Crystal Hanlon, president of the Northern Division of The Home Depot, delivered a keynote address at Terry’s annual Professional Women’s Conference, where she urged attendees to know what you are known for and build that brand.
Hanlon started her career with the Atlanta company as a cashier and worked her way to the top through determination and exacting emotional intelligence. Below are seven tips for success that she shared with the audience.
Be the difference
“The most important thing in your legacy should be to make a difference. Who wants their epitaph to say they were a great leader? It’s much better to have made a difference in people’s lives than to have been a leader.”
Write it all down
“Have one calendar that includes everything — your work, your family time, all of it. If there’s somebody’s baseball game that you have to go to, put that on your calendar. Then, when it’s time to go, walk away and go to the game. We as females feel guilty about taking time off. Kill that critic in your head that makes you feel that way.”
Navigate the politics
“It’s going to be political out there. Politics exist in any corporation. This is something I didn’t learn at first. I thought just because my results were really good, I’d get to where I want to go. But that’s not how it works. What you have to do is constantly build your brand. Every time you’re with someone, you’re building your brand.”
Know what you’re known for
“As you manage your careers, be sure to have certain things that you’re known for. I tell my team to have three things that you want people to know about you when you walk out of the room. Make sure people remember those three things.”
Manage your boss
“I used to think it was my boss’s job to manage me, but it’s not. It’s your job to manage your boss. How do you do that? You learn them. Study them until you find what makes them tick and then become indispensable to them. If you don’t learn that, who suffers? You do, not your boss.”
Say no sometimes
“What happens if you take on too many projects? Burnout. You’re no longer good to anyone because you’re trying to be good to everyone. Sometimes, it’s OK to say no. Sometimes, it’s OK to say ‘I can’t help you this time, but let me find you somebody who can.’”
Find your champion
“It’s really important that you have a champion during HR reviews. I’m one of 400,000 people who work for this company. Do you think if I didn’t have a champion, I’d be here? Absolutely not. Find your champions. Spend some time with them. Make sure they know what you’re doing.”