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Chief executives recount their rookie mistakes, learning curve

Veteran leaders talk about times they tried to move too quickly or didn’t pay attention to culture while still new to the position. “Leadership is a never-ending cycle of life lessons and applied learning, and I often say if you’re not eating crow every day, you don’t have a well-balanced diet,” said Peggy Smith, CEO of Worldwide ERC, an association for the global workforce mobility industry.

First job: From teen appointee to CEO

At age 19, Lisa Gable was the youngest political appointee in the Reagan administration. A few years later, she was studying weapons systems in a Pentagon classroom full of high-ranking, male military officers.


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