I used be heavily involved in local Northwest Florida business scene. I still am involved some, but in the last few years I've been traveling too much for Super Technologies, Inc., and when I say I am going to do something, I want to do it. Just read a quote from Yahoo!'s CEO, and it made me remember.
Some of my favorite work was as an ambassador for the Pensacola Bay Area Chamber of Commerce, chairman of ITGulfcoast and participating in Downtown Toastmasters and the Pensacola Bay Area Advertising Federation.
As ambassador, I got to personally meet each new member of the Chamber, usually at their business during their ribbon-cutting. As chairman of the technology group, I gained immense satisfaction by working with Maria Weisnicht, Alan Aldermann, Victor Rojas, Craig Hitpas, and Patrick Rooney in rounding up the hidden technology talent in S.E. USA to showcase at monthly meetings. The P.B.A.A.F.'s meetings were creativity-inducers. Ask my husband Michael Bowen about that.
At one of the last Downtown Toastmasters' meetings I was able to attend, I met a guy who owned a Subway franchise. What I will never forget that he said was, "We are in the business of growing people. We hire them to clean, cook, create, communicate, teamplay, and improve things at our Subway. We mold them. They mold us. We become better people. They become the best, leave, and start or get involved in something even cooler that us, or at least different. It doesn't upset me. I smile about it."
I remember the people, teachers, preachers, parents, and bosses in my life... the ones who suffocated, freed, nudged, squashed, pushed, and/or noticed me. Today, there is one I want to thank that I have not thanked publicly, Dr. Larry Morris, the oral surgeon, who brought his team to Pizza Hut every day for lunch, always asked for me to serve their table and then he hired me as an oral surgeon's assistant because as he said, "You've got people skills like no one I know. You'll brighten up our office. We'll train you. Don't worry."
Thank you, Dr. Larry Morris. I was only 17 years old and those words and your integrity throughout the time I've known you, still inspire me.
"There is a real difference between managing and leading. … Managing winds up being the allocation of resources against tasks. Leadership focuses on people. My definition of a leader is someone who helps people succeed.”
–Carol Bartz, Yahoo! CEO
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