[insert-author-info] “I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” – Maya Angelou On September 25th, Julie Pampuch of WB Engineers+Consultants spoke about her leadership experience during her 2014-2015 term as SMPS-NY President. Each attendee was given a laminated card with the Maya Angelou quote above, which Julie referenced as a basis for how she chose to approach her role as president. Rhonda Cardone, Marketing Director for the New York City office of Dewberry and Chair of the Leadership Committee, extended an invitation to Julie to share her leadership insights, and the presentation provided many inspiring and helpful takeaways for those in attendance.

[expand title=”Click here to read more about the September 2015 Leadership Lunch…”] Julie began her presentation by explaining her stressors from the DISC analysis she took at the leadership committee’s half-day workshop in August, which included making decisions without enough time, mingling with strangers, operating in a political atmosphere and being forceful or insistent. Upon seeing this list of stressors, someone commented “Oh my gosh, you hated being president!” Though the role of SMPS-NY President did heavily overlap with the stressors listed above, Julie was able to push through her discomfort to hone her leadership skills, and learned about herself in the process. (And she didn’t hate being president, she loved it!) Julie also credits her ability to go outside her comfort zone to the support and influence of other SMPS-NY leaders on her board and within the organization. As Julie put it, “Sally Handley made me be president.” After turning the role down twice, Sally looked at her and said, “Are you going to do this or what?” This is the same faith and support Julie received throughout her tenure as president, and she stressed the importance of teamwork to successful leadership. Looking at the powerhouse members of her team, Julie sought to emulate what she felt were positive attributes of previous leaders. She cited Jason Vesuvio’s organized nature and ability to connect people through introductions, and Meredith Lovejoy’s efficient meetings. She praised Sarah Hoff’s ability to identify quality over quantity. Julie invited Guy Cleveland, a close friend, coworker at WB Engineers+Consultants, and leader within the organization Boys Town, to share his leadership experience. After working on the committee and as a member of the board for a few years, Guy Cleveland was asked to be Chairman. Similar to Julie, in order to prepare for this role, he met with leaders of other not-for-profit organizations to learn about their approach. It was in these discussions that he learned a few invaluable pieces of advice; be sure to fill committee seats with people that support you, and to whom you are able to delegate work. Guy’s role as Chairman pushed him to overcome his fear of leading meetings, and taught him how to deal with committees and different personalities. Julie’s decision to invite Guy Cleveland to share his leadership experience speaks to the overarching theme of her time as SMPS-NY President, to support and acknowledge the strengths of those around you. A daughter of two teachers, Julie cited research and preparation as the key elements to her leadership. In preparation for the leadership lunch, Julie not only thought ahead to print the Maya Angelou cards, but also left a lollipop at everyone’s seat. The lollipops tied into Drew Dudley’s TEDTalk Everyday Leadership, a video that was a key influence in how Julie chose to lead. During his talk, he stresses the importance of “Lollipop Moments,” a moment where someone says something or does something that makes your life fundamentally better. Julie sought to provide these lollipop moments throughout her time as president, to both improve SMPS-NY and the lives of those involved in it. Sharing this video was a powerful message that while we aren’t often told of the influence we have had, we have each made a positive influence in the lives of someone around us through individual leadership. Click here to view photos from the event. [/expand]