Ask any professional and they will tell you that C-suite titles aren’t just given out. They have to be earned. Ask anyone who holds or has held one of those coveted positions and they will tell you their success was due to the support of others and professional relationships such as mentoring. Today, Shelley Radomski, COO of Cassidy Turley, shares with us how her mentoring relationship with Diane and others have led to the fulfillment of her career goals.
4word: At the beginning of the year, you were promoted to COO of Cassidy Turley. Congratulations! What has the transition been like for you?
Shelley: It’s definitely been challenging. As with any new role there are new tests of your ability. I put a lot of pressure on myself to always do an exceptional job. Throughout my career I’ve been a doer. I want to make sure that I stay relevant and continue getting done what needs to get done. I’m very results oriented, but it is also important to me to still find time to be available as a resource for others.
Overall, the transition has been a great experience. I’ve received positive feedback from others and have been providing practical feedback to those who work with me. Our company is still fairly new, so there’s a lot of integration and growth happening.
4word: When did becoming a C-level executive become your goal? What steps did you have to take to achieve that?
Shelley: I would say over the last several years, it became a goal. In the back of my mind, I had this thought that I’d have to go to a smaller company in order to achieve a C-level position. It’s been very rewarding for me to have this role, here at Cassidy Turley.
My personal strengths are centered around management and being results oriented. Along the way, my mentors have kept me focused on that path. I have had people who looked after my career and responsibilities, so I could attain a C-suite position. I’m grateful that I’ve had so many people help me along the way.
For example, when Diane was my mentor, she recommended that I step from a local role into a more national role. This enabled me to have more visibility and exposure and gave me a great stepping stone into the COO position when our COO moved into the CFO role.
4word: How has your mentoring relationship with Diane impacted your career?
Shelley: It’s impacted me tremendously in several ways. She was my mentor at a time when the company was changing, and I was able to go to her for advice. As I said, she recommended me four years ago for a national role overseeing the transition of new company’s into our platform. Leadership backed me in that role. Diane was also involved in the CREW Network’s mentoring program, and she recommended I join as a mentee. Joining that program also had a huge impact on my career.
When mentors and colleagues started thinking of me with C-suite potential, it was very powerful and impactful. Having people in my career who believed in me was huge.
4word: Have you ever been a mentor for someone else? How do these relationships help you do your best work?
Shelley: I’ve definitely had other mentors. Mentorship is critical for anyone to succeed. You need to have sponsors and mentors in your career.
I try to mentor others as well. Early in my career, I had a supervisor who looked after me and my career, and I learned that that was very valuable. I have always thought that who you work with and for are very important. Throughout my career, I have mentored a lot of other associates as well – male and female.
4word: In your opinion, what is the single best thing about mentorship?
Shelley: I would say it’s having someone to go to for advice who knows you well.
I am inspired when I see my colleagues reaching out to mentor other professionals. It’s easy to get busy in your career and work, making finding the time to reach out difficult. Seeing others making that effort is very encouraging to me.
During times of change and transition, mentors can help you not only adjust to your new environment but also realign your career goals. As Shelley said, mentorship is critical if you want to see yourself achieve your career goals and get to a place in your professional life where you feel like you have truly “arrived”.
Who has had a significant impact on your career? If you are looking for that person, there is still time to apply for the summer session of our mentor program. Click here for the details.
Shelley Phibbons Radomski has been with Cassidy Turley since 1997. As Chief Operating Officer she is responsible for promoting the company’s top priorities across all service platforms to support and expand client services. She collaborates with the executive team to develop corporate and operational strategies for consistent processes, systems and tools to support business and platform development, as well as implements new processes and systems to optimize regional growth strategies. As part of her COO role, Shelley oversees legal, insurance, licensing, office space and merger transitions.