Laysha Ward and Jodee Kozlak

Target leaders share "Lean In" stories

Facebook’s Chief of Operations, Sheryl Sandberg, is teaming up with women around the world to send a powerful message: When women work together and share their inspiring stories, they can help each other succeed in the workplace and in life. Sandberg’s new book, “Lean In: Women, Work and the Will to Lead,” challenges women to take risks, seize opportunities and support one another in reaching their full potential by “leaning in” and removing obstacles that get in the way of their personal and professional ambitions. The book launched at Target stores and Target.com March 11.

Along with her book, Sandberg is launching a series of programs dedicated to encouraging women to lean in to their ambitions and providing resources to help them succeed. Included is an online community integrated with Facebook where women can share their own career-defining moments.

Among the first women to share personal success stories on the site are two Target leaders: Laysha Ward, President, Community Relations (pictured above, left) and Jodee Kozlak, Executive Vice President, Human Resources (above, right).

In her post, Laysha recalls a moment early in her career at Target that shaped her personal leadership journey. Standing backstage battling nerves before her first speech at a Target annual sales meeting, she got a little wisdom from her mentor, guest speaker Coretta Scott King (wife of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.), who reminded her that she’d earned the right to be there and to do what she’d been called upon to do.

“Real leadership and growth emerge from our willingness to ask for help and give it,” says Laysha. “None of us gets very far alone. Authentic human networks are built on a balance of vulnerability and strength, trust and acceptance of the idea that we'll all get better together.”

For Jodee, a pivotal moment came years ago during an exceptionally busy time in her life when she realized she’d committed to being in four places at once on the same day. “That’s when it hit me. Really hit me,” she says. “I was totally overcommitted and it was within my control to change that … Up until that point, I’d been too willing to say ‘yes’ and didn’t realize how essential it is to say ‘no.’ Today, ‘no’ is the most empowering word in my vocabulary, but learning to say it was really tough.”

“Don’t give your time away,” Jodee advises. “Invest. Your life is not just a random unfolding of events, but a system you can manage.”

In the future, you may see additional Target leaders sharing their stories on the site. Visit LeanIn.org to read more inspiring stories from remarkable women around the world.

To learn more about what life is like on the job at Target, visit Culture.

 

 

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