Magazine article Talent Development

A Lifestyle of Leadership

Magazine article Talent Development

A Lifestyle of Leadership

Article excerpt

"Pay attention to what you do, not what you say," is advice well modeled by Faye Richardson-Green, an avid leader in her organization and community.

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Faye Richardson-Green has more than 25 years of leadership experience at Steelcase Inc., a global work effectiveness company headquartered in Grand Rapids, Michigan, where she has been with the learning and development group--Steelcase University--since April 2003. Richardson-Green attended the Executive Institute on Women and Leadership at Stanford University and has broad-based community leadership experience in the Greater Grand Rapids area.

Q You began your professional career as a banker. When did you first become interested in workplace learning and development, and how did you break into the field?

A I was taking finance classes at a local college to increase my capabilities as a banker when I noticed an advertisement for rape crisis volunteers, with a specified date and time for training. I had been volunteering since I was a young teenager, so I decided to attend. The training was delivered through a thorough 60-hour crisis-intervention event, and I was intrigued by the training process.

After successfully completing the training and becoming a rape crisis team member, I completed a train-the-trainer event, which included an additional 25 hours of preparing volunteers for all kinds of crises to support a 24-hour crisis line.

Later I became a volunteer trainer-of-trainers and volunteer training consultant to a local domestic crisis center. Soon I was involved in training activities for a number of not-for-profit human services organizations.

Training remained my avocation from 1976 until 2003, when my vocation and avocation intersected, and I joined the learning team at Steelcase University.

Q What are some of the greatest career lessons you learned from attending Stanford University's Executive Institute on Women and Leadership?

A Women have been providing leadership since our earliest economic and social systems were developed. There's a reason that women in the past were often referred to as the "power behind the throne."

Consequently, no organization runs effectively without women. …

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