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VP of Customer Business Development,
Procter & Gamble
Beverly’s mom played a key role in her success. Here she shares more thoughts about her number one supporter!
“One of the things that my mom wanted to make sure that I knew is that I needed to be accountable for myself. When I was growing up, if I would come home and someone had ‘shot me in the eye’, she would say, ‘Why did you get so close to the gun?!’ For her, it was about focusing on the things that I could control. She knew that I couldn’t control the things that other people did and I think being taught that level of self-accountability was really critical.”
“Another thing she would tell me is to ‘go out on faith’. I needed to jump because the net would be there to catch me. If you know that something is the right thing to do, then know that it is going to have a positive outcome. The results might not be exactly what you want, but if you’re doing your best and it feels right, then no matter what happens it will still be a positive outcome.”
Limit your peripheral vision.
“I used to play a lot of basketball and on the court, peripheral vision is really good; but it’s not so good in Corporate America. You can’t evaluate a peer as well as that person’s manager can. Focusing on what someone else has done or achieved, and then trying to follow suit won’t get you where you want to be. Stay focused on delivering the results that you need to deliver instead.”
Be a reflective thinker.
“At the end of the day, I reflect on what I’ve accomplished and the decisions I made. That way if a similar situation arises, I’m sure to use the right strategy. I don’t do it to revisit the decision; I do it to reflect on whether or not I gave the decision or the encounter my best. A lot of people prefer to spend time on futuristic thinking, which I can do, but I think that reflective thinking is almost as important.”
Bloom where you’re planted.
“My mom had all of these inspiring sayings. She used to tell me, ‘The ground is fertile where you are. Bloom where you’re planted.’ As a young girl, I never really knew what that meant, but as an adult, this wisdom always motivates me. It’s about making the best of whatever situation you are in. There’s always something that you can contribute or do. No matter what my circumstances are, I know that there’s always something there for me to learn.”
Align with honest people.
“I was off track career-wise, when a gentleman asked me if I wanted him to be honest or if I wanted him to make me feel better about not getting promoted. I chose honesty, and it changed the trajectory of my career. He told me I wasn’t getting promoted since I didn’t have certain types of assignments under my belt. He said I needed to demonstrate to people that I could sell and he showed me how to go about doing that. Finding someone to hold a mirror up and help you see what others see is critical.”
Although Beverly Grant’s flexibility and resilience guided her to her current post as vice president, a business career is a far cry from the hopes she had as a child growing up near Memphis, Tennessee. “I wanted to be a racecar driver,” she says. “We didn’t have a car until I was nineteen, and so I always thought it would be really neat.” One of her brothers later encouraged his younger sister to go to college and pursue a more realistic career.
As one of nine siblings, Beverly is comfortable among crowds. She most recently applied her charisma to organizing and hosting Destination Empowerment, a summit for corporate African American women. Despite a 90% attendance rate and survey results that stated it was a huge success, she hesitates to discuss her pivotal role. “I’m not into credit,” Grant says. “I’m into enabling people to be the best that they can be. A lot of times when you’re in an underserved group, you can adopt a victim mentality, and I want people to know that they can be empowered no matter what situation they’re in.”
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