9 to 5ish: Carly Fiorina

Published on: Dec 8, 2021fb-roundtwitter-roundemail-round

Carly worked her way up from management trainee at  going from fighting for respect from her male colleagues to taking the top job at Hewlett-Packard and becoming the first female CEO of a Fortune 50 company. She oversaw a contentious merger, job and pay cuts. And after she was fired, Carly served as an advisor to John McCain and Mitt Romney’s presidential campaigns — in between beating breast cancer and running for President herself. She’s no stranger to criticism and tough feedback, and this week, she shared how learning to take feedback has helped her on her journey. 

On Getting Over Your Nerves

Carly: I learned a trick that I use to this very day, which was while I was sitting on the floor of the ladies room for all those hours, I kept saying to myself, 'okay, what's the worst thing that can happen?'

On Facing Criticism

Carly: If you're going to change things, if you're going to have an impact, and particularly if you're different while you're doing all those things, you will be criticized. It is part of it. It comes with the job. And so I went into this job knowing that I would be criticized.

On Processing Feedback

Carly: The way we always learn more in any situation, including tough feedback is to ask questions. The question I would advise someone to ask is something like, 'tell me why you feel that way,' or 'why do you say that?' Those questions elicit more information.

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Skimm'd by Alex Carr, Andrew Callaway, and Ciara Long


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