Sharon Fiehler – ABC to CEO


Sharon Fiehler is a former Fortune 500 c-suite executive and founder of ABC to CEO.

In this episode Lauren and Sharon discuss: 

  • Key traits of successful CEOs
  • Importance of working for an organization where you feel comfortable
  • Strategies to overcoming challenges in male-dominated industries
  • The difference between staff roles and line roles

Key takeaways:

  • To excel in a position, ensure that you are culturally fit for the organization; perceive yourself as a member of the team; and never isolate yourself. Participate in conversations with teammates to gain trust, connect, and show that you have something to offer.
  • To demonstrate your competence as a leader, and especially as a CEO, guarantee that there is trust between yourself and your colleagues and show confidence so your team isn’t questioning whether you are the person to follow.
  • To progress to the top, it’s important for women to get into line roles (sales / operations) early in their career (mid 30s) that have profit and loss (P&L) responsibilities.
  • The most successful CEOs have been on both sides of the fence (in both line and support roles) and understand the importance of staff roles in supporting critical line roles.
  • Focus on finding mentors, supporters, and sponsors – someone who will give you guidance on your performance or improvement areas (interpersonal or hard skills).
  • Be active and prepared during meetings to showcase what you know and what you are made of to gain promoters.

“Raise your hand for a promotion – You learn things while you are doing it, you don’t have to be 80% compatible for a promotion to be promoted. Don’t be afraid to take on something new.”  – Sharon Fiehler

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