Every one of the executives recognized in our Most Powerful Women rankings has faced the kind of professional challenges that can launch someone into the C-suite — or get someone bounced from consideration.

The decision to seek out those kinds of career risks and tackle them head on is part of what sets these women apart. Below, some of this year's Most Powerful Women talk about the challenges they've faced in their professional ascents and how they responded along the way.

One of the most fulfilling things I've ever done
Barb Godin, Regions Financial
Culture eats strategy for breakfast
Kate Quinn, U.S. Bank
I said: if I didn't bring in $2 million, fire me
Diane Schumaker-Krieg, Wells Fargo Securities
It wasn't intended just for people to come in and solve problems for Citi
Yolande Piazza, Citi FinTech
Learning how to take risks and manage risks has made all the difference
Sandie O'Connor, JPMorgan Chase
A voice and a point of view is the reason you're in the room
Yie-Hsin Hung, New York Life Investment Management