The 2017 Great Lakes Women’s Business Council’s Summer Leadership Institute for Women and special WBE Forum took place in Battle Creek, Michigan. The theme for the day was “Creating a High Performing Culture”.

The Noon to 2 pm session included thoughts from CEOs from four different WBEs following structured questions posed by the panel moderator, Carol Valade, a woman who in her own right broke many barriers upon her ascent to Editor of the Grand Rapids Business Journal, GR Magazine and a number of additional offerings under the Gemini Publications logo.

The top nine (9) important leadership qualities necessary to run their companies, ranked in order of the number of times they were repeated across the panel, were shared as follows:

  1. Trust – you can’t buy it. You earn it.  HONESTY is the most important trait a leader can demonstrate.  Trusting in themselves and their people is key.
  2. Vision – knowing what you want to accomplish; be able to tell the story so you can lead others in the journey to accomplish the vision; something right and good!
  3. Be Optimistic – Forward looking and BELIEVE it can be done; “…the only difference between success and failure is the time it took to get back up and try some more”.
  4. Put the needs of the business and others first (PEOPLE).
  5. Invest in the Culture! This does not always have to cost $!  Many times it’s just an investment of self.  Another great quote from this session, “Culture eats Strategy for Breakfast!”
  6. Remove barriers to success for your team; respect each team member for their ability to add value.
  7. Expectations – a wise quote was shared from the grandfather of one of the CEOs, “People will always meet your expectations, be they high or be they low.”
  8. Wisdom from above – faith in the vision and creating peace around yourself and your people – they are in a safe place.
  9. Leadership is a Decision – must be purposeful every day in leading; never quit learning more about leadership.

My takeaways from this session were many.  I was very happy and honored to represent netlogx at the event.  Opportunities like this help us become more passionate about the path we’re each on.  They remind us that we’re not alone and together we can find success.  They convince me that each one of us must continue to dedicate ourselves to helping and teaching others what we can while continuing to learn and apply new learnings daily.  I’m grateful to be part of an organization that invests in leadership and women and humbled by the challenges and opportunities netlogx continues to provide to us.