Springfield, MO

Opinion: True influencers hardly know it

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Most influential women go about their day-to-day lives not giving a thought about who they might be influencing. They aren’t thinking about influence when volunteering at a school, food bank or shelter. They don’t think, “Wow, I’m influential,” when preparing a spreadsheet, administering a shot or reading essays.  

The funny thing about influential people is that they seldom think of themselves as such.

Yet, the 20 women chosen to be honored this year are a shining example of the way influence works. They and the other 320 women who have been honored over the past 17 years have impacted people, processes and communities by being passionate about causes. They set an example in the way they live their lives and that example becomes a catalyst for so many others who strive to make their communities a better place.  

This year’s class of Springfield Business Journal’s Most Influential Women have educated young minds, aided families, provided inspiration and helped countless others through their work and civic engagement. The annual celebration not only spotlights these accomplishments but also gives a much needed boost to Women In Need of the Ozarks, an organization that helps women in crises with one-time grants. What a great idea!

Albert Schweitzer said, “Example is not the main thing in influencing others, it is the only thing.” SBJ will name another 20 women next year and still there will be countless more who deserve the honor. That is a wonderful problem to have.  

As a recent honoree, I am humbled to be in the company of so many phenomenal women.  I urge you to attend the celebration, hear the stories of this year’s honorees and be blown away by the depth of talent and passion that these women exhibit. Maybe one of these women has been an inspiration for you.

If you see that woman of influence, thank her, let her know she made a difference, because chances are, she was going about her day not thinking, “Wow, I’m influential.”

Marie Murphree can be reached at


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