On November 8, 2018, Louise Harvey, Non-Executive Chair of FTI Consulting Belgium, hosted a group of young professionals to speak about what defines success and how to be an influential leader.
At the most recent YP @ Noon luncheon, members of AmCham Belgium’s young professionals community gathered at FTI Consulting to receive advice on success, leadership, work-life balance and networking from Louise Harvey. The discussion began with Louise sharing her own life experiences and how they translated into success. She began working at the age of 18 in the public sector and would hold various positions over 13 years before moving into the private sector and starting her own business.
Success and Leadership
Louise explained it is difficult to define success as “it is not a fixed or finite thing”. She wants young professionals to realize the importance of being flexible when defining success and explained a person’s definition of a successful career should change over time. If you do not vary your definition of success every few years, "you will become stale and stuck on the hamster wheel”, she said. In order to have a successful business, leaders need a clear vision driving the business. Leaders should not “smother” people, but energize their colleagues and allow them to develop their own approaches. However, effective leaders need to know when to step in and explain if something is not up to standards.
Louise referred to a list of 10 attributes which require “zero talent”, which includes: work ethic, effort, body language, energy, attitude, passion, doing extra, being prepared, being on time and being coachable. The more of these traits a person possesses, the more likely they will be successful and respected in the workplace.
Louise is a strong believer in having a work-life balance and is disappointed to see this disappearing. “The work-life balance is the only real challenge in life, because everything else is fixable.” Although there is no easy answer to managing a sustainable work-life balance, having effective time management skills makes this balance much more possible.
At the end of the discussion, Louise strongly advocated for more networking, especially for millennials in the workforce, as she feels it is becoming a lost art. “If you do not network, you won’t receive the full story, because people are becoming too comfortable with just finding basic information online.” By networking and creating connections, you gain new relationships while establishing a sense of trust, which leads to a more interesting and expanded life.
Are you interested in enhancing your own networking skills? Join AmCham Belgium for the Mingle & Jingle Speed Networking Evening on December 18! More information and registration here.