Leadership Series: Women of Action

06-28-2012 7:28 AM

Today’s post is from Mary Kay’s Chief Financial Officer Terry Smith. Terry has worked for Mary Kay since 1984 and has served as the CFO since 2003.

Mary Kay’s Chief Financial Officer Terry SmithDuring the past six weeks, several of our female vice presidents have shared their thoughts on leadership. For example, René mentioned nurturing potential leaders to break out of their shell. Peggy shared that it’s important to tell people what they need to know and not what they want to hear. And Lynda pointed out it’s the decisions you make on a daily basis that allow you to move closer to achieving your goals.

As I read the posts, I noticed several commonalities among these great women. However, there was one commonality that stood out more than others. The one thing that I noticed the most was that these are women of action.

The dictionary states that leadership is a noun, but for me, it is a verb. I know all you English majors are completely horrified by this statement, but give me a moment to explain.  Leadership is a verb because leadership symbolizes action.

True leaders know that leadership is constant and consistent action. Every single action that a leader makes has a direct impact on the organization and the people associated with the organization. Organizations exist all around us. Your job is an organization of people working towards the company’s goals. When you volunteer, you are a part of an organization working towards improving the community around you. Even your family is an organization of people you love. Within these organizations, there are leadership roles and all of us are leaders in some area of our life.

Think about your actions and the impact on your organization. Remember that others are counting on you. Lead with a sense of purpose. Lead with an unwavering commitment to doing the right thing. Lead not just with your brain, but also with your heart. Most importantly, lead with the knowledge that you are helping to shape someone’s life for the better.