CFO of Shell Aviation at the age of 35, one of the youngest Management Board Members of Fortune 500 division company, Founder of two companies and book author; Marianne Abib-Pech has had a remarkable career. On the 30th September, Marianne shared her wisdom with our Thought Leadership members as she challenged the notion of luck in business.
Marianne encouraged her guests to question why so many successful business people tend to shy away from taking ownership of their success and prefer to put it down to luck.
When asked how she got to her position, Marianne admitted that her natural response was to say she was “just lucky” as it felt socially unacceptable to say that she had made it through her own merit. Marianne felt that such a statement “would seem arrogant.” However, the reality was that she was proud to have worked hard to get to her position.
Marianne referred to one of her proudest moments, when she managed to get Tom Peters – author of “In Search of Excellence” – to endorse her book. With no direct connection to her idol, Marianne looked his contact details up online and emailed to ask if he could simply read her book prior to publishing. Before she knew it, she was on a plane to Germany for a half an hour meeting with Tom. This resulted in Tom not only reading her book but also publically endorsing it. Marianne puts this particular success down to her opportunism and having the courage to ask.
It was a fantastic breakfast, held at the beautiful Dorchester Hotel, and this closing piece of advice is one that will hopefully encourage the Thought Leadership members to take ownership of their business futures; and suggested that if you truly want to be successful you need to go to the dark corner of your mind – where everything you’re afraid of, everything you fear, all your insecurities – and tackle those issues head on.
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