I’ll say it, so you don’t have to: success can be limiting. When you’re at the top, where do you go? There will always be more to come, and I can prove this through my own experience: as the External Relations Advisor for ConocoPhillips, I was at the forefront of developing the already-established oil industry in the post-Soviet period, entering into a wildly different international environment and reconciling aspects of the two spheres in order to make that transition. I was managing and mediating government and public interactions at the age of 21. By 26, I was coordinating oil companies internationally, later managing the Trans-Caspian and Caucasus petroleum transportation corridor.

I’ve always thought differently – I’ve always done things differently. This is an asset that has propelled me through successes. Before I had even turned 30, this wasn’t the pinnacle of my career, as it would be for most people; it was the start. Thinking differently, doing things differently, I knew there was more to come – I had no conception of this ‘pinnacle’ being a limitation. Next, I was studying at Stanford, at Oxford, building networks and businesses. Living and working between countries, I have understood and adopted different mentalities, immersing myself in their cultures. From there, I became the chief negotiator handling multinational oil companies such as Chevron, ExxonMobil, BP, TengizChevroil (to name a few), and developed other companies into global leaders. I still maintain my influence in industries that span national borders, realising talents and mentoring younger generations – and with all of this, I’m raising my two young daughters. But, as I said, there is always more to come.
No limitations?
What a cliché.