Andrea Martin of ‘Success Blueprint Vault’: “Be a consistent high performer”

When you understand individual goals, and how they directly relate to your organisation’s larger goals, you will naturally become more focused and engaged with your work. Once you can see how you are making a direct contribution to your company’s growth, you will begin to find ways to work smarter and more efficiently. This boost […]

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When you understand individual goals, and how they directly relate to your organisation’s larger goals, you will naturally become more focused and engaged with your work. Once you can see how you are making a direct contribution to your company’s growth, you will begin to find ways to work smarter and more efficiently. This boost in your productivity will naturally lead to increased margins and profitability for your company, not to mention being seen as a high-performer.

As a part of my series about “Lessons From Inspirational Women in STEM and Tech”, I had the pleasure of interviewing Andrea Martin.

Andrea is an executive in the energy industry, where she leads a high profile operation. She graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Chemical Engineering and holds her master’s in business. She started her career working in oil rigs, where she discovered her passion for leadership early on. She believes in fostering a positive team culture and empowering others to achieve a fulfilling career.

Thank you so much for doing this with us! Can you tell us a story about what brought you to this specific career path?

I always knew I wanted to be an engineer, even at a young age. It was particularly interesting that I had this desire because I did not have any immediate family in Peru that was in engineering. However, I owe it to my parents who always encouraged me to dream big. I ended up going to school for Chemical Engineering and I started my career working in the oilfield. The truth is that I was intrigued by the challenging work environment and the significant responsibility that I would have early on in my career.

Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you began at your company?

I think the most interesting part of my career so far has been the opportunity to work in many different countries, from Brasil, Abu Dhabi, Mexico, etc. It is always a privilege to be able to work with many cultures and in different languages. I think it really highlights the importance of bringing different perspectives to the conversation because we limit our blind spots.

Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?

I think looking back I am sure I had plenty of rookie mistakes. I was working at such a fast pace that I could not dwell on any mistake or I would have been behind my training schedule. I think this was my biggest takeaway from all those experiences. You will have times that you make a funny or embarrassing mistake, but odds are nobody will remember so do not let that be a roadblock in your career path.

What do you think makes your company stand out? Can you share a story?

The key behind my career success has been positioning myself as a leader no matter what role or title I had. This is something I tell the many women I mentor because learning to tap into your personal strengths and develop a leadership mindset is something you can start doing today.

One way to position yourself as a leader is the level of influence you have on your peers. How you influence those around you is a huge indicator whether someone is management material. I have learned a lot leading a large team but at my core, I have not changed how I approach leadership. I’m a firm believer that it starts by showing them what is possible and motivating them to believe those possibilities are attainable.

Are you working on any exciting new projects now? How do you think that will help people?

I do work on several projects that are for the most part confidential but the exciting part in knowing that my team is elevating their performance as we go into 2021. We are executing on high capital projects and continue to deliver industry leading margins.

Ok super. Thank you for all that. Let’s now shift to the main focus of our interview. Are you currently satisfied with the status quo regarding women in STEM? What specific changes do you think are needed to change the status quo?

I think we have made progress but we are nowhere near done. I have noticed that ambitious hard-working women do not always have the support needed to identify gaps in their plan and adjust quickly. They are finding themselves stuck and unsure of how to grow. I think we need to continue to fill the pipeline but companies must take a serious audit into their work culture and ensure they have the right environment for all individuals to flourish.

In your opinion, what are the biggest challenges faced by women in STEM or Tech that aren’t typically faced by their male counterparts? What would you suggest to address this?

As a working mother in STEM, I have found that it has taken a significant amount of strategy to remain a high performer while being present for my children. I think it’s important to identify that networking can look very different for women that are trying to juggle multiple responsibilities. Leaders can even the playing field by remaining unbiased to how candidates are picked for promotions and how they amplify the voices of those that are highly qualified but perhaps not as vocal.

What are the “myths” that you would like to dispel about being a woman in STEM or Tech. Can you explain what you mean?

The biggest myth is that you can’t have it all. It does take a lot of work and pre-planning, but it’s possible! My personal life and lifestyle have not at all been impacted by my drive and ambition. I kept at the career hustle all whilst marrying my best friend and becoming a mother to two little babies. I embraced motherhood with everything it had to offer, and my career did not take a step back at all during this time because I prepared for this. In fact, both years I was on maternity leave were the years I received major promotions and started managing larger teams.

What are your “5 Leadership Lessons I Learned From My Experience as a Woman in STEM or Tech” and why. (Please share a story or example for each.)

#1 Be intentional with goal setting (for you and your team)

When you understand individual goals, and how they directly relate to your organisation’s larger goals, you will naturally become more focused and engaged with your work. Once you can see how you are making a direct contribution to your company’s growth, you will begin to find ways to work smarter and more efficiently. This boost in your productivity will naturally lead to increased margins and profitability for your company, not to mention being seen as a high-performer.

Goal-setting is also extremely important for offering ongoing feedback. By establishing and monitoring your targets, you can give your employer or manager real-time input on your performance and experience with the set targets.

#2 Communicate effectively.

Effective communication in the workplace is imperative to being considered for any type of a leadership role. It is what separates a poor leader from an exceptional one. Having effective communication skills is the key to implementing great leadership strategies.

When you learn how to communicate well with your team, it will eliminate any misunderstandings, and inspire a wholesome and peaceful work environment. Well-organized and open communication with your team will also let you get work done quickly and professionally. Establishing lines of communication also aids the process of carrying out tasks and achieving targets.

#3 Be a consistent high performer

Delivering consistent high performance includes anticipating challenges, managing and embracing change, and not allowing distractions to make you lose focus. A great leader and high-performer will always seek to learn new skills to separate yourself from others, but also focuses on accomplishing the basics extremely well.

#4 Bring positive, motivational energy to the workplace.

Life has many challenges that we all must learn to deal with. Work can be an especially stressful place, so it’s important to prevent your personal life from negatively affecting your work and the workplace.

This is so important because we ‘catch’ other people’s energy through our interactions with them. This is called ‘relational energy’ and certainly affects how we perform at work. Always try to combat that by bringing positive and motivational energy to the workplace, you and your team will benefit more from it.

#5 Messy action is better than no action

You will encounter that moment that you are unsure if your question/thought will be impactful. Ask it anyways, embrace the mess and get uncomfortable. This is the only way to grow.

What advice would you give to other women leaders to help their team to thrive?

If people want to follow your lead, you have to make sure you always paint the vision of what will happen when they do. Explain to your team the why behind the work that they do, and how it fits the bigger picture.

By showing them what is possible and motivating them to believe those possibilities are attainable, you tap into the influence needed to succeed as a leader. Leadership is more than getting people to do what you want, it’s inspiring them to do it. It’s easy to tell someone what to do, but it’s incredibly difficult to get them to do their best without influencing them through constant motivation and positive reinforcement. Influencing others is not just about getting them to act but also helping them to feel a profound sense of accomplishment when goals are attained.

What advice would you give to other women leaders about the best way to manage a large team?

Be bold, but remain self-aware. Work on increasing your emotional intelligence. Emotional intelligence is the ability to identify and manage your own emotions, as well as recognize, understand, and influence the emotions of others, a quality every great leader should have! Make sure you’re constantly working increasing your self-awareness and social awareness. Be aware of what is going on around you and how you can impact things differently. Book smarts and technical savviness is something we can all possess, but technical experience is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to management material.

None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story about that?

I could not agree more. You should never underestimate the power of a good support system and never take it for granted. It takes effort and strategy being a full-time career-focused woman, and a present and loving mother and wife. I have two kids that I want to be a role model for, and I am endlessly grateful to have an incredible husband who supports me every step of the way.

Just over a year ago, we realized my career was evolving and we decided to focus efforts on mine without sacrificing our children’s needs. He took on the role of a stay at home dad and he is our foundation. When it comes to salary, bonuses, promotions, etc.; those are our wins because it truly is a team effort.

How have you used your success to bring goodness to the world?

During my career, I have realized many talented professionals are forgotten due to a lack of strategy. The hard truth is that intelligence and hard work will only get you so far. Therefore, I founded Success Blueprint Vault.

My mission is to help professional women elevate their performance and career fulfillment through my proven strategy. My vision for this membership is to create a vehicle for women to have their dream career and a bank account that matches. Success Blueprint Vault is designed to place you in the driver seat and shift your mindset from a 9–5er to that of a CEO.

You are a person of enormous influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂

I am extremely passionate about supporting women establish financial freedom so they can live life on their terms. I would love to take this worldwide and support those that want to follow their dreams but are tied to a financial support that is driving the decisions.

Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?

Early in my career, I decided I would always push past my comfort zone, even when I was scared. I wrote this quote to always remember what I wanted to accomplish: Remain humble and hungry for knowledge but know you already have everything it takes to make an impact in the world.

This has been my reminder that I created my seat at the table and that I do not need to constantly prove to anyone why I am deserving of it. However, I do constantly drive to become 1% every day because my growth potential is up to me.

We are very blessed that very prominent leaders read this column. Is there a person in the world, or in the US with whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she might just see this if we tag them 🙂

My dream list is filled with incredible leaders and it is so difficult to pick only one. However, it would be an absolute dream to sit down with Marillyn Hewson.

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