From 5-year-old Entrepreneur to Authentic Leader: Insights from CEO Tiffany Olson

If you’re looking to learn how to become an authentic leader, the career journey of Tiffany Olson will inspire you. In a recent podcast episode, Tiffany shares her journey from playing “store” as a child to becoming a seasoned CEO in the pharmaceutical industry. Here are some key insights from the episode that might inspire you to tune in for more.

Embrace Your Authentic Self

Tiffany knew from a young age that she was destined for the business world. But finding her authentic voice in leadership wasn’t an overnight process. She emphasizes the importance of leading from a position of one’s own appropriate business personality. Authenticity doesn’t mean revealing everything about oneself, but it does mean sharing stories that resonate and help move the business forward.

Tiffany recommends an HBR article titled “Discovering Your Authentic Leadership,” which highlights five key aspects of authentic leadership:

  1. Be yourself
  2. Be genuine to earn trust
  3. Lead passionately
  4. Surround yourself with a strong support team
  5. Embrace adversity – everyone has their share of it

The Importance of Authentic Connections

Tiffany shares a personal story that helped her connect with her team on a deeper level. When her dog Dakota fell off the fifth floor of her apartment, Tiffany and her family formed a human chain to rescue her. The experience taught her the power of sharing authentic, relatable stories to forge connections and find her voice as a leader.

Diversity Drives Innovation

Diversity, in all its forms, is critical for a team to thrive and innovate. Tiffany points out that having diverse people – in ethnicity, gender, geography, life experience – leads to a rich diversity of thought. This is what drives innovation and propels teams forward.

Transitioning from Leading to Advising

After a 40-year career in business, Tiffany transitioned from leading full-time to advising and consulting. She describes her current role as a board member, speaker, consultant, and advisor as a shift from a well-orchestrated symphony to jazz hands – different rhythms, not one better than the other.

A Mother’s Lasting Advice

Tiffany’s mother was a single mom, had no college degree, and worked many jobs. Despite not having a lot of money, she was rich in advice. She inspired Tiffany every day to further her career and set her goals high. Her best advice, which Tiffany carries with her and shares with her children, is to never let anyone tell you that you can’t do something. This advice helped Tiffany through her fight with cancer and life’s other challenges. When you’re walking through hell, just keep walking, you’ll get out of it.

Tiffany’s journey is a testament to the power of authenticity, diversity, and resilience in leadership. Her mother’s advice has been a guiding light, and the lessons she’s learned from her career are invaluable. So tune in to the podcast episode to hear more about Tiffany’s inspiring journey and insights into authentic leadership.

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