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“Never pass up an opportunity to grow.”

— Captain Amy Bauernschmidt, the first female executive officer (XO) of a U.S. nuclear warship, referring to the advice from her mother that helped her overcome obstacles.

When Amy Bauernschmidt was about to graduate from the U.S. Naval Academy, the law prohibiting women from serving on combat ships or planes was repealed by Congress. Captain Bauernschmidt says that changed her life. Following the advice given to by her mother – “Never pass up an opportunity to grow” – she went on to become a naval aviator and is now XO of one of 11 U.S. aircraft carriers stationed around the world.

In a “Profiles in Service” segment on CBS News, Captain Bauernschmidt said, “There are a lot of times in life that you’re a little nervous or afraid to do something because you think you’re going to fail. Well, so what? I mean… what’s the worst that’s going to happen if I fail? You know, if you fail, you get up and you may realize in that failure that what you’re really meant to do is something else.”

This is similar to leadership advice given by AWESOME leaders who encourage other women to “say yes” to opportunities, to be willing to step out of their comfort zone, and to not be afraid of taking risks. Read more AWESOME advice in 16 Ways to Make Waves and Advance Women’s Leadership.

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