Profiles in Diversity Journal Second Quarter 2021

Page 26


Vice President, Global Operations, HARMAN Lifestyle Consumer Audio


LEADERS Worth Watching



Education: Master’s degree, Macquarie University Graduate School of Management; BA, Sun Yat-Sen University Company Name: HARMAN International Industry: Connected Technologies Company CEO: Michael Mauser Company Headquarters Location: Stamford, Connecticut Number of Employees: 30,000+ Your Location (if different from above): Shenzen, China Words you live by: Life is too short to be miserable. Who is your personal hero? Deng Xiaoping What was your first job: Market Researcher Favorite charity: China Center for Children’s Welfare and Adoption Interests: Travel, spy books/movies, good food, and spending time with friends Family: Married with two daughters

Great Mentors Are All around Us Nothing serves my career better than continuous learning and improvement. And mentors, formal or informal, are a great source of such learning and improvement. Looking back on my career, I have been fortunate to have worked with excellent leaders, from whom I have learned and benefited tremendously, as I observed how they developed and implemented strategies, led, interacted with and trained people, solved problems, made decisions, communicated, built relationships, and handled conflicts. Such first-hand experiences are much more important than skills, and they have become a part of my growth and professional assets. In my opinion, they are more effective than any MBA. Since I started my career, every one of my managers has played a key role in my growth, and can be considered my mentor. In addition to functioning as role models, they have


2021 Second Quarter

been incredible sources of guidance. Whenever I am under pressure or disappointed, have questions, concerns, doubts, anxiety, or anger, or simply need second opinions, I turn to these mentors, and they never disappoint me. They are like a beacon that steers me clear of the wrong and always keeps me on track, while providing me with the needed insights, courage, and strength to win the day. I work with leaders from different industries, of different nationalities, and with different personal backgrounds. In working with these seasoned business executives, I’ve learned that there are multiple perspectives and various approaches to addressing problems. And I’ve learned to appreciate the value of open-mindedness and cultural sensitivity. Some of my managers have military backgrounds like West Point, the German Navy, and the United States Marines, and they’ve

demonstrated to me the importance of exercising strong will, persistence, and discipline in the workplace. I’ve also have had managers from many countries, including China, the United States, Israel, Belgium, France, Germany, Sweden, Denmark, and Australia, and all of them significantly enriched my knowledge, exposure, and experiences. They all have their unique strengths and personalities, and it has been an amazing learning opportunity to see those qualities in action. It is from these strong leaders that I have learned how to lead, strategize, execute, and accomplish—at work and in life. My advice to young leaders is to make the most of mentoring whenever there is an opportunity. It is a shortcut to growth. Mentors do not necessarily come from formal mentoring programs—they are around us. We just need to be observant and have a desire to learn.


Lily Guo