Linda Bowden on How do I Lead

WINGS How do I Lead? Leadership Advice from Linda Bowden, NJ Regional President, PNC Bank

WINGS is proud to bring you this blog and video as part of its “How do I lead?” series that is offered to WINGS mentees.


When was the last time someone recommended that you “give yourself grace” or some similar counsel? Who offered that suggestion? What difference did it make?
Linda Bowden is Regional President at PNC, a veteran executive in the still-male-dominated banking industry, and, surprisingly she offers those words to WINGS mentees.
Linda might sound more like a close friend or family member, or teacher or social worker (both of which she has been), than a senior banker offering professional advice. Grace, after all, is an unearned gift.
To clarify, Linda does believe that young professional women have to work hard–harder, in fact–gain knowledge, and gain confidence. That’s what she did. But these habits and goals should not be pursued at the expense of self-care and doses of joy. A one-dimensional life can lead to stress and burnout, the opposite of sustainable success. So ensure grace for you.
Linda also recommends that women who aspire to lead learn to be sought-after colleagues. Listen with empathy, keep in confidence what others share in confidence, and invite their ideas. Lead with a strong sense of values.
Finally, Linda points out that future leaders must become adept at public speaking. Develop a rich vocabulary and learn to think on your feet. Given how important this one skill can be for leaders, find or make opportunities to practice public speaking.
These are not the run-of-the-mill advice that you might hear from a successful senior executive. Linda is an uncommon leader. We can all learn from her even if we cannot all be her mentees!

In an empowering interview by Bob Eng, Chairman – Board of Directors, WINGS for Growth, Linda Bowden shares her advice to all young women wanting to ascending in their careers!  WINGS is happy to share this empowering and insightful video with you.

My younger self reflection

Self Reflection – Advice For A Younger Self

Hello, welcome to the second of a three part series to bring you the voices of the millennial women of today! I will be sharing their perspectives on opportunities in the workplace, life lessons that I’m sure will resonate with several of you and their take on mentoring. This series was driven by the curiosity of thoughts I have shared below.

“Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance, you must keep moving.”

In the game of life, we don’t have time to stop we have to keep pushing ourselves to improve. Growing in life does not come from complacency it comes from consistency and persistence. While young women in all fields have been known to push themselves, there happens to be the question, are they succeeding nearly as much as they could be? Are there acquirable tools to aid in the advancement of their careers?

In other words, is there something that these young women may be missing, such as opportunities or connections, that could boost their careers? I, Anita Chitnis, had the privilege of interviewing young millennial women from California to New York on behalf of WINGS for Growth. These women truly enrich as women who reside in different fields, different backgrounds, and different mindsets.

To protect our participants’ privacy, we have chosen to share only their last initial. We thank them deeply for sharing their voices with WINGS and hope other young women out there find this inspiring. These young women from completely different professions, performing arts, nursing and public health industries, had somewhat similar messages.


For this portion of the series I, on behalf of WINGS, decided to delve into self-reflection. These days the letter to your younger self is a very popular way of reflecting on one’s own action as seen in a variety of posts around the blog world. So, our participants get their two minutes talking to their mini version 10 years ago.

My younger self reflection

If there was a piece of advice you could give to your younger self to help her grow more, what would it be?

“Don’t worry so much about people’s perceptions about you, society will always be the way it is. You don’t have to fit in a mold, just focus on achieving personal success.” – Anjana S., Washington D.C.

“Pick something that you are really interested in now and work hard at it. If it blossoms into something and you can make a career out of that is okay but this is the time to see what you like and don’t like. Don’t shy away from opportunities because it may not work out!” – Laura P., New York City

“Put yourself out there and apply to different positions. Volunteer at small firms to gain experience while building yourself and don’t worry about making mistakes. Just going to one career fair and applying for one internship made me a much more confident person” – Seton K., Morristown

There was a theme that stood out among all, being authentic and true to yourself will enable you to pursue your dream and fulfill a purpose. As we grow, we think back to what demeanor we portrayed as our younger selves. I, personally, look back and wish I had done something different. While we all know hindsight is 20/20, any advice we would have given our younger selves, we can use to better ourselves in the future.  

To go on further about being authentic, recently, I read an interview with Sara Blakely, founder and creator of Spanx. She had said that people may not understand what you are doing and will always give you advice based on what they know in their own life to be true. She went on to explain how she was busy building a business empire for herself, not quite worried about starting a family yet that was the only advice she would receive from others. A few years later she has both, her business and a beautiful family. Being authentic and following your passions can lead to the best of opportunities.

We hope you enjoyed the second of the microblog series and continue to follow our journey as we learn more from these educated women. To see more articles like this please make sure to share your comments below. If you missed our first post in this series, you can find it here

More importantly, we want you to know that there are many ways to get involved with WINGS for Growth. There are mentor roles available or you can explore the idea of becoming a mentee and benefiting from a mentor with us. In addition, you can champion a mentor mentee engagement or be a volunteer to really get to know who we are as an organization! Remember, it is never a bad time to learn something new!

Until next time,

Anita

This blog article was contributed by Anita Chitnis an aspiring writer, blogger and a volunteer at WINGS.

Be aware of opportunities

Opportunities and Awareness

Be aware of opportunities

Hello, welcome to the first of a three part series to bring you the voices of the millennial women of today! I will be sharing their perspectives on opportunities in the workplace, life lessons that I’m sure will resonate with several of you and their take on mentoring. This series was driven by the curiosity of thoughts I have shared below.

“Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance, you must keep moving.”

In the game of life, we don’t have time to stop we have to keep pushing ourselves to improve. Growing in life does not come from complacency it comes from consistency and persistence. While young women in all fields have been known to push themselves, there happens to be the question, are they succeeding nearly as much as they could be? Are there acquirable tools to aide in the advancement of their careers? In other words, is there something that these young women may be missing, such as opportunities or connections, that could boost their careers?

I, Anita Chitnis, had the privilege of interviewing young millennial women from California to New York on behalf of WINGS for Growth. These women truly bring diverse perspectives as women who reside in different fields, different backgrounds, and different mindsets.

To protect our participants’ privacy, we have chosen to share only their last initial. We thank them deeply for sharing their voices with WINGS and hope other young women out there find this inspiring.


Are some young professional women missing out because they are unaware of opportunities that are there are for their taking?

“There is a certain formula we are conditioned to want to follow from a young age. Go to  college, find a job, find a boyfriend, start a family etc. Sometimes we may be so wrapped up in this formula we may not push ourselves but that is changing with millennials. This isn’t the case anymore, more women are pushing for professional goals every single day.” – Anjana S., D.C.

“Any limit that we perceive is a limit that we have created for ourselves. Sometimes women may over analyze a situation more than their male counterparts but pushing for opportunities and creating them for yourself is very important. Remember, there is no actual “box” to think outside  of, you have to create your own reality.” – Laura P., New York City

“Any barrier that I have ever felt has never really been because of my gender, race or anything physical. It often has been myself doubting my abilities and that is what others may feel as well. The more you push for something the more you are likely to get it. You have to create opportunities for yourself.” – Susie L., East Brunswick

We hope you enjoyed the first of the micro blog series and continue to follow our journey as we learn more from these dynamic women. if you would like to see more articles like this, please make sure to share your comments below. More importantly, we want you to know that there are many ways to get involved with WINGS for Growth. If you are a seasoned veteran in the industry, consider being a mentor to pay it forward or you can explore the idea of becoming a mentee and benefiting from the program. In addition, you can champion a mentor mentee engagement or be a volunteer to really get to know who we are as an organization! Remember, it is never a bad time to learn something new!

Until next time,

Anita

This blog article was contributed by Anita Chitnis an aspiring writer, blogger and a volunteer at WINGS.