EmpowerFi™

The Path From Marketing to CEO

The path to becoming a leader is a continual learning process.

As CEO and co-founder of EmpowerFi™, Hilary Reed has 17 years of experience with marketers and executives in the financial industries and has gained a wealth of knowledge and insight into how to climb the corporate ladder and transition to CEO.

The path to becoming a leader is a continual learning process.

As CEO and co-founder of EmpowerFi™, Hilary Reed has 17 years of experience with marketers and executives in the financial industries and has gained a wealth of knowledge and insight into how to climb the corporate ladder and transition to CEO.

It can be intimidating, but with drive and ambition, you can reach your goal and become a confident and respected leader. The following top tips will help you achieve your leadership goals.

Take risks
If you don’t take risks, you will never discover what you can achieve when you really put your mind to something. Fear of failure is completely natural, but in the end, failure is an essential part of the process as it is the only way we can grow as individuals.

Experiencing failure is key in the journey to success – learn from your mistakes, then brush yourself off and head off on your next adventure!

Establish integrity
In order to be recognized as a person with integrity and credibility, it is so important to foster a sense of trust with everyone you work with – your peers, your team, and your consumers.

Your team will respond to honest and consistent values. You must lead with credibility and treat your team with the respect they deserve.

It’s important to remember that your actions outside of work can impact you professionally and never underestimate your staff because they know what they’re doing and ultimately, they are your biggest critics when it comes to your integrity.

Be focused
A strong leader is deliberate and thoughtful; they always have a plan and a strategic vision.

A useful exercise to understand your drive and purpose in the organization can be to remind yourself of your job description and why you were hired. Looking at what drives you can help you focus on your next steps in achieving your ambitions.

With focus and a clear sense of purpose, you will not only be working towards your own goals but your organization’s strategic aims too. It’s a win-win situation.

Work on your confidence
If you’re not sure of yourself, then how can you expect others to believe in your abilities?

This can be one of the more difficult steps on the path to leadership if you’re not a naturally confident person. It can be scary but pushing yourself outside of your comfort zone can help boost your self-belief.

Embrace who you are and think positive – act as if you are already a CEO. This kind of thinking will manifest itself into actions.

Be bold
When you’re a leader you have to take decisive and creative actions.

Backed with your self-belief and integrity, you’re setting yourself up to be supported by those around you. Make bold decisions; think outside the box and approach tasks from a different perspective.

Be confident in your decision-making and gain attention from your peers as you make your way up the corporate ladder.

Build relationships
Very often entrepreneurs and business leaders of the world have the largest networks because building relationships is key to personal growth and moving up in your career.

In a post-Covid world, it has become easier to build your network online. Connecting with individuals in your sector on LinkedIn, updating your profile with new experiences, and dedicating time to networking on social media, will build your professional presence both online and offline.

A great benefit of networking on LinkedIn is that there isn’t a hierarchy, which means you can meet and connect with CEOs and leading figures from your industry, even before becoming a CEO yourself. And that’s great, because if you have been following so far, then you’re already thinking and behaving as if you are a CEO.

Think strategically
If you want to become a leader then you must learn to think strategically.

To be strategic, you need to think about the future. A successful CEO isn’t worried about what their staff is doing as they trust their team to do what they’re good at. The best leaders learn how to recognize their team’s strengths and delegate accordingly.

While focusing on the short-term is important, CEOs need to look at the bigger picture, and they do this by having a long-term vision. As CEO, you need to anticipate potential opportunities and difficulties and find approaches and creative solutions to manage issues and problem solve.

Find your balance
As a result of the pandemic, our work and home lives have become blurred as more people have been working from home.

Finding a work/life balance is difficult, but the benefits of carving out some “me time” are enormous.

You’ll find that if you’re able to make space for your personal life, you’ll be more relaxed and content. As a leader, understanding the benefits for yourself will help you to encourage your team to integrate their personal lives, and in turn, they will be much more efficient.

Success breeds success. If you foster a reliable team around you with mutual respect and support, and you continue to learn and push yourself, then you have all the ingredients you need to be a great future leader.

EmpowerFi™ CEO and CXO, Hilary Reed and Kelly Hellickson, discussed being Unapologetically Ambitious in a CrossState Credit Union Association webinar – Watch the replay here.

Blog Category

Strategy, Marketing

Service Type

Written by:

Hilary A. Reed- The CEO/ Chief Strategist of EmpowerFi™ Credit Union Marketing

HILARY A. REED

CEO | CHIEF STRATEGIST

Fun Fact

Hilary currently lives in a Philadelphia suburb with her two children who are 13 and 18. They all enjoy traveling the world and most recently traveled to Bermuda, Bahamas, Malibu, San Diego, Key West and Iceland.