefront of why I do what I do. If your family members are the most important people your life, how are you showing them that? Are you blowing them off to stay late at work for the third time this week? Or are you taking a rain check with your coworkers in order to spend quality time with your family? Are you showing your spouse how grateful you are for the little things they help you with, or are taking them for granted?

This will be your legacy in life. If you’re a caring, loving and hard-working individual, your life will pay you dividends. Whatever matters most in your life: health, fitness, faith, family, prosperity, success, etc., will only mean something to you if you’re willing to put in the hard work. “Striving for success without hard work is like trying to harvest where you haven’t planted.” -David Bly

We can all project living a happy and prosperous life, but if you’re truly not growing in the capacity that you’re in, what are you doing to modify that?

Finally, some thoughts that are just bouncing around in my head: Admit fault when necessary, celebrate the big and small successes, make someone smile everyday, tell someone you love them everyday, learn from your mistakes, never stop learning, be a team player, have spontaneity, work hard and empower others to live a happy and healthy life!

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