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Mary Dillon Quotes

Mary DillonMary Dillon quotes: beautiful biz and life advice by the Ulta CEO.

“I’m optimistic.”

“I didn’t know much about business when I was a kid and never imagined I would grow up to be a CEO.”

“I had all sorts of jobs. That gives you a sense of being humble. What I try to hold on to is really what I learned at those times.”

“Anything is possible with hard work and persistence.”

“My dream is to leave a legacy that business can be done in a way that’s inclusive and drives great results.”

“I have a competitive nature and am constantly trying new things that put me outside of my comfort zone. And, I challenge myself as part of my personal development to learn, improve and experience new things. There’s a healthy amount of failure involved in doing that.”

“Whenever I am being tough on myself, I think about the famed, fictional self-help character on SNL, Stuart Smalley, who would look in the mirror and say, ‘I’m good enough, I’m smart enough and doggone it, people like me!’ It always makes me laugh and puts things in perspective.”

“I also always try to look at the bright side of things, even when situations are problematic. Like the Shakespeare play, I often say ‘all’s well that ends well.’ Things always seem to turn out okay in the end. I feel if we learn from an experience and produce a better outcome the next time, it is a success!”

“Never let a crisis go to waste. We are going to be judged coming out of this crisis on how we treated our people, how we treated our customers, and how we set our business up for long-term success. It’s about having humility to say, you don’t have all the answers, but the human connection and the trust and respect, to be as transparent as you possibly can.”

“The best way to build the best workforce is to focus on the largest talent pool you have.”

“Taking competition out of the mix is something that has allowed me to build a cross-functional team environment, something I experienced earlier in my career that has allowed me to thrive.”

“It’s not just to make everybody agree or to have harmony all the time. It’s that truly better solutions are derived when you’re bringing in the perspectives from different parts of the business.”

“Put your consumer and guest first, and then put the well-being of employees next. People want to feel heard, customers and company employees alike. If consumers and employees feel like they have a voice within a company or organization, they will feel loyalty to the brand and its leaders.”

“Share responsibility. Being an effective leader involves delegating roles and tasks. Understanding your role as a leader and surrounding yourself with talented employees is key to making sure that tasks are completed properly. There is no feasible way for one person to handle big picture decisions within a company in addition to managing everyday tasks. While it is important that leaders understand all roles within a company, they should not be expected to perform all of the tasks. Hiring talented people who are trustworthy and diligent workers makes delegating tasks easier.”

“Think positively. Another key to success in any type of role is maintaining a positive attitude. Although there are bad things that happen throughout life and in work, being successful means that you don’t allow the negativity to permeate into different areas of your life. Surrounding yourself with people and employees who exemplify a positive attitude and don’t allow the negative things to bring them down is vital. A positive mindset is what allows you to get through hardships and still find success.”

“I encourage each to make the most of all work or related learning experience, as each will begin to shape you.”

“Demonstrate a lot of curiosity. Don’t just take a test and get the work done, or just do what’s expected; do what is unexpected too. Show that you can think and operate at a level above where you currently are and always do so with humility. Then, see what you can do next.”

“My secret life hack is to ask questions, show curiosity. It is surprising how much you can learn about people—and [how] comfortable you can make them—by simply asking about them. And, if someone doesn’t ask questions in return, it tells you a lot! Just sayin’.”

“Technology and innovation is important for every retailer.”

“I would say digital’s a critical part of all retail.”

“There’s no more important consumer product today than a cell phone.”

“What’s interesting in retail right now is that it is about the digital space, but it’s also about the physical space and also the experience space.”

“I learned from McDonald’s that we can do great things from a marketing and advertising perspective, but if the experience at the restaurant isn’t superior, it might not matter.”

“Retailers have an unbelievable opportunity to innovate. We think the future of retail is full of possibilities, but you can’t be at status quo. It starts with deeply understanding your guests; understanding their attitudes, their needs. Being relevant to them.”

“It’s about bringing together what they need from a convenience perspective, for sure. Convenience is never going to go away. We need to make it easy.”

“At the end of the day, especially in retail, you’ve got humans serving humans. And really, the more engaged and happier the associates are, the happier our guests are. It’s not complicated.”

“If you talk to anybody under 20 right now, I think you’re going to learn a lot, and that’s my advice to retailers: to really understand how ‘mores’ and attitudes are evolving very rapidly in our country. I think there’s more inclusion. I think there’s more acceptance.”

“The future of retail has to be about guest insight; understanding how to really be personalized. It’s about how to make commerce easy, and it’s about innovation. It’s about being a diversity-forward company and workplace.”

“The wonderful thing is that the world that we live in is really a tapestry. Multicultural. Getting more so all the time. We have a tapestry in our country. Retailers have to meet their guests where they are.”

“If a company wants to cast its net widely, they will absolutely find qualified women. I don’t really think there are any real barriers to that.”

“The good news is the number of women CEOs in the Fortune 500 is growing. At this stage of my career, I consider it more important than ever to really be a role model and understand the challenges for people to achieve their aspirations, whether they’re women or people of color, or people that are non-gender binary, people that are disabled, there’s a lot that is happening that are barriers for people. I’ve achieved a lot, more than anybody in my circumstances could have dreamed of, but I would say even more so, I want to be able to help [people] reach their goals and see that everything is possible.”

“We are creating years of female leaders. We want to continue to create an environment that is inclusive and creates opportunities not just for women, but for all people who are underrepresented.”

“I believe strongly in giving back as a mentor to other female business leaders. I’d like the younger generation to know it is okay to be outwardly ambitious. Opportunity is all around you! If you want it, go for it.”

“Reading is just one way I draw inspiration and form perspective. I like to read non-fiction to build my knowledge.”

“I love to get at least 30 minutes of exercise each morning. As I have gotten older, I know I also have to do more stretching every day to keep the active lifestyle I enjoy. This physical ritual helps me to focus on the rest of my day with a clear mind and new energy.”

“I’m able to avoid burnout by staying physically active and connected to my family.”

“I have a lot of responsibility as the CEO, so humility is great, but I think just being able to be just a regular person sometimes is important. If you are to be believed as an authentic leader, you have to be consistent in how you show up every day. Probably for me, I stay very grounded with my family, whether its my husband and my four kids or my extended family. I’m still very much in the world that I came from so I’m not trying to pose as anybody more important.”

“Most Americans actually need to have both people working, and it’s a luxury and something to celebrate if you can make a choice like this. And this choice isn’t for everyone. But it’s nice to not have to worry about what time does daycare close.”

“I am very excited about the future.”

“Possibilities are beautiful.”

“Keep listening, learning and moving forward together on this journey.”

Cory Johnson: likes bumping #OnRepeat through the Bang & Olufsen sound system in his naturally aspirated V10; post-workout pumps; curvy women; Will Ferrell; Dave Chappelle; and your mom’s potato salad. He hates awkward handshakes. But who cares? Let’s talk about you.