We interviewed Michelle Peluso, Chief Marketing Officer at IBM, in our latest podcast. Peluso shared how to stay motivated as a leader, how to handle challenging discussions, and being CEO and mom. Here are our top three favorite highlights: On Staying Motivated as a Leader. "I think a few things. First of all, surround yourself with awesome people, with friends, with partners, with people you work with, with colleagues, mentors, with bosses, because all of us are on this constant journey of improving. And so there's never a destination in leadership, you don't get there. You know, you can always be better, as a founder, as a mom, as a leader. And so, to have the sort of grace to accept that, that this is just...it's just a journey, and there's always tomorrow, to learn and to improve. And to be surrounded by people who will call a spade a spade and help you think strategically about decisions you're making or actions you want to take, or things you've done. I think that is really, really powerful. But then it's also all about that support network to keep propelling you forward. I mean, who doesn't occasionally think that they're... If you didn't occasionally think you were in over your head, then you wouldn't be dreaming big enough, you wouldn't be taking enough risk, that getting outside of your comfort zone, that feeling, however you want to describe it of like..." On How to Handle Challenging Discussions. "I think humanity is most important. I think really being clear about what do you need to convey. Who's on the other side of this conversation and what's their story? What are they likely gonna hear? Which may be very different than what you're trying to say. How do you think about the whole picture? You gotta be direct, you have to be transparent, but you also have to be human. There's another place that's great to have grace on the journey with you. I learned, over my career, you can't avoid those conversations. It's really critical to have them. As a matter of fact, if anything, if your instinct is saying something, you gotta listen to it and move quickly. But I think that having them with clarity, with data, with humanity, with a real care and thought to the person who's receiving the news is very important." On Being CEO and Mom. "I was CEO for like five or six years before I became a mom. Six years. So I had been CEO for a while. But then I got pregnant as the CEO. And that was hard. And all of a sudden you have a baby and you think, "Gosh, my style, which has really been about hanging out with the engineers late at night as they're trying to figure out tough problems, or taking teams out for dinner to celebrate." I was living in New York and Dallas. I was kind of back and forth. And all of a sudden you're like, "That all can't work." When my daughter was born, I just realized I didn't want to be on the road as much as I had been on the road. And I really wanted to have...obviously, be with her and have her with me in New York. And so I spent a long time working through different ideas, but I did ultimately say to Travelocity that I needed to have a long succession period. So over six months, we found a successor and I left Travelocity. But part of it in retrospect was I didn't know how to change the means with which I was leading, and I felt like I just needed to shake it up and go somewhere new where I could say, "Okay, this is my...I'm still as passionate, committed, team-centric, etc., but I can't do it by being on the road every week." I had to come up with new ways of doing that. "And I want to leave the office at 5 every night but I'll be online from 8 to 11." I just needed a change to figure out how to balance being a mom I wanted to be and being a leader I wanted to be."