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Verizon's Chief Talent and Diversity Officer Discusses What It Takes to Become a Successful Leader

Magda Yrizarry

Ever wonder what it takes to ascend the company ranks and become a strong, effective leader? 

Magda Yrizarry, Verizon’s chief talent and diversity officer, works every day to identify and develop leaders, and took time this week to share her thoughts on leadership and career growth during Proud to be Latina’s EmPower Hour. Proud to be Latina is a personal and professional development network that educates, empowers and encourages Latinas to rise to their full potential.

On a conference call with more than 100 young professionals, Yrizarry shared her views on the key leadership qualities needed for success. She stressed the importance of having a vision and understanding of where your company is going and why; the business knowledge to understand your industry and the context within which your company competes and your role in its winning proposition; the ability to communicate plans clearly; and the ability to execute as a leader and get the actual work done.

While Yrizarry said it’s important for people to find their own unique leadership style, the one thing no leader can compromise on is integrity. “Integrity is a huge leadership capability because people have to trust you,” she said. “In order to lead, you to be influential, and in order to influence, you have to be trustworthy. If you’re constantly shifting, the level of trust is eroded.”

None of these qualities, however, happen without taking a proactive role in your own development. “Be good students of your environment,” she said. “Who is it that seems to be making it and getting recognition? There are role models everywhere, and if you’re willing to learn, listen and change, you have a responsibility to figure that out.”

During the Q&A portion of the call, Yrizarry answered listeners’ questions, such as how long should a person stay in a position before seeking change, how can someone most effectively transition into a different industry, and more.

A full replay of the EmPower Hour conference call can be heard here.