Emerging Leader Spotlight: Andrea Bond

Every month we ask an emerging leader we admire to share what she is doing to take the lead in her career. We invite her to share how she achieved her current position, what obstacles she encountered on her climb, as well as tips for how to be a rising woman of influence. Andrea Bond, Community Relations Manager at Southwestern Energy Network was first featured in this column on our old blog and she shared so many inspiring thoughts and ideas that she is being featured again this month!

Andrea Bond profile pic3 - Copy_opt(1)While interviewing her for the article, I asked her to include a few thoughts about her military career and this is what she shared…

I joined the military at age 17 while I was still in high school. While in college, the summer before my junior year, I had paid off all of my education loans and I was graduating early with a law enforcement degree.

For most people, achieving those milestones and having a plan mapped out after college would be the next logical step, but for me it wasn’t enough and quite frankly I was BORED!

I wanted something new and exciting, so I flipped through a course catalog and decided to take on aviation. This led me to become a private pilot in college, which was not an inexpensive endeavor. I needed financial assistance to help pay for the aviation training and that is how I made the decision to apply to become an officer and a pilot for the military.

Being a pilot in the military was hard work but very rewarding. Flying in Iraq was the coolest flying I have ever done. Although every mission was a risk, it was our job; I continue to apply the lessons I learned in the military to my career now.

Editor’s note: While serving in Iraq, Captain Andrea Bond earned her place in history as part of the first all-female Blackhawk mission. Read all the details here.

What is the most important thing you have learned that has been critical to your career success?
A few thoughts come to mind. Some of the most important are, “Be confident yet be able to laugh at yourself; be respectful; always leave your mark, and make sure your team knows you support them.”

Have you experienced a career or leadership challenge recently that you have overcome?
I don’t look at setbacks as challenges – I look at them as opportunities. There have been times when I have taken on a new experience and realized that the “door is closed” on the past, but I firmly believe that there is always a “window open”.

Would you mind sharing some of the tips on how you were able to change what was perhaps a negative career challenge into a positive outcome?
Staying focused is very important. If I am feeling defeated, I just keep reminding myself to stay focused on the end result.

Also, I try to keep a positive attitude and allow myself to be open to new ideas while things may not be going the way I want them to the first time.

Finally, I am a big believer in setting and achieving goals, which pushes me to be my best.

Thanks Andrea; the term “you rock” was created for women like you!

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Ann Roushar

Ann joined Women’s Leadership Coaching, Inc. as Operations Manager in 2011. Her background is in events and program management, however, with the launch of Be Leaderly, Ann has discovered a new passion for the communications side of the business, including blogging, social media and graphic design. Ann’s vision for this blog is to make it a “must have” resource for women in business, a virtual space where women can feel comfortable about sharing their career wins, woes or worries. Follow @ann_roushar on Twitter.

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