On April 29, professionals from 132 companies spanning 27 industries gathered at the Carlson School for the 12th annual Women’s Leadership Conference. Attendees enjoyed energizing presentations from business leaders and took part in a variety of breakout sessions designed to impart fresh knowledge, offer new tools to address tough business challenges, and make new connections.

Read on for some key takeaways from the sold-out conference.

Take a strategic approach to new opportunities

"At the beginning of your career, it’s important to say yes to things. But in the middle of your career, it’s important to learn how to say no to things that don’t serve you."

—Cindy Solomon
CEO, Cindy Solomon & Associates, Inc.

Reflect on the good things

"Positive work events are 3-5 times more frequent than negative work events. But negative work events have 5-10 times the impact on a person’s mood at work. So we have all this good stuff happening at work, but it’s the negative stuff that influences us. How do we change this? At the end of your work day, write about three good things that happened and why they happened. This small practice of reflecting on good things reduces stress, physical complaints, and mental complaints."

—Theresa Glomb
The Toro Company-David M. Lilly Chair in Human Resources, Carlson School of Management

More advice from Glomb on becoming happier at work

Learn to delegate

"Asking for help is one of the things we don’t do, for a few reasons: we think it’s a sign of weakness, it’s going to look like we don’t know what we’re doing, we’re going to lose control of the situation. We don’t want to be a burden to anybody. All of those things are wrong. Asking for help is crucial.”

—Tolá Oyewole
Director of Corporate Affairs, Cargill Foundation and Corporate Giving

Embrace failure

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"Failure happens, it happens to millions of people. And that is a normal part of life. The way you get the confidence is you keep stepping forward. You don’t sit there and wallow in your failure, you believe in yourself and move on. Remember how smart you are."

—Beth Ford
Group Executive Vice President and COO, Land O'Lakes

Check out more wisdom from Ford on building a powerful career

Invest in your career 

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"The single most important thing you can do for your finances is to invest in your career. Create an action plan that outlines some steps you can take to achieve your career goals."

—Angela O'Leary
Head of Investment Solutions, U.S. Bank Wealth Management

Next year's Women's Leadership Conference will take place April 28, 2017.