By Denise Allabaugh The Citizens' Voice, Wilkes-Barre, Pa.
New York Times best-selling author Kate White, former editor in chief of Cosmopolitan Magazine, shared one of her biggest secrets to success: "Go big or go home."
"It's not enough anymore to do what you've been told to do and do it well," said Ms. White, the featured speaker at the inaugural NEPA Women's Leadership Conference on Thursday at Mohegan Sun Pocono. "You've got to come up with bold, innovative ideas for your department and your company that make your boss say 'wow' and set you apart from the pack."
Ms. White spoke to about 400 women and 13 men who attended the conference co-hosted by the Greater Wilkes-Barre Chamber, Greater Scranton Chamber, Greater Pittston Chamber, Greater Hazleton Chamber, Back Mountain Chamber, Wyoming County Chamber and Chamber of the Northern Poconos.
The conference's focus was to highlight the ability women have to create positive change in their communities and in their own lives, both professionally and personally.
The conference also recognized the power that exists when women come together to support each other.
White talked to attendees about not only achieving success, but sustaining it and making it grow.
"That is getting harder and harder to do these days as our jobs hijack our personal lives," White said.
She said "killer ideas" are often ones that break the rules. Another secret to success she shared was to worry less about what other people think.
"As humans, we all worry about how we're perceived but studies show that women worry more," White said. "We worry in advance. We worry in the moment and later. Guys do this too but they have this nifty way sometimes of re-framing things so it's positive."
Her third secret to success she shared was to "drain the swamp as you slay the alligators," which comes from an old Southern expression.
It means not to let day-to-day tasks command all your time and energy when you're working toward a main goal.
"You cannot just get caught up in slaying those alligators," she said. "You've got to, in your job, think beyond the day to day. You have to think of the big picture."
White, a married mother of two children, is a best-selling author of ten works of fiction, including six Bailey Weggins mysteries and four suspense novels.
She was editor in chief of Cosmopolitan magazine for 14 years after running four other major magazines. Although she said she loved her job, she decided to leave Cosmopolitan magazine in late 2013 to concentrate full-time on being an author.
"I really wanted to see what it would be like to be an entrepreneur of sorts," she said. "I guess in some ways, I've always been an outdoor cat and I wanted to have that experience of being outside on my own and it's been really delicious for me to do it."