As a woman software engineering development and operations manager in India, working for a large semiconductor capital equipment company, I was offered the opportunity to give a talk on how to succeed in a complex, largely male, organization. It wasn't until then that I sought a crisp recipe for success for others in my company. I tried to define a sure-shot formula one could apply to be successful, seeing if specific traits or qualities stood out. Out of this, came the STAR Formula, a recipe for success.
S - Speak Up
: Speak up to know the unknowns you face every day. Speak up to gain visibility and show engagement. Speak up to bring in your unique and different perspective.
A woman in our organization described her apprehension to return to work, without an arrangement to express milk for her baby. She spoke up, was heard, and accommodations were made, helping her and other women.
T - Take Initiative
: Step out of your comfort zone to propel yourself forward. Expand your network to steer your ship faster , more smoothly and to support it when the storms arrive.
A year ago, I involved myself in defining and executing our university engagement program. This was beyond my official role, and enabled me to gain exposure and visibility across the company. Not only did I learn, I built a network that I rely on today.
A- Always Learn
: Be thirsty for knowledge. As Ulysses said, "follow knowledge, like a sinking star, beyond the utmost bound of human thought".
Two executive technical leaders in my industry attributed much of their success to continuously learning, always seeking to expand and improve their skills. Surprisingly, both began their education in the arts, until the sciences, and then semiconductors piqued their interest. They continued to learn and enhance their skills, building their impressive expertise to where it is today.
R - Risk and Responsibility
: Inventions, innovations, and disruptions cannot happen without a risk taking appetite. Be bold, and believe in yourself and your abilities.
Five years ago, I was asked to lead a women's professional development network (WPDN) in India, a resource group to foster professional development of women employees in a largely male dominated environment. I saw a risk in my starting something from scratch and worried it wouldn't be well received or sustainable. Today am grateful I took no the challenge. WPDN India is considered a role model by our senior leadership in the company.
I've been a part of many women forums in the industry and interacted with great leaders, both men and women who have followed the STAR formula. For more than a decade, I've applied the STAR recipe for my own career, with great success.
What are you waiting for? The STAR formula is a recipe for success. Cook up a batch of success for yourself!
Opinions expressed by the author are not necessarily those of WITI.
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