Always Challenge Yourself – Sara Jones

sara jonesSara Jones, COO, co-founder, and partner of Women Tech Council shared powerful messages with students of the University of Utah on how to succeed as a woman in business. She left students with eight tips to keep in mind on how to become a leader in business as a woman, based on some of the struggles she has had to deal with throughout her career.

Own your Story

“If you’re going to invent, it means you’re going to experiment, and if you’re going to experiment, you’re going to fail, and if you’re going to fail, you have to think long-term.” – Jeff Bezos

Sara’s first tip was for students to own their story.

Be a Problem Solver

Her second tip was to be a problem solver. She explained how she learned some hard lessons in corporate, as she transitioned from being a patent attorney at a law firm to moving her career into the corporate world. She said she read a lot of leadership books, which she suggested students do as well. She explained how students need to focus on presenting a solution to a problem to grab people’s attention because everyone is extremely busy. She also suggested to look outside of the current role you are in, and look for not only large opportunities, but small ones as well.

Think Big

Sara suggested that students “think big” and think about the question, “what does success look like to you?” She talked about how excited and stunned she was when she was offered the role as a CEO of a company, when she didn’t believe it was possible.

Orchestrate Alignment

Sara suggested to look for alignment in career and life. She suggested to align your career, family, and organizations around the same culture.

Give Value

Her fifth tip was to “give value.” To think about, when interacting with someone, creating a value exchange, and figuring out how to grow both value for yourself and the other person you are interacting with.

Find Mentors

Sara suggested to find mentors. She told students that when looking for mentorship, think about what the advice is that you need, and find someone that will challenge the way you are thinking.

Enjoy the Journey

Lastly, she gave all of the students a final piece of advice to “enjoy the journey.” Sometimes we get caught up in the little details, we forget the big picture and how far we have come.

Sara was a wonderful speaker, and it was great to hear her messages on leadership and how she has succeeded in her career as a woman.