Liz Elting, founder and CEO of the Elizabeth Elting Foundation, is a New York-based philanthropist and businesswoman recognized for her outstanding entrepreneurship and focus on developing women business leaders. Liz Elting cofounded TransPerfect, the world’s largest provider of language and business solutions. She has been named one of Forbes’ Richest Self-Made Women every year since the list’s inception. Elting’s new book, Dream Big and Win, debuted as a National and Wall Street Journal bestseller.

Liz Elting has been recognized as one of the world’s most successful self-made women, and she is lauded for her efforts to address systemic barriers to success and equality, as well as to develop the next generation of women business leaders.

In this episode of Get Better Today, Liz Elting shares her inspiring journey of growing TransPerfect, a language solutions company, from an idea in her dorm room at NYU into a billion-dollar business. Highlighting the importance of leadership, setting audacious goals, pushing past fear, and the importance of hard work in achieving extraordinary results, Elting delves into her entrepreneurial journey and the key lessons she’s learned. She underscores the need for having goals to work toward, the drive for constant improvement, and the importance of a proactive mentality in leadership. Liz Elting also discusses her foundation’s mission to help women business leaders and people from marginalized communities, as well as her passion for making a positive impact in the world.

Listen to the Liz Elting episode on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Amazon Music, or on your favorite podcast platform. Watch the episode on YouTube.

Liz Elting Episode Highlights

It’s Not About You: With all of her remarkable achievements and experiences, I was curious to find out what one of the greatest lessons she discovered throughout her journey was. Liz opens up about one fundamental lesson: as a leader, it’s not about you. The focus should be on what you can inspire your team to do and motivate them towards a winning mentality. According to Liz, she learned this key lesson gradually, having initially started with virtually no management or leadership experience. Elting’s approach to differentiating their business was simple: by nurturing employees, thereby incentivizing them to perform better, and by providing superior service to their clients. As Elting puts it, “It comes back to the people, you know, on both counts.”

The Journey of Liz Elting: Going back in time, Liz Elting shares her backstory. She passionately talks about her past adversities and how they shaped her into the successful woman she is today. Having been identified as off-key in a school choir formed her resolve to thrive in other areas, even if she could not become a professional singer. She sought to find something she could do better than anyone else, and she tirelessly gave it her best. Overcoming a near-death situation when she was young further built her character, affirming to her that she was meant to live for something greater. Liz believed all these experiences had built her character and the drive to be indomitable against life’s adversities.

The Inspiration Behind Dream Big and Win: Liz Elting credits her inspiration to write her new book, Dream Big and Win, to her own journey as an entrepreneur. She wanted to share her insights and lessons learned over her 26-year experience. The aim of the book is to mentor aspiring entrepreneurs and provide them with the tools she wishes she had had in her 20s. Her new book is a blend of her entrepreneurial journey interwoven with valuable nuggets of wisdom and advice.

A Culture of Disagreement: In any successful company, conflicts and disagreements are not uncommon. According to Liz Elting, creating an environment where people feel comfortable voicing their disagreements or diverse opinions is crucial. The former TransPerfect CEO emphasized the merits of having one-on-one meetings with employees and prioritizing employee surveys and exit interviews. She further advocated for an environment that encourages employees to express their perspectives on what can be improved within the company.

Qualities of Exceptional Leaders: When asked about the significant qualities of exceptional leaders, Elting identifies curiosity and a strong sense of proactiveness as vital traits. Leaders displaying these characteristics constantly strive for better and inspire their teams to follow suit. Incline towards action, intense focus, and a high level of discipline are also equally essential for leadership success, according to Elting.

Show Notes

0:00 – Guest Introduction: Liz Elting

1:11 – Beginning of Interview with Liz Elting

3:29 – Liz Elting’s Early Life and Challenges

7:34 – Inspiration Behind Liz’s New Book

8:57 – Origins of TransPerfect

11:22 – The Importance of Taking Risks in Entrepreneurship

14:04 – The Role of Hard Work

20:05 – The Importance of Setting Goals and Taking Action

25:10 – Scaling a Company and Driving Accountability

27:40 – The Art of Giving Feedback

28:16 – The Importance of Goals in Business

28:57 – The Problem with Lack of Transparency in Organizations

29:44 – The Power of One-on-One Meetings

30:47 – The Role of Compensation in Employee Retention

31:22 – The Excuse of Not Having Time for One-on-Ones

31:38 – The Importance of Understanding Expectations

33:22 – The Key to Personal and Professional Breakthroughs

33:51 – The Power of Grit and Persistence

37:09 – How Liz Approaches Goals

41:48 – Cultivating a Culture of Psychological Safety

44:14 – Qualities of Exceptional Leaders

44:42 – The Power of Curiosity and Proactivity in Leadership

47:15 – The Mission of the Elizabeth Elting Foundation

Connect with Liz Elting


Dream Big and Win Book

Elizabeth Elting Foundation

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