To Marvel Ford, true leadership is defined by how one helps someone else realize his or her potential.

As a nod to the many mentors in her life who have helped her along the way, the senior vice president and risk management officer at California Credit Union has made it her mission to pay it forward. She said she believes every leader has a responsibility to be a good steward and positive influence on someone else’s life. As someone who also holds a strong belief that most career limits are self-imposed, Ford said mediocrity is never an option.

“It’s not enough to want to be a good employee. Try to be great, committed and accountable,” the latest Women to Watch honoree said. “Step up to explore doing different things. Mentors can be there to help push you out of your comfort zone, but you have to be self-motivated. You drive your success.”

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