Emerging Leader Spotlight: Molly Hansen

Every month we invite an emerging leader we admire to share her leadership journey. We ask her to explain how she achieved her current position, what obstacles she encountered on her climb, and tips for how to be a rising woman of influence.

This month we shine the Emerging Leader Spotlight on Molly Hansen, Business Process Analyst with Thrivent Financial.

We met Molly through her manager, Nicole Doebert, who was featured in a past Emerging Leader Spotlight.

Molly Hansen
Molly Hansen

Favorite leadership quote: “Leadership is a posture and a choice, not a role that must be bestowed on you. Step up and a be a leader when no one is watching or expecting you to do so.” — Stepping Up: How Taking Responsibility Changes Everything, by John B. Izzo and Marshall Goldsmith.

What is your leadership style?

I tend to be a collaborative leader. Whether I’m working with others on a project, a process improvement, or daily tasks, the result is most successful when everyone works together and respects one another.

I am also a firm believer in the idea of synergy and that one plus one equals three. I try to lead by example. My actions align with what I say and I stay true to my values. I know that if I want people’s trust, I can’t just “talk the talk,” but also need to “walk the walk.”

What steps are you currently taking to improve yourself, professionally?

I have started to form and grow new relationships. I joined the Thrivent Women’s Leadership Network Cohort, in which I meet monthly with extremely talented and inspirational women in the organization. We share personal experiences and help each other grow in our careers.  Their expertise and fresh perspectives really push me to focus on my own professional vision.

I also meet weekly with mentors, who continue to guide me through their own experiences, insight, and wealth of knowledge they have gained in their careers. My mentors have also helped foster cross-organization learning and relationship-building.

I also have taken development into my own hands by signing up for training classes and seminars, both skills-based and organization/business focused. I take on stretch assignments, in which I not only have the ability to build network, but also acquire new proficiencies and methodologies. Additionally, I read newsletters and articles, both internal and external, to keep me updated on business and leadership news.

What are some top tips you can recommend to other women who want to be recognized as high-potential emerging leaders?

Don’t shy away from new challenges. You, and others in your organization, will never know what your potential is if you never try something new. Look for stretch assignments and volunteer for projects that bring new experiences. People will notice when you are willing to step up, rise to the challenge, and obtain results.

Don’t be afraid to fail. This is a lesson I’m continually working on myself, but I’ve come to realize that failure doesn’t necessarily signify that the work was unsuccessful. If you can learn from it, and apply that knowledge to your next endeavor, then you’re still ahead. Furthermore, sometimes, failure is the success. It can teach you other ways to approach a situation or identify alternate solutions that can provide better results.

Build a strong network of support. The relationships you form and maintain within your organization can contribute greatly to long term growth and development. You not only gain influential connections, but you can also learn different perspectives, skills, and techniques.

You recently attended a workshop with Jo Miller. What were the key takeaways that you have started to use, which you learned from her session?

I recently attended the Poised for Leadership Workshop. Jo’s knowledge, passion, and insight not only taught me how to strengthen and develop my leadership skills, but also truly inspired me. An extremely valuable lesson I learned from that seminar is to actively think about what the next level is and to challenge myself to demonstrate the competencies of that vision – not just for my current role. It has helped push me to take on even more stretch assignments and really challenge myself to be – and do – more.

A quote from Jo also stuck with me: “Instead of trying to influence a situation, become a person of influence.” She helped me realize that I can’t influence any situation until I become, and act, like someone people want to follow.


Connect with Molly Hansen on LinkedIn.

Twitter
LinkedIn
Pinterest
Follow by Email
Jo Miller

A leading authority on women’s leadership, Jo Miller is a sought-after, dynamic, and engaging speaker, delivering more than 70 speaking presentations annually to audiences of up to 1,200 women. Her expertise lies in helping women lead, climb, and thrive in their corporate careers. Jo has traveled widely in Europe, North America, Asia Pacific, and the Middle East to deliver keynotes and teach workshops for women’s leadership conferences, women’s professional associations, and Fortune 1000 corporate women’s initiatives. Jo is CEO of leadership development, consulting and research firm Be Leaderly. Learn more about her speaking engagements at www.JoMiller.net and follow @Jo_Miller on Twitter.

Twitter
LinkedIn
Pinterest
Follow by Email
25 Questions to Ask a Mentor

Whenever I’m asked “What are some of the best questions to ask a ...

Four Types of Questions To Ask Your Mentor

Have conversations with your mentor gotten a bit repetitive lately? Perhaps you approached ...

25 Songs For Your Leadership Playlist

What are your all-time favorite leadership songs — the ones that make you ...

How to Shut Down a Colleague Who Takes Credit for Your Work

Has this ever happened to you? You’re in a meeting and the unthinkable ...

5 Ways to be a Leader, Not a Manager

Have you ever wondered about the difference between a manager and a leader? ...

11 Leadership Lessons Learned

Here are 11 lessons I’ve learned about leadership—mostly from much-admired colleagues, and just ...

10 Killer Leadership Skills: The Great Differentiators?

Last week at Hallmark I hosted a couple gentlemen from a partner company. ...

100 Leadership Qualities

What are your leadership strengths? That’s a question I ask in a survey ...

Influencing Without Authority—Using Your Six Sources of Influence

I am in the difficult situation of being unofficial project lead, responsible for ...

9 Traits of Exceptional Leaders

Truly great leaders are hard to come by, but it seems everyone thinks ...

Dealing with a Bossy Coworker
Dealing with a Bossy Coworker

You might expect the occasional “order” or “command” from your boss. But it’s a whole

Press Release: Be Leaderly Wins Gold & Silver at the 2019 Stevie Awards
Press Release: Be Leaderly Wins Gold & Silver at the 2019 Stevie Awards

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa—June 11, 2019—Be Leaderly, a globally recognized provider of women’s leadership development and

15 Questions to Ask Before Taking a Stretch Assignment
15 Questions to Ask Before Taking a Stretch Assignment

Stretch assignments are like the Instant Pot of career development. An intensely challenging, ambitious, go-big-or-go-home

How Can Pay Transparency Make a Difference for Women?
How Can Pay Transparency Make a Difference for Women?

It’s well known that women still deal with a pay gap relative to men. But

5 Things to Know About Your Coworkers with Kids
5 Things to Know About Your Coworkers with Kids

You might’ve attended a baby shower in the break room, or maybe you caught a

4 Underrated Elements of a Career Advancement Plan
4 Underrated Elements of a Career Advancement Plan

A vice president of a financial company once told me, “Make a plan—or someone else

Negotiate Through Your Next Performance Review
Negotiate Through Your Next Performance Review

With performance reviews around the corner, I wanted to write a how-to post on negotiating.

Why Companies Should Give Women More Stretch Assignments
Why Companies Should Give Women More Stretch Assignments

Landing a coveted stretch assignment is a proven shortcut to a top role. Does your

5 Ways to Shine as a High-Potential
5 Ways to Shine as a High-Potential

There’s never been a better time to develop your leadership skills. According to Deloitte’s 2014

How to Stop Comparing Yourself to Others
How to Stop Comparing Yourself to Others

On a regular old day, you’re plugging along, attending to the work tasks in front

Ask Jo: How can I thank my mentor?

Question: I have an incredible mentor. She ...

Teamwork is a Skill. It Takes Practice!

Everyone wants to lead, or be a ...

It’s Worth the Risk (I promise)

This is Sarah. She’s one of my ...

100 Leadership Qualities

What are your leadership strengths? That’s a ...

Leaderly Quote: Great Leaders Know When to Step Aside

“Great leaders know when to step aside.” ...

At Be Leaderly, our mission is a simple one: To provide proven career strategies that help you lead, climb, and thrive as a rising woman of influence. If you’re ready to lead, we’re here to support and inspire you.

Copyright 2019, Be Leaderly