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Making an Impact

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Note from the blogger: Rosalind Hudnell, Intel’s Chief Diversity Officer, recently shared an article on our internal blog community that was published about her on Women Working. Roz expands on the article, in light of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, explaining how his legacy allowed her to be where she is today. Read on as she shares her tips on how to make a real impact, reinvent yourself, and take time to invest in yourself so you can make a larger impact on others. 

On Monday, January 16, 2012 our country celebrated the 83rd birthday of Martin Luther King, Jr. Over the years I have written numerous articles and blogs about Dr. King and the phenomenal impact he had on the world. I was honored to spend this past weekend speaking in Washington, D.C. and had the special opportunity to visit his memorial on the National Mall with my two oldest children. It is simply stunning and while I had already been, experiencing it with them was a lifelong memory. We shared stories and spoke often of my now deceased grandmother and how proud she would be. Somehow in the moment, it really hit home how much my life has been impacted by this man who sacrificed so much so that we could all live up to our full potential without barriers. I watched my grown children read the quotes and look up in awe of a man who they had never met, but yet impacted their lives and my ability to raise them.

I had the pleasure of being interviewed by Working Women a few month ago for the story below, which was recently published. I have been incredible surprised at how many women from around the country of many ages and ethnicities have reach out to thank me for the helpful tips about how to focus on themselves. I was asked last week to share it with my Intel family and when I saw the posting date was on Dr. King's birthday, at first I was going to delay, but after spending this past weekend speaking about Intel’s commitment to diversity and then visiting the MLK Memorial with my children, I felt the timing was perfect.  My grandmother ironed so my mother could become educated.  My mother taught so that I could as well and now I’m able to publish an article on tips that women from around this country have found helpful.  Knowing that gives me great pride in our progress and reminds me that we live in a world of infinite possibilities.  I hope this article helps remind some of that reality.  Happy Birthday Martin Luther King, Jr. and Happy New Year to all!

Make a Real Impact – Original Article Published in Working Woman, January 2012

As a little girl, Rosalind Hudnell’s mother and grandmother believed that she could do the impossible, and Roz has fulfilled their expectations—when she sets her mind on something, it happens. This pioneering leader reinvented herself several times within and outside Intel. Originally a human resources professional for a cable conglomerate, the president of the company asked her to lead an operations unit; he saw something in her that she hadn’t seen in herself. And she took on the assignment. Within Intel, her career has been about making an impact. Heed the strategies of a woman who is invested in your growth and knows how to help you advance:

Take Time to Reflect

One of the biggest challenges we have as women is that we don't take the time to focus on what we want. Our lives become about how we can help others. Think about what your priorities should be and assess what you're spending your time on. Then ask yourself, "What might I be able to let go of if I had more help?" and "What am I not doing that I would really want to do?"

For those with children — know what transition points will happen naturally, when your child enters grade school, for example. Figure out where you want to be and what do you want to be doing leading up to that. So many women wait to find out what they want to do and realize they should have started the process years before.

Do More Right Now

Instead of looking for a different job or a promotion to advance, ask yourself, “How can I do more and deliver value to my company, my business, my family and myself from the seat I’m sitting in?” When we begin to think about it that way it gives us more control. Because then you don’t have to wait for somebody to give you permission to do more.

Your Development Plan

Shift your focus from your current job. Instead, think about the impact you want to make on the world, on your company and on the people you care about. Reflect on these three things as part of your development plan:

  • What are you really good at that you like to do?

  • What aren't you good at but would like to be better at?

  • What aren't you good at and must get better at or you won't be able to make an impact?

Take Smart Risks

I have always taken risks — that goes back to my mother and grandmother. Because no matter what risk I took, I knew that if I really fell on my face the worst possible thing that could happen was I’d go back home — which was a pretty cool place. When I’ve taken risks in my career, I didn’t go into them fearfully. I would think, “I don’t know anything about this, so I’m going to have to learn really quickly, and in any way I can.”

Differences Can Be Advantages

Sometimes we don’t want to stand out — we want to fit in and be like everybody else. We don’t embrace the fact that we are different. And, standing out gives us a platform that others would actually envy. If you have the platform, use it.

More from Roz: Navigating Work/Life

Roz has traveled her entire career, and she and her husband (who travels as well) have had to find creative ways to manage schedules for their three children — one now grown and two still in college. Here are some of her tips:

  • Make family rules: One of the rules my husband and I had was that our children owned us from Friday at 5 o’clock until midnight Sunday. So if I had to be in DC on a Monday, as I often had to, I took a red eye. What our children knew was that they might not see a lot of Mom or Dad during the week, but come Friday, they had us.

  • Allow your children to help you prioritize: Our children were very much into sports. When their schedules were coming out I would sit down with them and give them a marker. They would highlight the games they absolutely wanted me to attend in yellow, and with a red pen strike through the ones they didn’t care about. Those in yellow meant no matter what, I would move mountains — which also meant saying no to others — to be there.

  • Stick to family priorities: Twenty years from now, missing something at work will not matter. If you’re afraid of how you will be perceived for that, know that if you’re not at your child’s important game, it will haunt you for the rest of your life.