Nicole Alexander went from youth ballet to her college's rowing team to the U.S. Army. While there were plenty of obstacles and milestones along the way, she attributes a lot of her success to those dance classes and early mornings on the water. After all, those sports were an integral part of her path towards becoming a Major in the U.S. Army Special Operations.
Here, she shares her three keys to success: finding your purpose, hard work, and mentorship.
1. On Finding Your Swing
“It really means: find your rhythm, your purpose. What inspires you? What motivates you? And I would add: find someone that helps you do that. I’m a big mentor person. It’s about teamwork. There’s a quote from George Pocock, who’s a big rowing legacy, he said something to the effect of ‘I hear men scream out when they found their swing.’ It’s just this incredible feeling that you will never forget in your life. You’re on this flat water, you’re pushing hard, your oars going in the water and you’re just doing it. Everyone is in sync and it’s incredible. So when you’ve found your rhythm, you’ve found what motivates you and you are just humming.”
2. On Working Hard
“Just work hard. Determination. You have to be deserving of success and you only get there from working hard. It’s an honor to do what you’re doing every day. Do it until you throw up!”
3. On Being a Good Mentor and Mentee
“To be a good mentor you have to really challenge the individual. You’re not just there to feed them the answer to things, you have to help them find out what they can do, find their purpose. But you also have to kind of show the path in a way. Here are some options, here are some other people that have done it this way. Critical, constructive feedback is key for mentees because you learn from failures, so mentors need to be able to say that and sometimes be that mirror. Mentors also have to be open to connecting them to their network because sponsorship is the next part. A mentor has to be willing to advocate for them and help them find that next job, that next thing that inspires them that they’re good at. I think those are important parts of being a mentor.”
For more from Nicole Alexander, listen to the Spartan Up! podcast in its entirety.
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0:00 Colonel Nye introduces Major Nicole Alexander
0:55 Gone Rogue | promo code: SPARTAN25
1:17 Joe & Nicole Alexander begin with ballet
3:45 a mother’s influence to always do more
5:30 Do you want to be a national champion?
8:55 Joining the army- deployed as a combat engineer
11:00 Joining Special Operations
12:30 Gone Rogue | promo code: SPARTAN25
14:00 Joe & Nicole return from rowing
19:30 PROMOTE - leadership development | mentorship | inclusion & diversity
21:30 Joe, Ret. Colonel Nye, Guest Host Ret. CSM Frank Grippe & Sefra Alexandra discuss the interview
27:45 Gone Rogue | promo code: SPARTAN25
Producer – Marion Abrams, Madmotion, llc.
Hosts: Joe De Sena, Sefra Alexandra, Col. Nye & Guest Host Ret. CSM Frank Grippe
Synopsis – Sefra Alexandra
Production Assistant - Andrea Hagarty
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