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November 13, 2014

When Linkage’s own Madelyn Yucht was recently named as one of Profiles in Diversity Journal’s Women Worth Watching, she was asked to share some of her hard-earned insight regarding success, mentorship, overcoming challenges and what advice she has for young women leaders. And as you can see in her answers below, she’s a Woman Worth Watching who we all can learn from.

“For me, inner work entails learning, self-reflecting, and integrating experiences, so that I evolve emotionally, spiritually, and intellectually,” she says. “It means maturing, and gaining strength and substance as a person—taking whatever happens to me and using it as fodder for growth. My inner work formed me as a person and a professional, and serves as the heart and engine of my life.

“The focus of my inner work has been conscious and intentional—learning to live my life with courage, grace, integrity, truth, kindness, and positive contribution. That requires me to use my challenges, turning points, crucible experiences, relationships as my laboratory for growth.”

Her most important “inner work” includes the following:

  • Not being so afraid to fail that I don’t try; and if I fail, surviving, and moving on
  • Speaking hard truths in the spirit of solution, not blame
  • Telling myself the truth
  • Owning my ambition and doing something about it
  • Being open to different ways of being, and learning there is no such thing as “the way”
  • Recognizing “Right Fights,” “Wrong Fights,” and how to “Fight Right”
  • Knowing when to walk away, change, or give something up
  • Understanding what it means to own myself and my life—and not be a victim
  • Making peace with the fact that I can’t control others
  • Realizing it’s not what happens to us that determines our happiness, but our interpretation

On finding success and staying competitive she says:

“My competitive formula is this: Provide distinctive value that my clients can’t get elsewhere. This requires me to rigorously monitor global trends, thought leaders, innovations, and best practices, and translate this information into usable frameworks, insights, tools, and skills my clients can apply to increase their effectiveness.”

On facing challenges she says:

“My biggest challenge was starting a consulting company in my 20s with no clue what that meant. It was pure commitment and determination that drove my business partner and I to persevere—to invent, reinvent, problem-solve, overcome obstacles, learn, fail, and keep going. It was hard, but extraordinarily satisfying.”

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Here are some of the insights that have helped propel Madelyn up the ladder. What are some of yours?

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