Springfield, MO

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Jennifer Jackson

Springfield Business Journal

Posted online

Publisher's Note

I have an inspirational quote painted on a block of wood in my office that says, “Great women raise great women who raise great women.” It was a gift from a staff member at a time when my mother, founding publisher of the business journal, was beginning her transition to retirement. I was juggling with two daughters in high school, a full plate at work and I was losing my safety net, or so it seemed. I didn’t stop to really ponder what the saying meant to me at the time. I was too busy just keeping all the balls in the air. In the two or three years since, however, I have often paused to think of my mother and the 37 years she spent at Springfield Business Journal. 

The SBJ staff was my mother’s other family. Now they are mine. My mother had great days and really brutal days, but every day she had the awesome responsibility of knowing that staff members and their families were depending on her success. Throughout the years, I watched as my mother did whatever was necessary to keep the SBJ engine running strong. In the early years, she was the editor, the salesperson, the production team and the delivery person. Over the years, the staff grew significantly and her roles changed, but so did the magnitude of the wins and losses. The constant was that she continued to move forward one step at a time. That’s how she led. 

The example set by mother continues to guide me in my work. Rich data, talented staff and financial resources allow me to plan far into the future, but the only way to get there is one day at a time. It is my task, always, to just do the next right thing, to take one step forward. In doing so, I am setting an example for my daughters to follow as they pursue their own dreams. The point is, few if any of us just intuitively know how to lead. We borrow the best qualities of leadership from those we most admire. Likewise, it is my belief that the best leaders are those who are most willing to share their wisdom to provide a path for the next generation of leaders. 

This is precisely why we thought this special supplement of the Springfield Business Journal would hold great value to our readers. The twenty-one extraordinary women featured on the following pages all have a unique story. In reading them, you will be inspired, challenged and intrigued. 

I suspect you will find more than one leadership philosophy worth borrowing. I also suspect you will find some universal truths in what they have to say. Though we have featured 21 strong female leaders here, they are leaders first and foremost. Simply put, great leaders inspire great leaders who inspire great leaders, and this is how they do it.


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