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Capability Company

A Message from our President

Dear Colleague,

We hope this newsletter finds you happy and healthy. We certainly are, with two recently completed searches. We'd like to introduce Betsey McFarland as the new Foundation and Academic After-School Program Director for the Wade Edwards Foundation and Learning Lab. More information on Ms. McFarland is to come. We'd also like to introduce Betty Tonsing as the new General Secretary of the Right Sharing of World Resources. Best wishes, ladies. We know you will both do a great job!

This month's article is a reprint of Sherry Essig's 8 Essential Qualities You Need to Influence Your World. During this "Spring Cleaning" month, we felt this was a refreshing reminder to each of us in both our personal and business lives.

Speaking of refreshing, we’ll be adding a new piece to the ezine - "Heard Around Town". This will include bits of wisdom we overhear—sometimes we may know the source, but other times, it may just be a gem we want to share! You can find it on the sidebar each month along with A Client's Perspective. Enjoy!

Sherry Heuser
President, Capability Company

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Article of the Month

Word count: 625
Approximate Reading Time: 4 Minutes

8 Essential Qualities You Need to Influence Your World

by Sherry Essig

Leadership is influencing people and results to have a positive impact in your world.

Holding a leadership position is not the same as being a leader. You're a leader because of how you show up and what you do – because of your actions.

Anyone can be a leader.

When the Vice President of Sales says, "I messed up and here's how I'm going to clean it up,” he's acting as a leader.

When the child in Hans Christian Anderson's fairy tale cries out, "The Emperor has no clothes!” he's acting as a leader.

When the new non-profit Board member asks the typically dismissive chair hard questions, she's acting as a leader.

You can lead as an employee or a business owner; as an executive, a mid-level manager, or a sole contributor; and as a Board member, volunteer, parent, or friend.

Your job in life is to use your gifts to make a difference. And that means leading in some fashion, no matter what role you play. You have the ability and opportunity to act as a leader, no matter where you work, serve, or play.

Cultivate the following eight qualities and you'll become a more effective leader, leaving a stronger positive footprint wherever you choose to walk.

  1. Develop self-awareness. With this skill – and it is a skill – you'll be more conscious of your attitudes, reactions, choices, words, actions, and trade-offs. And you'll be more aware of the impact all of those have on the people around you.

  2. Be of service. I flew Southwest Airlines home from vacation on the same day Hurricane Isabel came through.

    From the moment we checked our bags in Denver till we stepped off the plane in Raleigh, every Southwest employee was focused on making my travel experience a good one. They were there to be of service, no matter what.

    I can only imagine how stressful the day had been for the flight crew, with a massive hurricane affecting air travel from North Carolina to Massachusetts. But the pilot, co-pilot, and flight attendants all showed up as leaders in the ways they interacted with passengers, solved problems, and created a sense of calm.

    When you are of service – when you make the focus of your actions about others - good things happen.

  3. Own your actions and impact. No excuses. No denial. No blaming. No whining.

    Accept responsibility, learn something useful, and keep moving. That goes for both the good and not-so-good moments.

  4. Grow and support others. Give credit where credit is due. Master the art of constructive feedback. Help others be successful. Stand up for the people who support you.

    Say we far more than I or me.

    The more you grow and support others, the more powerful your impact becomes.

  5. Be curious. We're born wide open and curious. Why is the sky blue? Why don't dogs laugh? Who made the trees?
    Curiosity is a powerful tool. It stimulates creativity, both yours and those around you. Use it.

  6. Speak hard truths. When you're willing to name the elephant in the room, ask the question everyone's thinking but no one's saying, and give difficult but valuable feedback – and when you do so respectfully and with compassion - you're showing up as a leader.

  7. Mind your manners. Early in my career, I worked for a CFO who often said, "All those leadership models and theories are useless without good manners.” I couldn't agree more.

  8. Nourish yourself. None of us are at our best when we're stressed and exhausted.

    When you practice self-care, you're more clear-headed, patient, receptive, resilient, and just plain easier to be around.

    You also set an example for others to follow, helping them be more of who they are as well.

"Nothing so conclusively proves a man's ability to lead others as what he does from day to day to lead himself.” ~ Thomas J. Watson, Sr.

"A habit cannot be tossed out the window; it must be coaxed down the stairs a step at a time." ~ Mark Twain

Bottom Line: Being a leader begins with a conscious decision and requires work to accomplish. Take time to pay attention, make an effort, and follow through to make your world a better place.

Sherry Essig is a business-life coach with over 10 years experience helping professionals live inspired, energized and unstuck. She can be reached at and you can subscribe to her free newsletter by visiting

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Event Calendar

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In This Issue

Current Searches
Article of the Month
The Bottom Line
Event Calendar


A Client's Perspective

"By the way, you have been catching some nice fish! You have a nice network- thank you.”

Tom Fahey
Search Committee Chair


Heard Around Town

"If you don’t have time to do it right, when do you have time to do it again?"

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