We all set some sort of goal for ourselves: “5 years from now I want to become this” or “10 years from now I see myself as that”. But Managing Director and Client Account Lead at Accenture, Christine Sovereign, had no goals for herself in her path to where she is today. She came out of college not having a vision for her future but rather knowing what her core values were and knowing that nothing can come in the way of those values.
Growing up, Christine was always a determined student and always tried to find ways to be involved in her school. She was very driven and ambitious as a student, and she feels that those qualities still define her work ethic today. She believes “you are born who you are” and at the core, you will always remain the same throughout your life. As part of her value statements that guided her through her work, she asked herself if she was continuously challenged and if she could always be her authentic self in the position she is currently in. As Christine grew up with her sister who has down syndrome, she realized how important authenticity, self-respect, and diversity are. She always had and still has respect for people of all backgrounds and believes that if she can’t be herself, it’s not the right place for her.
After graduating from the University of Minnesota, Christine had no idea what she wanted to do for her career. She guided herself with her value statements and kept asking herself those questions as she looked for a job to start her career. She got a job at Accenture, a company she always felt she wanted to work in and try out. Not expecting to spend more than a couple of years there, she began to explore her interests and passion. She just let her journey unfold and years later, she finds herself still working in the same company. Being the motivated, driven person she is, Christine found herself wondering “Am I really enjoying my time at work right now?” She had to stop and think back to her value statements and what she needs to do to make sure her values are fulfilled and that she is happy. “It’s all about raising your hand and going back and saying what you need to make yourself happy”, she says. “Owning your journey and having the confidence to articulate what’s important and what you want” is key in making sure you are happy at the point you are at.
Right now, Christine leads two roles in Accenture: an office managing director for an Accenture office in Minneapolis and a client accountant lead for overall Accenture relations with General Mills. At the Minneapolis office, she is responsible for recruiting members for the company and the company’s brand in the market. As a client accountant lead, she is responsible for pulling different people and ideas across the company to meet the needs of the company’s clients. She makes sure that the company continues to meet their customer’s expectations and keep their clients happy.
Christine’s belief that values are more important than goals is something that I really felt I could implement. I always set goals for myself and envision where I want to be. While it is important to have something to work towards, it is equally if not more important to make sure your values are met through every moment of your journey. It’s not always about the success or the goal but instead is about how you make your dreams come true, whatever they may be. Once you set these values for yourself, your journey will unfold itself and your dreams will be met.
Find your heart before you decide your goals.