Erika Andersen is the founding partner of Proteus, a company based in New York and Minnesota, which specializes in coaching, consulting and training. The firm focuses on leader readiness and uses realistic consulting methodology based on how people actually learn. Erika serves as a consultant and advisor to the CEOs and executives of many corporations, including, NBC Universal, Gannett Corporation, Rockwell Automation, Turner Broadcasting, GE, Union Hospitality Group and Madison Square Garden to name a few.
Erika is the author of Leading So People Will Follow; Being Strategic: Plan for Success; Outthink Your Competitors; Stay Ahead of Change and Growing Great Employees: Turning Ordinary People into Extraordinary Performers. She is also the author and host of Being Strategic with Erika Andersen on Public Television and is one of the most popular business bloggers at Forbes.com.
Attributes of Success
Erika states that there are dozens of factors in her success and many of them are unrecognized. She has narrowed these down to the top five things that have supported her to create the life she has:
- Erika gives credit to her parents who created a stable, safe and loving home and encouraged curiosity, independent thinking and a healthy skepticism about unexamined rules. She states that they were also amazingly free of bias given the times she grew up in.
- Erika says that she is basically optimistic with an inborn sense of hope. She is resilient and has faith in people’s abilities, including her own.
- Erika points out that she is able to envision possible futures that are achievable. She is convinced that having a clear sense of what she would like to see in the future, is motivating and clarifying for her and those she interacts with.
- Erika cares deeply about the success of those who she loves, and she is able to love easily. She states that she is able to love most of her clients and all of her colleagues. But, this does not stop her from seeing things very clearly and expressing what she sees even if it is not positive.
- Erika credits her husband and children for their love, support and encouragement and does not believe that she would be where she is without them.
Tips and Secrets of Success from Erika
Get really good at learning.
Learning has a bad reputation as a word and we tend to associate it with grade school classrooms; too hot, too boring, and completely unrelated to our actual life. But in the 21st century, learning faster, better, and deeper is the most important key to your success. If you do not like the word, learning, you can call it mastery. Erika wrote a post about this in Forbes, which you can read here.
Surround yourself with people who will support your success.
Erika stresses the importance of removing people from your enterprise and your life who are an impediment to your success. This is especially true of small businesses that cannot afford to have anyone who is not moving the enterprise forward. After sharing this with a client, that client shared with her that as soon as they let the particular employee go, the energy in the office increased, and everything seemed more clear and possible.
Be the person, business owner, manager, and leader that you want others to be.
If you are going to do something that affects others, you can stop and ask yourself, “Is this how I’d want someone to behave toward me?”. In a difficult situation, where you have to tell someone that they cannot do what is important to them, think about how you would want to hear the news. Use empathy in this way and you will never go too wrong when dealing with employees, partners and customers.