It’s in the relationships — Caring deeply about others helps you develop passion that leads to success: Wendy Edgar

Wendy-Edgar-300Wendy Edgar, Americas human resources director for EY, is one of the panelists for Smart Women 2016.

Wendy Edgar, Americas human resources director for EY, tells people she has always followed three tips for success: Do what you are doing well. Take on a leadership role. Develop relationships that show you care about people.

“Add to that a focus on passion, commitment and integrity, giving 100 percent; all that to me is the journey. If you keep your focus on that, success will come,” she says.

But that recipe is not the only way to look at success since the definition of the word doesn’t sit still.

“There is a success that is in the moment — when you have a goal, and you achieve it and it feels like success. But success also is continuous, always being redefined,” Edgar says.

And success means always evolving.

“You have to evolve with it, but depending on where you are in your life, success is different. Success right out of school is getting that first big job in your field. Then you start a family and success is managing your family, your personal life and having success in both,” she says.

“I see it as this life journey and success evolves with it.”

The journey to success is smoother for those who care about other people, she says. They have an ability to not focus on just themselves.

“Everybody comes from their own frame of reference and mine is that I really get excited about people doing things for other people,” she says. “I am not quite as excited about mentoring someone when I can see quickly that it’s all about themselves, not growing and developing but wanting a title.

“I call it a ‘Wendyism.’ I have never, ever done anything for the money. I am a believer in, ‘The money will follow if your passion is there.’”

Passion is developed through many avenues, but one of the most successful is though building deep relationships with people, she says. Those relationships aren’t solely the products of networking through social media and the like.

Building relationships involves more than a focus on casual networking, more than just knowing this person or that person, Edgar says. A face-to-face connection is still crucial.

“I get the greatest joy out of tapping someone or seeing someone’s potential and then helping them evolve,” Edgar says.

“I have a woman on my team who I am just so proud of. Twenty years ago I remember one of the leaders said, ‘Well, she’s kind of in this place and that will be it.’”

So Edgar talked with her and asked her what else she wanted in life and how she wanted to grow. It was the beginning of a new chapter in her career as Edgar helped her see she was a diamond in the rough.

“I’m a big believer that people can evolve, learn and change because of experiences they have. Someone could be one way and then have an experience that makes them see the benefits of this awakening. I think you can learn to care deeper about others.

“Now she is incredibly successful and everybody always talks about she’s the best . And I just smile. I just feel this pride.

“What can we ever do just ourselves? You get success from being with other people. They say the more people, the better the answer sometimes, because of diversity and different thinking. I am a real proponent of this.”

How to reach: EY,