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.
The first of SBJ's forums detailing Economic Growth Survey results is held.
Scott Shotts, partner with Missouri Spirits, says when they started in 2011 there were approximately 300 distilleries in the U.S. and now there are more than 3,000 so competition has grown significantly. Diversification of their business model has helped them succeed.
Matthew Blystone of Theta Float Spa had the financial means to start the unique business, but used crowdsourcing for pre-orders to determine market interest in addition to gathering a nice cash reserve before opening.
Avery Parrish with the Springfield Regional Arts Council explains how businesses can display local art in their spaces for a fraction of the price of investing in a permanent collection. The corporate partnership program allows a business to select from a customized portfolio of local artists' work curated based on the company's mission and aesthetic that can be switched out every six or 12 months.
After a year of experiential market research, Danny Collins, 37 North founder and guide, found three ways they plan to expand. Some were anticipated and others were not expected until they …
Inspirational speaker Chad Porter shares his story of turning a tragic accident that took him to the darkest depths into a rewarding career as a motivational speaker and business coach.
"For me success is...a little bit fleeting. Today's success and goal achieved only lasts about that long," says Curtis Millsap, owner of Millsap Farms. Look beyond the day-to-day financial achievements to the long-term victories.
Danny Collins, 37 North founder and guide, took his experience as an expedition manager for National Geographic Unique Lodge of the World in Ecuador to start his Ozarks based outdoor activity company. Since launching the company, he has relied on post-trip evaluations and prospective customer input to guide the course.
Jennifer Rothschild, author and speaker, says, "With the blessing of the success that we've experienced came something I did not expect, which was the need to lead. And, I am a reluctant leader." She realized that her ministry was managed very well, but the ministry's most valuable asset, the people, were not being led well. She gives you three choices she had to make as a reluctant leader. Jennifer Rothschild was one of nine leaders who presented at the 2018 Springfield Business Journal's 90 Ideas in 90 Minutes.
Miles Boyer, Office Manager for the Southern Region of the Builders’ Association, recognizes they are competing for their members' time. That means doing new and different thing are of value to guarantee that their members will participate in classes and events.
Ömer Önder, owner of Springfield Diner, learns the results of a customer survey conducted by Longitude LLC. Dustin Myers and Jeremy Wells, owners of the branding agency, inform Ömer that his customers are looking for a shift in his menu offerings. Made to Order is an ongoing sbjLive documentary series in collaboration with Springfield Business Journal tracking the rebranding of a local restaurant. See ongoing coverage at: sbj.net/madetoorder