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Don’t Be Afraid to Take Risks

Insights & Data Senior Consultant Linda Gregier discusses the major influences in her life and learning from failure.

Name: Linda Gregier
Role: Senior Consultant 
Practice: Insights & Data 
Location: New Jersey 
Joined Sogeti: May 2018

My family motivates me to do what I do, and my father was a major influence on me. When I was 13, the U.S. was in the middle of a huge economic bubble in the tech industry (think “Wolf of Wall Street”), and at the time my dad was working as a website and coding supervisor at Merrill Lynch. When he would work late or on weekends in his home office, I was often right by his side, creating my own webpages using HTML, Java, CSS, Dreamweaver, and Frontpage. That was my way nurturing our relation and trying to find common ground with him.

He had so many careers in his life including being a medical doctor, associate professor of neuroscience at NYU, missionary pastor for a Chinese American local church, and a web supervisor at Merrill Lynch (now part of Bank of America). Now he is an entrepreneur working mostly out of China.

The dot-com crash of 2000-2002 was a major hurdle in his career. From that experience, he taught me to persevere and deal with criticism and failure—both when it was in my control or completely out of my control. He helped me learn that your biggest triumphs can come out of moments that you saw as failures. One of my favorite books, “The Alchemist,” is written by Paulo Coelho, who once said, “Remember your dreams and fight for them. You must know what you want from life. There is just one thing that makes your dream become impossible: the fear of failure.”

When I was growing up, my parents inspired me to achieve as much I could. What I do now as an adult is motivated by my own family, my husband Joel and our two little boys Benjamin and Caleb.

I would just encourage anyone at the beginning of their career to not be afraid to take risks. Focus on your dreams and overcoming what you might have once thought was impossible. The best moments of my career are the moments when I took risk or when I thought I failed. In hindsight, those moments were the most pivotal because they were edifying. A decade later, I realize that I always feared failure because of how I conditioned myself growing up. I always aspired to be the best and therefore expecting perfection.

I started working as soon as I graduated—approximately 11 years ago—because I knew I wanted to have established career before I started a family of my own. Now that I’m working, I realize how crucial it is to learn from your successes and mistakes. I believe that failure helps you to develop character and courage. Leadership—whether it’s at work, in a social space, or in your personal life—is all about how you recover from those moments of self-doubt and failure.

  • linda gregier headshot
    Linda Gregier
    Senior Consultant