MPW Insider is one of several online communities where the biggest names in business answer timely career and leadership questions. Today’s answer for: What advice would you give someone going into a leadership position for the first time? is written by Kara Goldin, founder and CEO of Hint Water.
Almost 10 years ago, I launched a beverage company with an initiative to help people get healthier by providing better tasting, all-natural water. As a former AOL executive, the beverage industry was completely outside of my domain. But as the mother of four kids and someone who is extremely passionate about health and decreasing sugar addiction in people of all ages, I took a leap of faith and founded Hint Water. Here are some of the most important lessons I’ve learned along the way:
Believe in yourself
If you want to be a successful leader it’s important to spearhead something you truly believe in. Whether it’s a mission or product, as long as you show passion, others will follow. Without passion, there is no energy and you need energy to fuel any company.
Have a backup plan
Failure is inevitable – especially in the business world. That’s why a successful leader doesn’t put all their eggs in one basket and hope they will come out on top. Instead, they make sure there are multiple opportunities to succeed in different areas. This way, the likelihood of succeeding will far outweigh any potential failures.
I put a lot of emphasis on building my professional network. Anytime I have a question or need an additional perspective, I always reach out to my most trusted colleagues. Reaching out to these people – particularly those in other industries – has helped me establish a unique business model at Hint. Additionally, networking has led me to some fantastic partnerships and freelancers who have helped Hint grow.
Read all answers to the MPW Insider question: What advice would you give someone going into a leadership position for the first time?
4 ways to make your employees work harder by Lisa Carnoy, Division Executive of U.S. Trust, Bank of America Private Wealth Management.
Why your manager should stop trying so hard by Pascale Witz, Executive Vice President of Global Divisions at Sanofi.
What 20 years in leadership has taught me by Debbie Messemer, Managing Partner at KPMG San Francisco.
Wall Street: an option or obstacle for young women? by Hope Newsome, Chief Compliance Officer at The Newport Group.
Why the best leaders aren’t afraid to make mistakes by Stacia Pierce, CEO of Ultimate Lifestyle Enterprises.
One quality all young female leaders should have by Sandi Peterson, Group Worldwide Chairman at Johnson & Johnson.
5 tips for women looking to move up the corporate ladder by Cheryl Cook, Channel Chief at Dell.
What it means to join the c-suite by Colette LaForce, SVP and Chief Marketing Officer at AMD.
Why ‘knowing it all’ won’t help you at work by Adena Friedman, President of Nasdaq.
Why you should be more friendly at work by Mary Civiello, President of Civiello Communications Group.
4 reasons to ditch the ‘corporate mold’ by Kathy Collins, Chief Marketing Officer, H&R Block.
10 tips for survival when you’re the new boss by Debby Hopkins, Chief Innovation Officer at Citi.
Why every new leader should take Lupita Nyong’o’s advice Gloria Larson, President of Bentley University.
Why I’m proud to be gay — at home and at work by Beth Brooke-Marciniak, Global Vice Chair of Public Policy at Ernst & Young.
Why great doers don’t make great leaders by Liz Wiseman, President of Wiseman Group.
3 things you can learn from your worst boss by Lauren Stiller Rikleen, President of Rikleen Institute for Strategic Leadership.
One CEO’s cheat sheet to the top by Kathy Bloomgarden, CEO of Ruder Finn.
3 ways to think like a leader by Alyse Nelson, CEO and co-founder of Vital Voices Global Partnership.
What the best bosses can learn from mountain ski guides by Susan Coelius Keplinger, President and COO of Triggit.
The one quality all leaders must have by China Gorman, CEO of Great Place to Work Institute.
3 lessons every new leader should know by Sally Blount, Dean of Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management.
Barbara Bush: 4 tips for aspiring leaders by Barbara Bush, co-founder of Global Health Corps.