by Rachel Williams
The University of West Georgia and the Richards College of Business welcomed alumna, author and former Southern Company CIO Becky Blalock to campus on October 24. Becky spent the whole day on campus and spoke at multiple events, including one lecture at 7 p.m. that was free and open to the public. Becky also signed copies of her most recent book titled DARE: Straight Talk on Confidence, Courage and Career for Women in Charge.
Becky’s newest book was written to support and encourage women in business. “You learn from mistakes, but you don’t have to learn from your own!” Becky tells the audience, speaking from experience. “Learn from somebody else’s mistakes. There are some mistakes in this book that I made, that will hopefully keep other people from making them.”
Due to her 33 years of experience working for a Fortune 500 company, Becky’s advice is particularly valuable. However, she also interviewed 28 other top women executives while writing her book. She shared her wisdom with students, faculty and community members. “We all live in this world where we feel safe, and comfortable, and we feel valued, but if you really want to get ahead in your career, you’ve got to get outside and be willing to take risks,” she explains.
“What you need to do, if you really want to be successful in life, is know what it is you’re not good at and work on it. You can turn a weakness into a strength. Also, when you get into the work world, you’re on a team of people. If you don’t know what you’re really good at and what you’re really poor at, you’re going to have a hard time making decisions about who to surround yourself with.”
Becky’s path to success started when she got her bachelor’s degree in business administration in 1978 from what is now the University of West Georgia. She went on to obtain master’s degrees from Mercer and Harvard, but she’s still very close to her Tri-Delta sorority sisters. “West Georgia’s the greatest place in the world!” she proclaims. “You’ll never make friends like you do here.”