Hogan Lovells

Hogan Lovells

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Speaker Series: 2013 Global Women’s Executive Summit

Sara Mathew is Chairman and CEO of Dun & Bradstreet, and will be a featured panelist at the 2013 Global Women’s Executive Summit.

Sara Mathew, Chairman & CEO of Dun & Bradstreet

Maintaining information on more than 220 million companies worldwide is no small feat. For over a decade, Sara Mathew has led the transformation of business licensing corporation Dun & Bradstreet (D&B) from a data company to a more innovative, digital enterprise, leveraging technological advances to expand its reach in the marketplace. During the course of her career as a business renovator, Sara refined her skillset in promoting and growing global organizations. Prior to joining D&B, she spent 18 years at Procter & Gamble, where she served in a number of executive roles. Today, Sara is D&B’s Chairman and CEO and also serves on the Board of the Campbell Soup Company as the Audit Committee Chair. Her passion not only accounts for her career success, but allows her to find that delicate balance in life.

We asked Sara to reflect on what advice she would offer to those following in her footsteps. Here’s what she had to say:

What can an aspiring leader learn from your missteps?
Failure will teach you much more than success ever will. Failure is both inevitable and essential to your personal growth. When you fail – pick yourself up and move forward; focus on the solution – not the problem.

What other career path has always interested you?
I’ve always been interested in being an artist. I have a diploma in Commercial Art (took me 7 years – part time), and after a 30 year sabbatical, I’ve rekindled my passion for painting. It’s a great stress reliever and I find that it sharpens my thinking.

What drives your success?
I’ve been incredibly lucky, and I will always be thankful for that.  Beyond luck, I would include curiosity, tenaciousness, and determination to never stop learning – about the world we live in, my business, and myself as a leader. This helped me achieve success far beyond what I ever thought was possible.  So today, I define success quite differently  –  It’s less about me. Helping others achieve their aspirations is far more rewarding.

Hear more perspectives and follow the conversation during this year’s Global Women’s Executive Summit on Twitter, #HLGWES.

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