Me, along with some amazing panelists from the Liberty World Outreach Event. I am second from the left.
On Saturday morning I had the privilege of being a panelist at the Liberty World Outreach Women’s Leadership Brunch. I was there to share my experience as a woman in leadership, along with the other panelists, yet I learned so much from each of the speakers. I walked away inspired.
In this blog post, I am sharing a few of the questions asked during the panel discussion and my answers. I hope that my sharing of my panel experience inspires you. 🙂
What has helped you to discover your purpose?
My fierce focus, since the 8th grade, has been to own my own business. It took me many years to discover what that business would be and should be, but I’ve always known entrepreneurship was my calling. It started with Junior Achievement when I was in the 8th grade. I joined Junior Achievement and had 4 amazing mentors who met with us once a week after school. We started a business. We chose a business name, selected a board and incorporated. As a team, we decided on a product to sell. We bought parts, assembled our products and we sold them. I loved every single aspect of starting and running a business. I knew then, in 8th grade, that I would own my own business.
And then there were the examples in my family that helped me discover I wanted to own my business. – An uncle who is a medical doctor and who never worked for anyone else. He started his own clinic. An aunt who started and ran a private elementary school.
In what ways, if any, has your purpose evolved through the years?
In the beginning, for me it was about owning my own business. Making my own money, working for myself. My focus now is being an example, leading by example, and exhorting others to achieve that thing they are passionate about.
What are qualities of effective leadership?
Communication – the ability to share ideas in a highly persuasive way; to get people to believe in your ideas, support your ideas and be influenced by your ideas. Communication includes being able to effectively communicate one on one, in writing, in meetings and from the stage. Communication, I believe, sets mediocre people apart from successful people.
Is there a woman in leadership who has inspired you?
Oprah was one of my first and most profound examples of women in leadership. I was impressed and literally captivated by her communication ability, influence, charisma and her courage to be herself. In the mid 80s, it was unusual to see a black woman on TV as a daytime talk show host. Oprah was the only one. And she was on national networks. It was even more unusual to see a plus size woman in that role. I deeply admired Oprah’s confidence, authenticity and accomplishments.
As a leader in position of authority, what responsibility do you have to others?
I sense I have 2 primary responsibilities. To be an example of what’s possible. And to push others to fulfill their God-given potential. I work to be an example of what’s possible by always pushing myself and sharing my “gifts” with those I am called to serve. I push others by eagerly mentoring women when they come to me.