A little over a month ago, I heard something that stuck with me. I’ve been thinking about it ever since. At a #NextGenLíderes event in Chicago (hosted by Hispanic Executive and Northwestern Mutual), we invited Codie Sanchez to be our guest speaker. The extremely successful, young entrepreneur stood up and asked attendees, “What if it was easy?”
It, of course, being success. I found myself asking, “What is success, anyway? And what made it so easy for her?” One definition that spoke to me comes from Maya Angelou: “Success is liking yourself, liking what you do, and liking how you do it.” Codie Sanchez’s rise to wealth and influence sounded almost effortless, as if “success” for her was not just acquiring those measurables, but also finding ways to enjoy the journey as purposeful, not painful. She works hard, pays attention, deals with rejection, keeps her eye on the prize, asks for what she wants, and if she doesn’t get it, asks someone else. But more than anything else, she is comfortable in her own skin. Could it be just that easy?
Pedro Pizarro, the CEO of Edison International and this issue’s cover star, also seems to make it so. While no one can say that modernizing the power grid is easy, he certainly makes it seem pretty straightforward. His calm confidence radiates into the company’s global goals to reduce cost and waste and increase efficiency. Simple, right? Pizarro says that implementing diversity across the company is a major key to achieving that goal. He doesn’t need to defend his belief that diversity drives innovation; he is living proof. The Latino scientist and CEO seems unbothered and unworried about achieving his mission to make energy cleaner and more affordable for all. He’s got this.
Sanchez, Pizarro, and the others showcased in this issue demonstrate that working hard can be easy if you’re passionate about what you’re working on. By liking ourselves, what we do, and how we do it, perhaps we can have it all after all.