Lawyer, political powerhouse, and genuinely nice person. Tina Tchen, former Chief of Staff to Michelle Obama & Executive Director of the White House Council on Women and Girls, lent her energy and expertise to attendees of the 2017 EBW Global Summit.
Stout caught up with Tchen for an inspiring TAKE FIVE interview at the event.
In your opinion, what holds most people back from achieving their full potential?
Tchen: Self-doubt. Definitely. People – especially women – have trouble trusting themselves. And it happens in situations across the board – from big life decisions to relatively small things like a low-stakes meeting.
What things were most helpful on your success journey? What fuels you?
Tchen: My number one resource throughout my career has been people. You must never assume that you have all the knowledge – learn to look to those around you.
How has a disappointment or failure helped you?
Tchen: Mistakes are going to happen. The most important thing I’ve learned is that you must own them right away. Dwelling on them just makes it worse, so you need to accept them, talk to the people involved, and together, come up with a solution. It’s important that you don’t wait until you have a solution to own up to your error, because you may or may not be able to come up with the right answer on your own. Better to get input immediately from those who have been affected by your misstep.
What is one thing you wish everyone knew?
Tchen: I’m not sure there is really just one thing. For me, though, I can say that it has been important throughout my life to have a core family unit – a safe place to come back to.
What is your personal power word or motto?
Tchen: I’m going with Nike on this one: “Just Do It!”