As I approach the holidays, end of year meetings, and plan for the new year, I always like to take a step back and reflect.

Each year seems to come with its own set of challenges and rewards – and this year is no different. Through all the struggles, changes, improvements, and growth, I’ve found that building a successful business comes down to a few common themes.

Below are my 7 drivers for success – my personal methodologies and practices.

Results-oriented; drive a collaborative environment – Productivity is a critical goal of any business, but the environment can influence how much each employee can produce. If employees are comfortable, they are more efficient. Making sure they know their input is valued is important.

Be an energy giver, not an energy taker – Positivity reigns supreme and if you cannot contribute to the overall mission, do not take away from it. Ensure your team provides suggestions to problems rather than just detractions. This helps drive a culture where everyone’s input is valued.

Be proactive, not reactive – Don’t wait until there’s a problem. If you’re proactive, you’ll know any upcoming issues and can plan how to mitigate them. Also, you should always be innovative with your solutions so you can solve a problem your client may not even realize they have. A proactive stand encourages responsibility and creates a sense of urgency to exceed client expectations.

Be accountable – Accountability is paramount and starts with leadership; if your executive team is accountable, this mindset trickles down. By accepting and taking responsibility for your own actions, problems can be dealt with earlier and easier – establishing trust and long-term relationships with clients and each other.

Step up and make tough decisions – An empty mind is a weak mind and problems don’t improve with age. You must know the next step so you can make the right decisions. Challenges will always be ahead, but surrounding yourself with positivity and accountability can change a business or organization.

Maintain the highest performance levels and relations on existing projects – High-quality performance satisfies existing clients and builds bridges to new ones. It also mitigates competition with other organizations; you become the “go-to” team.

Communicate – Communication and attention should complement each other. It’s a must to communicate thoughts and ideas, so speak your mind and don’t hold back. Effective communication is a must in every aspect of work.

Approaching business objectives with this mindset has served me well and kept me focused. I encourage you to define common themes or ideals that keep you honest and embody your business principals – building success for many years to come!


Gina Abate joined Edwards in 2013 as a Senior Vice President. Appointed President in June 2013 and CEO in May 2016, she is responsible for the direction, leadership, and performance of Edwards. Gina actively runs day-to-day capture and delivery of products and services across the company’s three Strategic Business Units, contracts, finance, human resources, business development, proposals, and technology solutions. Under her leadership, Edwards expanded its offerings to include cybersecurity and IT services, complementing a strong enterprise management and training history. Gina’s strong leadership, industry knowledge, and board positions, enables strategic plan development for growth and to advance the company’s mission.