Leaders of companies big and small share the mindset it takes to attain success in the face of all obstacles.


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True, being an can be exhausting, lonely, frustrating and terrifying. But it’s worth every drop of blood, sweat and tears when you are pursuing your passion and turning your dream into a reality.

In an ongoing series called Real Entrepreneurs, we pick the brains of founders and leaders about what it is like to have every decision big and small rest on their shoulders and have compiled their thoughts on what it takes to succeed on the long, sometimes crazy journey of an entrepreneur.

 

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Good morning, Broadsheet readers! WNBA commissioner Cathy Engelbert talks the future of live sports, Brené Brown is our collective therapist, and Citi’s Jane Fraser reflects on leading in a pandemic. Have a terrific Tuesday. 

– Vulnerability as an advantage. For the latest installment of Fortune‘s interview series about female leadership amid the coronavirus crisis, I talked to Jane Fraser, president of Citi and CEO of its global consumer banking division. Fraser shared what data she’s monitoring (community spread, public infrastructure) and what Citi’s pandemic-era offices will look like (one-way walking routes and lots of plexiglass).

Of course, the pandemic is reshaping more than companies’ physical workspace. Fraser said the crisis is an opportunity to  “smash some of the myths of how you’ve done stuff in the past,” especially as it relates to talent. She explained, for instance, why Citi offered full-time jobs to most of its summer interns before their (abbreviated, all-virtual) programs began. It took “the stress out of the system,” she said. “This way they’ll make the most of the experience…rather than stressing about, ‘How am I able to show myself when I’m not sitting there with my manager?’”

I was especially interested, however, in …

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Good morning.

A new episode of our podcast Leadership Next is out this morning featuring Cathy Engelbert, commissioner of the WNBA, who talked with us about struggling to figure out how to stage a basketball season in the midst of a pandemic.

Before taking the WNBA job last summer, Engelbert was the first female CEO of Deloitte, working there for 33 years, and as CEO for five. She says the similarities between business and basketball are surprising.

“I ran a people-first agenda at Deloitte, now we are running a player-first agenda. I took a 12-city tour and I listened to all the stakeholders, the media, the fans, the owners, the GMs, the front office people. It was pretty funny the similarities to big business. What I figured out very quickly was sports is big business.”

Engelbert played basketball herself in high school and college (Lehigh), and credits her rise into leadership to an athletic upbringing.

“It was all about competitiveness. I am one of eight kids. Five brothers. Really competitive background. We fought for everything, from cereal to pop tarts