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Leslie Poake, Partner, LG&H Certified Public Accountants

What is the most valuable business lesson you have learned?

“There is a time when you start out in business and your focus is on yourself: how to stand out, how to get ahead, how to succeed. Then if you’re lucky you learn and you experience life. You have love, loss, great friendships, successes and disappointments. And you swing the other way to focus on other people in your life. You help and support people, whether it’s showing up for them, holding their hand through a personal or professional crisis, coaching them or creating opportunities for them.

There are people who will let you know how much they appreciate your efforts, but there are many times when there is no acknowledgement of what you have done. You have to be OK with that or it can eat you alive. There is an inner satisfaction that you get from helping people, whether that help is acknowledged or not. But if you find yourself feeling empty and used, you have to be able to step back and say no. I think this is sometimes very hard for women. The key is to find balance.”