GE Women Leaders Share Leadership Advice with Smith Women
On Tuesday, October 5, 2010, the Smith Association of Women MBAs (SAWMBA)
held its annual GE Women’s Panel event at the University of Maryland’s Robert H.
Smith School of Business.
Over the years, SAWMBA has established a valuable relationship with General
Electric (GE), specifically its Women’s Network. Every year, the association
hosts a panel that gives Smith women and SAWMBA supporters the opportunity to
hear practical and sincere advice from successful women employed by GE. This
year’s panel topic was “A Profile of Leadership and Building Career Capital.”
The GE panelists for the 2010 event were: Barbara Rhoden Bryant- Process
Leader, GE Healthcare- Commercial Transformation; Carrie Eglinton Manner-
General Manager, Maternal Infant Care; and Cathy Pryor- Associate Director, GE
Capital Real Estate- Hospitality.
of the most important characteristics of a leader, given by the panel, were
flexibility, resilience, effective relationship management, empathy, and
decisiveness. Additionally, the panelist discussed the need for a leader to be
able to “see around corners” or anticipate what will happen next. According to
the panelists, good leaders can face reality and are not overly optimistic. They
are able to propose solutions and consistently reflect on the progression
towards ultimate goals. Barbara Bryant from the panel summed it up nicely by
stating that as a leader, delivering is just the basic level- it is not a
Panelist Carrie Eglinton Manner explained to attendees the need to create a
“web” versus a “ladder.” Rather than focusing your efforts on trying to reach
each person at the various levels that lead to where you want to be, students
should work to create a valuable network. Other key points were that people do
not have to have subordinates to be leaders and that stressful times can be
great opportunities to recognize your strengths and weaknesses. The discussion
winded down with talks about how to achieve work/life balance and keep
leadership skills fresh after leaving graduate school.
The women of Smith took time at the end of the event to thank the GE
panelists for their honesty and openness. The event gave the students a much
appreciated, candid look into the corporate world awaiting them upon graduation.
Shari King, MBA Candidate 2011, Smith Media Group