My leadership style and the successes I have been able to achieve are based first and foremost on trust. I trust the people on my team to work diligently, thoughtfully, and ethically to accomplish tasks and reach organizational goals. I have found that spending the necessary time to carefully and completely articulate these goals reaps rewards.
With goals and achievable results clearly defined, and with mutual trust and respect well established, I know I can delegate work and decision making with confidence. I believe the ability to delegate decision making is the best indicator of how effective a leader one can be. My best decision-making process includes having multiple and diverse inputs and opinions from my team. They know that they may speak freely and openly, express varying opinions and ideas, and know that they will be treated with interest and respect.
One of the most difficult aspects of leadership is having to say no in certain situations. No is a very unambiguous, powerful word. I have learned that saying no is often perceived as a rejection of either a person or an idea. My teammates have come to understand that my decisions are in no way personal, but merely reflect a decision consistent with our company’s goals and objectives. Conveying confidence in my decision making and expressing trust in others’ decisions are the fundamental tenets of my leadership process.
Is there a role model who has had a profound impact on your career and/or life?
What did he/she motivate you to do? I have been fortunate in having a number of mentors throughout my career who have influenced my professional growth and leadership style. I value them for their direct feedback, and for being role models who made me aware of career possibilities I had not previously considered. I wish to thank Jim Janning, Jim Goodwin, Joe Ross, and Dennis Martin for motivating me to pursue new choices and challenges that have led me to my current position.
What advice would you give young women building/preparing for a career?
Sheryl Sandberg wrote, “Careers are a jungle gym, not a ladder.” I believe that if you accept the idea that your career may unfold in ways you never envisioned, you open yourself up to greater possibilities. These jungle gym routes will require flexibility—in thought and action—so stay relevant, seek challenges, make yourself heard, and continue to pursue your professional and personal goals.