Infinite Difference is a series of brief profiles of our placed leaders who are making a difference in their communities and around the world.
Myla Skinner is the CEO of C200, the membership organization inspiring, educating, supporting, and advancing women entrepreneurs and corporate executives as profit-center leaders.
We spoke with Myla about what motivates her, how she stays hopeful, advice she would give her younger self and more:
What gives you hope right now?
The people that surround me. One is my team, I have realized, as I have built this team at C200. Through my work, I have surrounded myself with fantastic people that have incredible superpowers that I don’t have that make me better. None of the people in my life are afraid to check me or receive my thoughts in return. I think it is a gift. A lot of people who surround me want the best for me, and I want the best for them, and we lean in and support each other in real and honest ways.
How do you unwind/destress?
Whiskey and a cigar. I am very fortunate that I have a partner and father around to support me, and that I have a garage that is warm where I can sit back and calm down from the day.
How do you stay motivated?
My team and my family. Professionally and personally, they both need so much for me but they are rooting me on and that motivates my success.
My mom died 7 years ago- being her legacy is huge to me.
What books, movies, or music are you currently enjoying or have left a lasting impression on you?
I am an audiobook junkie – I probably have 600 in my library. But the one that left the most lasting impression was Trevor Noah’s Born a Crime. I love this book. It brought his sense of humor with a reality of his existence in South Africa as the son of a white man and black woman.
I love the Matrix. It is a weird examination of our comfort with what we consider normal. I always wonder how we are so comfortable with things being out of whack. The stuff we are living in right now is not normal – it is not ok.
What individual has made a difference in your life?
My mother. I also have to talk about Maria Kim. I talked with her about a role at University of Chicago while I was working for her. She thought it through and called me back to say that this role would change the trajectory of my family’s life. She told me to shine and be myself and that I would be great wherever I go.
How has travel influenced your perspective on life and culture?
I don’t travel near enough- life is really complex and we are all doing the best we can with what we have. When I do travel, I am traveling with privilege. I experience beautiful things. People are working around me to make sure my experience is beautiful and they are taking things a day at a time. We are all doing the best we can and it looks different for everyone.
If you could give your younger self one piece of advice, what would it be?
Making mistakes is okay so long as you’re learning from them.