The Bloomberg Breakfast Club

Following another late night at the office, I began my morning a little less than enthusiastic about the early start time. My mood quickly changed when I got to the Bloomberg Women in IT breakfast. Greeting me on the 43rd floor at Brookfield Place was a stunning view of the lake, the city and a solid breakfast lineup.

Together with a room full of successful and motivated women, we listened to Sabrina Dar, the Director of Sales Acceleration at Cisco. She was charismatic, charming and a lot of what she spoke about resonated with me, below are some of my highlights.

The very idea that businesses need to change and adapt with technology is a reoccurring theme at many events, but this felt different. Sabrina talked about how we ourselves, both women and men, can create a successful team, develop leadership, and nurture our connections into a successful career path.

The tech world is changing — it’s rapid and it’s unprecedented. We are currently living in a “VUCA world” –volatile, uncertain, complex, and ambiguous. We can certainly choose the level of technology we engage in within our personal lives but in terms of business and corporations, the demand for evolution and connectivity is necessary.

The things we would associate with creating a quality team or someone being a good leader is also changing. Traditional factors like IQ, motivation and being outgoing are no longer the key traits that make up a winning team. What does make a smart team? Equal participation, where companies create a safe space for people to engage and build momentum around their own ideas, the ability to read complex emotions and Women. Literally having more women on a team makes it smarter (but I already knew that).

These smart teams need smart leaders, ones who aren’t afraid to make impactful change. Leaders like Justin Trudeau, who was able to immediately instate a 50% female cabinet, and Cisco, a leader in its industry, who takes great strides to empower and support women of all generations, are examples of how leaders use their authority to effect positive changes.

You don’t have to run a country or be a communications giant to be a leader and make change. Sabrina emphasized that regardless of your job title leadership is a state of mind. She used the river metaphor for life — as it runs its course it picks up new things, goes in many directions, and eventually, is able to shape the landscape in order to get where it’s going.

Finally, Sabrina left us with three pieces of advice she has learned over her career.

Have Passion: This will keep you curious, and keep you wanting more. Learning more about what interests you will always be rewarding.

There is No Escape from Working Hard: Personal and professional growth comes from pushing yourself, and taking yourself out of your comfort zone. Hard work helps us learn and grow.

Take a Leap: Use momentum, keep your eyes forward, and don’t hesitate. Faith in yourself and your decisions won’t keep you from holding back.

Thank you to Women in IT and Bloomberg for organizing this breakfast, and thank you Sabrina Dar for the amazing words! You had myself, a client relations manager, the CEO and an intern of the same company all equally inspired and ready to start the day with full force!

My favourite Quote of the day: “Don’t be someone charging ahead with their head down. Looking down won’t steady you, you have to fix your eyes to the horizon and your brain will adjust to figure out the rest”