Melanie Foley

Harnessing the Power of Your Network

By Melanie Foley, Executive Vice President, Talent and Enterprise Services, Liberty Mutual Insurance

Going it alone is incredibly overrated. And yet as a society we cling to this romanticized image of fiercely independent individuals forging ahead on their own. What drives that? Why is it—when each of us has access to our own network of friends, family and colleagues—that we consider it weak to ask any of them for help? This is a mindset that needs to stop. Let me share with you how I overcame the go-it-alone syndrome and built my career on harnessing the power of my network.

It starts with my mother. A single woman raising two kids in the Boston projects, my mother was never afraid to ask for help. I saw firsthand how she asked family members to pitch in so that she could pursue her nursing degree at night in order to make a better life for us. She even tapped me for help—asking for my tooth-fairy money to buy groceries when funds were low. Her successful use of her network and her matter-of-fact approach to asking for help has defined and informed my entire career. Read More

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