Management Moves: Real Leaders Reveal How They Advanced
Diversity and inclusion make a company stronger. Liberty Mutual Insurance is proof of that. At the launch of our Women and Allies Employee Resource Group ([email protected]), which focuses on advancing women and engaging men in the process to enhance their mutual success, we invited employees to share their personal career journeys, lessons learned and key moments from their professional lives. Here, four inspiring stories:
A Simple Gesture
“Early in my legal career, I worked on a very public matter. Despite my inexperience, the leading administrative judge was impressed with my performance. Grateful for his encouragement, I stayed in touch and sent him congratulatory letters whenever I learned of his successes throughout the years.
“More than a decade later, that administrative judge became my boss. He was impressed with my work and became my mentor, ultimately offering me my first management position. That simple gesture of periodically staying in touch over the years changed the trajectory of my career and led me to an invaluable mentor.
“Simple gestures can make big differences.”
—Karen Morton, Deputy General Counsel, Corporate Legal
“Two years ago, Liberty Sigorta transitioned from motor insurance toward property and into other lines of business. In the midst of the changeover, I moved from my chief financial officer position to oversee the strategic changes as a part of the sales department.
“With a financial background, I had to shift my perspective—sales was about more collaboration, more listening and faster decision making with less information. Also, as an outsider to the sales world, I had to reshape my communication and management approach.
“Despite the various challenges, we laid a solid foundation and saw great growth in new products, and 16 months later, I was promoted to CEO. I don’t think my selection would have happened without the lessons learned during my time spent in sales.”
—Defne Turkes, CEO, Liberty Sigorta
A Leap of Faith
“Typically, ‘Quit while you’re ahead’ stands as the best advice.
“Years ago, I was working at the Central Bank of Kenya, and although I could see a happy and successful future ahead of me, I took a leap of faith into new territory.
“Despite my mother’s protests that it was time to marry and that more education would hinder that pursuit, I accepted a Rhodes Scholarship and began studying at Oxford, which led to a position at Goldman Sachs, where I worked for 13 years. I then took another leap of faith and joined Liberty Mutual, a company I knew little about, moving my family to Boston where I knew no one. And I’m so happy I did.
“Sometimes, you need to set aside what may seem like the best advice—as you know yourself the best.”
—Neeti Bhalla, Deputy Chief Investment Officer, Liberty Mutual Investments
“Being known as a ‘Loss Prevention person’ felt limiting after 10 years with Liberty Mutual because I was so curious about the company’s other operations. That’s why I would take on any new projects that interested me over the years.
“Working in various areas at Liberty allowed for me to develop new skills and benefit from new perspectives. I’ve since built a reputation for strongly encouraging the people who work under me to push beyond their department’s boundaries and labels to other areas of the business, leading some to move on to new opportunities and other great talents to seek out a chance to work with me because they value that kind of encouragement.”
—Connie Bayne, Regional President, Business Insurance, Commercial Insurance