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Women in Leadership

Learn how Dionne takes a unique approach to her work and how she strives to keep a good work/life balance.

Meet Dionne

What are the main challenges for female leaders?

Many times a female leader will have so many responsibilities. They are bosses, wives, mothers, sisters and daughters. Typically, female leaders will lead not just at work but also in their families and friend groups. People tend to come to them for solutions from every direction and that can be taxing. As a female leader, it is incredibly important to carve time out for yourself and to define your own success and not to let the expectations of others characterize your vision.

How do you balance work and life responsibilities?

I've really learned much later in life to say no and not to be so hard on myself. Carving out time for those singular pleasures that recharge and energize you is incredibly important. Delegation is also so important to ensure that you are not overwhelmed and it also creates opportunities for your reports to learn and grow. The quest for perfection can be a slippery slope. There is no such thing and honestly, is not nearly as interesting.

What is your “Why?”

Not sure if I have a secret sauce but there are several things that have brought me personal satisfaction in my career and in all of my relationships:

#1 - Exercising emotional intelligence It's important when dealing with people to understand what drives and motivates them. It’s been really helpful in negotiating, resolving conflict and incentivizing behavior that creates the desired outcomes.

#2 - Being responsible and therefore accountable  I was raised by my grandparents and they drilled in me that my word was my bond. Working to always meet my obligations to my customers, company and loved ones is really important to me. Likewise, being accountable for those actions good or bad, allows you to build trust and do the work that nets results.

#3 - Listening Actively listening and being comfortable with silence when appropriate ensures that I can really hear what someone is trying to communicate. Many times we can try to fill lulls in conservations out of habit. When I speak, I try to make sure that it is thoughtful, demonstrates that I heard the other person and that I meet them a part of the way if needed.

#4 - Delivering results I work to understand goals and deliver expected results. I can’t say that I have successfully met challenges 100% of the time, but having my focus on the target has served me well. 

#5 - Having a great support group It's wonderful to have people in your life with whom you can share thoughts and ideas and even vent and complain. In return, it’s good to have people who will give it to you straight and occasionally tell me everything will be okay. I would not be able to do what I do without these folks and they absolutely know who they are!

What are your favorite questions to ask those you lead?

Besides trying to get to know them all personally, I like to ask my team three really important questions.

#1 - How do they define success? It's important to align the interests of an individual with the goals of the organization.

#2 - What motivates them? I manage a sales team and, contrary to belief, it's not always money that motivates them. Sometimes it's recognition and pats on that back. It's up to a good manager to understand what each individual needs to be the best version of themselves.

#3 - What do they expect of me? With this information, I can work to align our interests and let them know that they have my support.

What are you outside interests?

I love sports, cars, and working on my home.

I'm pretty competitive and my husband of 27 years, my children and I all played sports. The Artis family mantra is "don't' come in last. "

As a family, we do love soccer. We have been to a men's World Cup in Brazil, and the women's World Cup in Canada and most recently in France in 2019. 

I love all sports cars, particularly German cars. I have every Car and Driver since 1984, but as magazines continue to move online, I will miss thumbing through those glossy pages.

I spend far too much time on Pinterest and Houzz, which leads to working on the weekends painting and doing house projects. My husband would also prefer that I find a different hobby so his honey-do list will get shorter.

Dionne Lacey-Artis 

SVP, Field and Regional Sales