Women’s History Month Blog Series: Meet Lisa Colter
In honor of Women’s History Month, we’d like to introduce you to some of our exceptional women leaders.
Meet Lisa Colter, Senior Managing Consultant, Milestone
What is your role at Milestone?
As a Senior Managing Consultant at Milestone, I manage large teams supporting a wide range of corporate partners in the Seattle area. My role is to ensure Milestone is delivering the highest level of quality service to our partners while remaining focused on how Milestone can support their strategic direction. A gamer at heart, I love my role in supporting Xbox Live, especially the people I am fortunate to work with. My position is rare in that Milestone has many talented people whom I learn from every day and they inspire me to grow in this supportive environment.
A woman who inspires me is ……
My mom is a constant source of inspiration for me. She was raised at a time when social pressure and convention placed women at a disadvantage, where the idea of a college education was not something many women entertained, and many believed their dreams were out of reach. Despite convention, my mother successfully built and managed a business for 40 years. She made certain three children (two being girls!) received a college education and sustained a timeless loving marriage and family life. She defied convention and was much more than my mom: She’s a creator, a business owner, a mentor, a wife, and of course, a wonderful mother. She encouraged my sister and I to get a high level of education and aspire to whatever dreams we had and not let social barriers or stigmas hold us back. Many of my management skills are inspired by her business success and they are extremely effective today. I love you mom!
What is the greatest lesson you have learned in business?
Every situation is an opportunity to learn and grow whether it results in failure or success. All my past situations and the resulting experiences I’ve had because of them have helped me reach this point and made me who I am. Along the way, there have been opportunities which terrified me initially, even made me wonder if I could be successful. However, I have tremendous faith in my ability to overcome any obstacle. Faith in my ability and being able to act is all I need to carry me forward. Believing in myself and being fortunate to have trusted mentors and managers have been the recipe to my success in business.
If you could give young women one piece of advice, what would it be?
Never let social pressures, expectations, convention, or what others may think of you become a barrier to your success or inadvertently influence your mindset. Letting any of those factors impact you will stall your growth and make you feel trapped in a box of limited scope and potential. Who you are and what you can do is your innate gift. It’s what makes it possible for you to achieve anything in your own unique way. Find your own voice, character, and most importantly, your own set of values. Let those guide you to the success you are destined for. To me, breaking the mold of expectation that society can sometimes place on women is something I enjoy.
The biggest challenge I face is keeping the little voice in my head from letting me doubt myself. The voice of doubt is an ugly nagging companion with a megaphone highlighting all the ways you might fail and what happens if you can’t do it. This voice, if you let it, will make you feel like you are not enough. Cast aside doubt, find and keep your center! There’s tremendous power in positivity and quieting doubt will open you up to all that is possible. It will make it easier to beat that next level in your favorite game, win that tennis match, master a technical skill, deliver an amazing presentation: everything that adds up to being your best self.
My greatest accomplishment is overcoming the social pressures, norms, and expectations that are associated with being a woman in the male-dominated field of Computer Science, especially in the early days. Working hard to develop technical skills, deliver high-quality output, take responsibility when others would not, and meeting the challenges of the many unique roles in the field is something I am proud of. I’ve worked with some of the best minds in the industry and ultimately earned their respect and a reputation as a valued and trusted partner. Each time I am approached with a problem to fix, or a solution to build, or a mountain to climb, I am reminded of how much people trust in me and my capabilities.
Favorite inspirational quote:
“Work like you don’t need the money, Love as is you have never been hurt, and dance as if no one is watching” –Unknown