Rosalind Brewer stands as a source of inspiration and a role model for those aspiring to climb the corporate ranks. As the first woman to ascend to the role of CEO at Walgreens Boots Alliance, serve as group president and COO of Starbucks, and lead as CEO of Sam’s Club, Brewer’s accomplishments are trailblazing.
Notably, she holds the distinction of being the first African American to head a division within Wal-Mart, the sole Black woman on Amazon’s board of directors, and the third Black woman in history to assume the role of a Fortune 500 CEO. As a first-generation college graduate, she embodies the essence of a successful career path.
Here are 7 quotes inspirational quotes from Rosalind Brewer to help you thrive in the workplace.
On dealing with fear and anxiety about work
“It’s amazing what you’ll do when you’ve got a little bit of fear and anxiety, but you know you’ve got work to do. You just buckle down and do what you have to do.”
On being visible in the room
“Do not be silent in the room. Even if you think you are gonna make a mistake, that’s better than sitting there quietly because you begin to suffocate. It will change your self-esteem. So just get it out there and feel like you have value.”
On getting involved in the work
“I do believe in still rolling my sleeves up. It takes that. You cannot be in retail today, if you’re not willing to roll your sleeves up, get ready for some pretty mundane numbers because it takes you really getting into the trenches to get these companies to grow and that’s what it takes right now.”
“It really begins with the talent that you select and how you put those pieces together. And then you build trusting relationships because they’ve got to know that I have their back every day. I instil that in them, I stand up for them, I fight for them. And so then I think when I do create that visionary message, they trust that I’m gonna get them over the finish line. And they know I’m not gonna leave them on the sidelines.”
It pays off to be an operator. I will tell you I say it’s like the ultimate bob and weave. I’ve got to go high and create strategy, create the vision, create a roadmap, and give people something to aspire to. Create hope!
On setting boundaries
“You can and should set your own limits and clearly articulate them. This takes courage, but it is also liberating and empowering, and often earns you new respect.”