This story first appeared in the September issue of InStyle, now on newsstands and available for digital download.
Last spring Sarah Jessica Parker challenged herself to create her own diva-worthy shoe line, the SJP collection. Now she runs a shoe empire ... in heels. Here, she explains how to snag her office mojo.
1. Be ready to learn.
"I can't walk into a room and think that I'm an expert just because I like something—say, shoes. Rather, I take advantage of the wisdom and experience of those around me who have been in the business for a really long time."
2. Know when to pass.
"If I say yes a lot, I can't be involved to the degree that I am in my projects, and I also can't be the kind of mother, wife, or friend that I want to be. I still feel like I'm stretched too thin sometimes, but at least I don't complain. I realize it's my own doing."
3. Don't be too proud to apologize—even down the road.
"I often make mistakes. Sometimes I regret an exchange that I wish had been friendlier. I feel terrible, maybe not in the moment but when I've gone home to think about it. But sitting worrying over and regretting behavior for days is horrible. I don't like when I've made someone feel bad for such a long period of time. It's much easier to simply apologize quickly."
4. Keep your mouth shut sometimes.
"When I started producing for television, I sat around for a really long time and said nothing. Even though I had the title of executive producer, I thought, 'What an amazing opportunity for me to learn a whole new career.' What makes people successful is being curious, and listening."
5. Brace yourself for failure.
"Do not allow failure to be your undoing. I'm in a position to fail because I have the resources to cushion my failures. But for most people in this country who work incredibly hard, a setback can be catastrophic. Luck and hard work have something to do with success, but it's often the relationships you cultivate that can help you regroup."
6. Inspire those around you.
"Without question, I'm not always a patient person. It's challenging to be a good boss. You must think about how to encourage people to grow. Too often the instinct is, if something is not done right, to just do it yourself, fix it, and be slightly annoyed by somebody falling short. The challenge is to teach the person how to do the task better and think differently."
7. Take breaks for the fun of it!
"For my team, it's that we'll stop at nothing for an Instagram shot for @sjpcollection. It brings an inner blind ambition to the surface. I am much more courageous because it feels like it's outside myself—like I wouldn't do something crazy just for me. But it's for the shoes."