This is an excerpt from the Denver Business Journal:
Meet the winners of DBJ's inaugural Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Awards
Woman Owned Small Business Leader Awardee
CEO and Founder
MOST Programming, Inc. Website: Most-us.com
How leadership style has changed since 2020:
Speaking last and listening first has always been my leadership focus and style.
We need to be even more supportive than usual, finding time to ask personal questions, spending more time listening to people, family, friends and their environment.
Compassion, caring and empathy from a leader make people feel more appreciated. People realize that they are valued and cared for by the organization and its leaders.
Leaders should express transparency and trust, not project an image of a superman/superwoman. We are all vulnerable.
How crisis has impacted community work:
We need to look wider and deeper in our community. How as a community do we impact the disease of systemic bigotry and racism? We need to engage more with the Black community and create greater understanding of the issue to help promote this change. Even though we are a small business, we can impact this change.
At our book club, we discussed an interesting book, "Resonate: Present Visual Stories that Transform Audiences" by Nancy Duarte. Even though this book is about outstanding speakers, the biggest impact on me was a detailed review of Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech in the last chapter. We have all heard it many times, but this book made me listen very, very carefully several times.
I discovered new layers and nuances in his speech and appreciated his talent as a leader. After visiting the place of his assassination at the Lorraine Motel and the National Civil Rights Museum in Memphis, Tennessee, last summer, I understand what is going on today much better and will welcome and promote racial diversity even more actively than before.
If we use our close networks of 50 or 100 people, each of us can impact a positive outcome. With personal responsibility, we can multiply this exponentially and create real change.
We need to create a culture of listening and inclusion. Everyone has a story if we only take time to connect, to listen and to understand.
How you use your voice to inspire change:
I believe that a culture of collaboration and engagement is vital to success.
I work hard to foster this with listening and questions, to make sure all voices are heard, and everyone feels included. With engagement and inclusion, change becomes much easier for all.
I belong to several great professional organizations and boards. This is an opportunity to suggest positive changes and turn ideas into actions together
Proudest 2020 accomplishment: We continue to grow in spite of the present difficulties. Having happy customers and happy employees is a wonderful feeling.
Support system: My family and friends are providing great support to me. I talk with my Mom via Teams almost every day. My son and his wife, as well as her family in Idaho, are a great part of my support system. My brother, his wife, my cousins and their children are in constant communication with me.
I have a great mentor and accountability partner who is a co-founder of our company. His name is Wayne Schell. I appreciate that we are very different, and our strengths and weaknesses balance each other.
My professional network is very important as well. I belong to many professional organizations and several boards. Many of my colleagues became my personal friends. I know I can always ask them for help and advice.
Advice for emerging women leaders:
Be resilient and inventive. Everything always works out for the best if you work hard and believe in your success. Keep that positive attitude and make time for mindfulness and gratitude. Be humble.
Listen for the best from everyone — there is a lot of wisdom in our world.