"You can't be a leader today without being a steward to other women." - Camille Mirshokrai, director of leadership development, Accenture
Driven out of Iran by the 1979 revolution, Camille came to the United States when she was 12 years old. She, her sister and her mother followed her father, who had escaped over the mountains into Afghanistan and eventually joined them in Dallas.
From these uncertain beginnings—little English, no friends, a mystifying flight from her home—Camille, as head of leadership development, has risen to become one of Accenture's most influential executives. Her advice: If you want to help yourself, always make yourself available to help other women.
Accenture has more than 200,000 employees, with more than 60 percent of them located outside the United States. Confronted with an organization as vast and far-flung as this, Camille, surprisingly, relies on an appeal to each individual woman. "We can install all the programs and policies we want," she says, "but, in the end, it comes down to one woman taking the call of one other woman, agreeing to a meeting—a coffee, a lunch—and sharing what she's learned. I am in my position now because I put in those calls, and someone took the time to answer me. I am their legacy. I believe every woman in our company should be actively mentoring other women, creating similar legacies."
Now, imagine the power surge if women in companies, universities and community organizations across the country were actively creating similar legacies of their own. As you find your strongest life, look to be a leader. The saying, "Each one, teach one," applies to so much more than grade school and summer camp. Find your strongest life, and then make it count for more.
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