Top Tips for Success for the Next Generation of Female Leaders

Earlier this year, I had the opportunity to speak with my friend and former colleague Laura Wood Cantopher, the President of the Wellesley College Alumnae Association. Throughout her distinguished career and now as a volunteer leader, Laura is frequently approached by young women for advice, coaching and mentoring. Many of you have commented to us about her wise words so I decided to share them again here on our website.

Below please find in her own words Laura Wood Cantopher’s Top Tips for Success – at work and in life.

Top Tips for Success

  1. Believe in yourself! Stop the doubting! It’s one thing not to have the skills that you need to lead, to do aspects of your job. If that’s the case, then educate yourself and learn how. But once you know how? Get out there and do it! Shoulders back. Head held high. Don’t let anyone tell you you’re not capable. Or not good enough.
  2. Get involved with something you feel passionate about. It makes the work easier.
  3. Tell the truth. To yourself and to others.
  4. Remember you don’t have all the answers. The minute you start to think you do it’s a danger sign!
  5. It’s OK to say, “I don’t know. Let me think about that & come back to you or connect you to someone who knows.”
  6. Listen! Or you’ll find yourself answering a question no one asked.
  7. Don’t give advice you haven’t been asked for. That’s the worst kind.
  8. Treat people the way you’d like to be treated.

As someone who is fortunate enough to receive thoughtful, supportive advice from Laura regularly (when I ask!), I can confirm that she lives her own life according to these principles and encourages all of those around her to do the same.

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About the author

Suzanne Hilser-Wiles


Suzanne Hilser-Wiles, President, partners with GG+A clients around the globe to help them elevate their fundraising by offering more than 25 years of experience in advancement, program building, and campaign planning and implementation. Throughout her career, she has helped design, rebuild, and reimagine programs by applying her experience with a…