Success is an Incremental and Daily Journey
Talitha Hampton Featured in the Profiles in Diversity Journal Q4 Magazine 2022 | Published on Jan 6, 2023 | Click to view the entire journal
Success is a relative term, and the traditional concept of success can be misleading. Success in the corporate workplace is often perceived as being in a senior role or position or having the closest proximity to the top of something. I do not believe that anyone ever finds success. I think there are opportunities that one is constantly preparing for. For each new opportunity, my entire culture, community of mentors, and career experiences led to that point. I view success as an incremental and a daily journey to be my authentic self and be prepared for opportunities as they come. That preparation comes with valuing the progress, setbacks, failures, ideal results. I am successful because I understand the many things I would do differently if I had the chance to do it all over again and I value the collection of things I wouldn’t change for the world.
While growing in my career, focus on the stereotypical definition of success began to blur the line between my identity and my career. While taking time off after my second miscarriage, I hit an identity crisis. I did not know who I was outside of my job. I began to ask myself, “who am I, if I’m not working?”. My advice for being successful is to develop and strengthen a core value of being your authentic self. Learn to be comfortable with being on a journey of ups and downs and twists and turns. Find ways to give yourself grace, reclaim your time, and broaden the range of relationships and experiences that give you energy, help you feel balanced, and create a healthy identity.
When I am leading as my authentic self, I am embracing the concept that I cannot try to be a mini this or that or a replica of so-and-so. Sometimes as a Black, female leader there is pressure to match the style that is most prevalent in the “room where it happens” or edit how I show up to be more palatable for most of the people in the room. Most executive leaders in corporate America are White men and often there is pressure to try to match what is stereotypically perceived as their style. I have learned that replication is not necessary because the world needs what I am bringing, not a copy of what is already out there. It can be hard to do when in the minority, but I have learned to trust my journey and my path. People trust me when I am true to myself, and that trust makes it possible to lead and get things done.