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“It’s not who you know, it’s who knows you.” Panel of CEOs emphasizes import

It’s not often that you get to soak up wisdom from four CEOs at once – much less four CEOs who are women of color. But that’s exactly the opportunity afforded to Madison365 readers and viewers earlier this week.

Pride PR founder Nepherterra Best led the discussion, which included Abaxent founder and CEO Adonica Randall, Abrazo Marketing founder Nancy Hernandez and Hmong Wisconsin Chamber of Commerce CEO Dr. Maysee Her.

One theme that came up repeatedly throughout the discussion was the importance of building a strong network.

“It’s not about who you know, it’s about who knows you,” Hernandez said. “I think that that just talks a little bit about the network and what really needs to take place in that personal network to have more worth to both sides of that equation.”

“Surround yourself with people smarter than you,” Randall said. “You have to have a mission, you have to have a goal … but  I don’t have to be the sharpest person that’s there in everything that we do, I have to be good at what I do. And I have to go and get other people who can be good at what they do, and excellent at what they do.”

Randall added that emotional intelligence is required to build that network.

“Our goal is really to solve the client’s problems using technology. But I can’t do that without the very brilliant people that work with us and for us,” she said. “And so that emotional intelligence from my part as a leader means to go to a belonging state, where the team feels that they truly are a team. In order to accomplish anything, we can’t get anything done with one individual.”

Her said it’s also important to remain authentic and focused.

“Staying true to who you are, why you’re doing what you’re doing, just knowing that there are eyes on you …  staying focused and trusting your instinct that you know that there’s a reason why you’re doing things the way that you are and and in the timing that you do” are all critical to leadership, she said.

The Women’s Leadership Summit was sponsored by Summit Credit Union.

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