Carol DiBattiste – Senior VP of Privacy, Security, Compliance and Government affairs, LexisNexis
Carol DiBattiste knows what it takes to keep your troops engaged during tough economic times.
By Taylor Mallory
“Open up doors for talented people below, beside and above you. Then you’ll be surrounded by the best,” says Carol DiBattiste, senior vice president of privacy, security, compliance and government affairs for LexisNexis Group, which recently acquired ChoicePoint, DiBattiste’s former employer, for $4.1 billion. Opening doors has been her modus operandi throughout her career, DiBattiste says, and leadership and motivation are two of her strongest skills. “Keeping your team engaged and happy is even more important during tough economic times,” she adds, “when they really need leadership and optimism.”
Here she talks about pushing herself (and her team) to the limit – and what she learned from the military.
PINK: What’s your best advice for our readers right now?
Carol DiBattiste: Take risks and get outside of your comfort zone. I’ve been afforded the opportunity to move into several new positions in my career, but I believed I could do it – and I could. I find that men are much more likely to take risks and go into uncharted territory. I try to counsel women that they can do everything men can do and then some. Women are cautious and want to make sure they know everything about everything before they put their toes in the water. Just go for it!
PINK: Can you give an example of a risk you took that paid off?
C.D.: I went in the military in 1971 when very few women were entering the military. My friends all told me I was crazy. But I told my mother, “I’d like to do this. I can get my education and serve my country.” She said, “We’ll miss you. But I’m 100 percent behind you.” It was the best thing I’ve ever done. I got to see the world and meet people from all over the globe. And I learned how to lead. You’re not born to be a leader. I watched leaders treat people with dignity and respect, mentor people and open doors for others to walk through. And that has carried me very well in my career.
PINK: What else did you learn from your service?
C.D.: To take an interest in others. When they succeed, you succeed. I learned that change is good. If you embrace change in a positive way, only good can come out of it. The military forces you to embrace change because they move you all around. That was a great lesson to learn at 19. I move my people around. I force them to push themselves beyond what they think they’re capable of and move them into different opportunities.
PINK: How’s your Life/Work balance?
C.D.: I try to have my weekends to myself and work as late as I need to during the week. I’m not married and don’t have kids. I came close twice and got my heart broken, but I’m still looking for Mr. Right. The further I get along in my career, the harder it is to meet the right person. But I have enough family to make up for that: parents, siblings, nieces and nephews – and a close group of friends. That holds me together. So I know if I fail, I have a net.
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