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Briana Lee

Briana Lee

Sales Strategy & Planning Manager

Tyson Foods
"I have experienced three corporate reorganizations. Because the only consistent thing is change, it’s important to understand how to navigate transition.
 
During one restructure, my manager suggested I reach out to a senior leader. I needed to understand how he adapted to the last change — and how I could position myself for success moving forward.
 
Most people inherently want to help others, but you need to be realistic in what you ask. I learned to ask not for an hour of someone’s time, but for 10 or 15 minutes to learn their thoughts about the business and the company. I learned to come prepared with key questions — and ways I could help them. As a result, I established a new sponsor and a mentor who has been a candid and confidential sounding board.
 
And while it’s important to have mentors talk with you and sponsors to talk about you, there’s a third important group — advocates who can endorse you. They may not be decision makers, but they can be influencers on your behalf. Advocates can be peers, industry counterparts or cross-functional teammates. They can speak about your performance, skill set, work ethic and character.
 
I urge emerging leaders to build healthy connections if they want to take their careers to the next level. Too often, people don’t ask a question because they worry about appearing uninformed or feel intimidated. But my mantra is, ‘The worst they can say is no, so you may as well ask.'"