Posted on 6/19/2015 |Announcements
This year, Girls on the Run has served its one-millionth girl! We’re honoring this milestone by celebrating what makes each of us one in a million and by showcasing some one-in-a-million women who have made exceptional contributions to empowering girls and women.
With a shared goal of unleashing confidence through accomplishment, The LEGO Group is a proud National Sponsor of Girls on the Run. Laura A. Post is Vice President of Global Insights for The LEGO Group. Ms. Post leads the company’s research and insights group, which delivers end-to-end insights and helps bring the voice of children and families into the business. The insight team’s scope includes early innovation research, concept testing, competitor intelligence, brand tracking and post-experience satisfaction. The global insight team is distributed globally but mainly concentrated in Billund, Denmark and Enfield, Connecticut, where Ms. Post is based. Ms. Post has been at The LEGO Group for 27 years.
Here’s what Laura has to share about being one in a million.
Q: Girls on the Run envisions a world where every girl knows and activates her limitless potential and is free to boldly pursue her dreams! How did you start to realize your own limitless potential and pursue the path to where you are today?
Laura: I was fortunate to have parents who believed that their daughters should have the same aspirations and opportunities as their son, and should aim high. We were expected to work hard in school and excel, but were also free to explore our interests and passions. With parents who were artistic, I was also always encouraged to explore creative pursuits and be well rounded.
When I was in junior high and required -- as all girls were – to take sewing and cooking in home economics, I was frustrated because my mother had already taught me how to do both proficiently (both are still passions). I wanted to instead take shop class with the boys, and my mother took up the fight with the school principal, and won. I was one of the first two girls in my grade who learned woodworking, metal crafts & drafting, and I enjoyed it. I also learned an early lesson about how to feel comfortable in a very male environment.
Q: Of the traits and achievements that help make you one-in-a-million, what stands out most to you?
Laura: I think the traits that are critical to anyone who wants to succeed professionally, but especially young women, are self-confidence, tenacity, taking risks and being comfortable with conflict. It took many years for me to become self-assured and even longer to get comfortable with conflict, something that’s common for women. But you can build both skills, even if at first you need to “fake it till you make it,” or appear more self-confident or comfortable with conflict than you feel on the inside. Over time, you will gain the confidence and become stronger.
Q: Girls on the Run believes that big things are possible when you keep moving forward. Can you share an example from your own life?
Laura: In 2010, my older daughter, then 20, asked me if I wanted to train with her for a half marathon. I was a steady but casual jogger, not built for running, and I was 52. My first thought: “No way can I run 13 miles.” But I took the risk to say yes, and each week we trained a mile further. Each week I would think, “There is no way I can do another mile,” and my daughter always asked “Why not?” Indeed, I overcame my doubt and exceeded my own expectations. We crossed the finish line together and I ran another half marathon a year later.
Q: Which one of the core values of Girls on the Run resonates most with you and why?
Laura: I believe all of Girls on the Run’s core values are highly relevant to being a good employee, a good leader and a good person leading a balanced life. If I had to choose one core value that resonates most with me, I would say I focus on being positive and optimistic. The power of believing in yourself and believing you and others can overcome seemingly impossible obstacles or odds creates energy and passion that can indeed help you achieve what you thought you couldn’t.
Q: One of the many things our curriculum teaches girls is how to recognize and work through challenges in productive ways. What is a challenge you have faced (or still face)? How did/do you respond, and what have you learned from it?
Laura: Six years ago, I applied for a senior level sales management job at my company, the LEGO Group, despite having no background in sales and a career at the company in strategic planning and research. It was a great opportunity to build different business skills and I was fortunate to have leaders who had faith in my abilities. They ultimately selected me for the role. It was a very challenging role, with more risk-taking and conflict required than I thought I would be comfortable with. I was very stretched, uncomfortable and at times overwhelmed. But I had no choice but to keep moving forward, and to learn (and sometimes fail) my way through the role, which I held for 3 years. While it was hard, (I’m now in a different role) it was a great growth and development experience. I learned again that I could master something I didn’t think I could do, and can now handle conflict and difficult conversations and negotiations better than I ever could before.
Q: What insight or advice would you offer a young girl today? What would you say now to your 8-year-old self?
Laura: I would tell my 8-year-old self to focus on self-belief not self-doubt and I would encourage her with lots of reinforcement that she can do anything she puts her mind to. I’d push her to take more risk and not be afraid of failing or not meeting others’ expectation.
With a shared goal of inspiring girls to recognize and activate their limitless potential, The LEGO Group and Girls on the Run launched a national partnership in January 2014. A key component of the partnership is a LEGO-based activity designed to spark creativity and meaningful conversations. Learn more in the “Plug In Through Play” storybook.