2015 40 Under 40 Honoree: Barbara Barnett-Stillings
Barbara Barnett-Stillings believes effective leadership begins with a demonstration of caring.
Whether that means having someone’s best interests in mind, a willingness to do what she asks others to do or celebrating a victory that’s not hers, Barnett-Stillings thinks leading by example encourages a line to form behind you on the way to your destination.
“When people look back at working with me, I want them to think of positive thoughts and ways they have learned from me or how I have helped them somehow. That is how I look at a leader,” says Barnett-Stillings, the Christian County circuit clerk.
“What you see is what you get with me,” she says. “I am the same at work as I am at home and with friends. I feel that is important, because I should not act any different at work than I would elsewhere. Lead by example – it is a phrase that is thrown around a lot, but to me I do take it seriously because I believe God has blessed me with my position, and I am called to take care of others.”
Barnett-Stillings is actively involved with the Circuit Clerk Education Committee, a group of circuit and deputy clerks who work with the Office of State Courts Administrator on educational training for Missouri’s clerks. CCED plans twice-yearly classes as well as orientation for new clerks that takes place every four years. It was Barnett-Stillings’ idea to add an extra session for incoming clerks to help set them up for success.
“Also as part of the CCED, I have been able to add new ideas for our clerk colleges to help the faculty by giving guidance to the attendees,” Barnett-Stillings says. “We realized that many of our attendees were young and did not understand what it was like to sit through a training session and not have sidebar conversations, not putting their phone away, raising their hand before speaking – simple guidelines that we thought everyone should know but were not being followed and can cause disruption in the training session.”
Barnett-Stillings was part of a small group selected for the Missouri Court Management Institute. She also is a member of the Missouri Circuit Clerk Association and was elected second vice president last year; she will be become its president in 2017. She’s honored to be recognized by her peers.
“My peers ... trust me to get the job done. I have shown them that I will work hard by doing any task they ask of me and will help them any way I can,” she says.
Barnett-Stillings is a former member of the Nixa City Council and a member of both the Nixa and Ozarks chambers of commerce. She also is a board member of the Christian County Library Foundation.[[In-content Ad]]