May 8, 2014

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CEO of the Year

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Article

Tech Company Leaders Share Moments that Defined their Careers

By Rachel Madison

May 8, 2014

Zynczak said she’s “pulled a Cinderella” several times throughout her career. “She was a lowly maid who went to the ball and acted like a princess, so people thought she was one,” she said. “I’ve got probably 50 examples where I’ve pulled a Cinderella. I’ve seen something I wanted and gone out and acted like I deserved it until I got it.”

Agility

For Lehman, agility is the theme that’s defined her career.

“Agility is about being open to opportunities as they come to you, flexible enough to change with a fast-paced environment, smart enough to recognize moments of serendipity, decisive enough to lead through disruption, and caring enough to be a champion of others,” she said. “As a young woman I was anything but agile. I had a clear career path set in my mind. I was going from A to B, B to C, C to D—but life had a very different plan for me.”

Throughout her life, Lehman has worked for several different companies, but most recently, before becoming CEO of Enve Composites, she was a stay-at-home mom. After walking a labyrinth at Green Valley Spa in Southern Utah, she likened the dead ends in the labyrinth to career opportunities that had led to dead ends. This proved to be an emotional moment for her as she realized that although she was meeting several dead ends, the labyrinth was always pushing her forward and never backward.

“I came out of the labyrinth and I realized that life is a journey and I better start enjoying the ride,” she said. “I needed to stop worrying about the Sarah Lehman career path.”

A short time later, Lehman received a call from her husband, who asked her to step in as the CEO of Enve.

“I had no business saying yes,” she said. “I wasn’t an engineer and I’m not from the bike business, but I didn’t hesitate. We as women need to leverage our adaptability. One minute we’re changing a diaper and the next we’re on a conference call. We can set ourselves up to learn and embrace the changes required of us.”

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