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So You're In Charge. Now What?

Leadership lessons from the first female Senior Vice President at Guardian Life Insurance in 140 years; Eileen McDonnell.

A VP at 27 in a male dominated industry, I experienced myriad obstacles. As a young woman with less experience than most of the men reporting to me, age, tenure and gender were all challenges, encapsulated best by an Agent who commented "I don't listen to my wife, why should I listen to you?" Despite all this I went on to have a career packed with rewards and success.

Many professionals spend so much energy concentrating on getting to the top that when they do - they aren't quite sure what to do next or how to get the most out of their leadership experience. Why do many female leaders fall victim to this, while a few prevail? What sources of support, motivation and belief in oneself enable some women to not only survive but to thrive?

Here are 20 mantras putting you on the path to becoming a powerful professional.

Eileen McDonnell is keynote speaker and host of 'Women in Power'. A nationwide series of workshops and seminars.