Throughout her career, Emily Abbas has been fortunate to work with amazing leaders and teams. Here are a few simple pieces of advice she shared while in our studio this week.
Surround yourself with people who are not like you
It’s extremely rewarding to work with a team that is diverse in both thought and identity. If you have a room full of people who share more in common than not, those people won’t push each other or challenge each other’s viewpoints. Creating an inclusive environment, filled with people who have different experiences and backgrounds, will inherently result in more dynamic ideas and solutions.
Be a counselor instead of an order-taker
Don’t be afraid to ask questions in order to gain insight. For example, if someone asks for an ad, an order-taker will give them the best darn ad they can, while a counselor will ask questions to determine if an ad is really what is needed. Two great questions to start with include: What are you trying to accomplish? Who are you trying to reach?
Add value by contributing
When others see you add value, they will seek out your opinion. Being able to think on your feet and come up with an immediate solution based on past experience is one way to earn that respect. Of course, you aren’t expected to know everything and can always change your mind, but leaders appreciate an in-the-moment gut reaction, when possible.
Be true to yourself
You will find the most success when you play to your strengths. If you’re naturally bossy, be bossy (in a kind way). If you’re naturally funny, use your humor. People will quickly figure out when you are not being genuine. Self-awareness, or how others perceive us, is something we can all work on improving.
Give back to your community
We are fortunate to live in a great community, and it is great because of those who have invested before us. First explore many options, but at some point find an organization you are passionate about and commit to it. This allows you to more easily say no to other requests and focus on giving at a deeper level to two or three nonprofits in order to truly make a difference.
Do any of these topics spark an interest in you? If so, please reach out to Emily. I’m sure she would be as willing to discuss with you as she was with us in this week’s Wednesday with Whitney Facebook Live video (see above).
Des Moines native and community advocate Emily Abbas joined Bankers Trust in 2014 as the Bank’s first Chief of Staff. She currently serves as Senior Vice President, Chief Marketing and Communications Officer for the largest community bank in Iowa. Emily gives back to our community as Chair of Drake University’s National Alumni Board and a member of the Drake University Board of Trustees, a member of the Governor’s STEM Advisory Council, and on the Board of Directors at the Robert D. and Billie Ray Center as well as the Downtown Community Alliance. She was named one of “14 People to Watch in 2014” by The Des Moines Register, and in 2016 she was honored as the “Emerging Woman of Influence” by the Des Moines Business Record.