Chamber speaker: Good leaders have social consciousness

Annette M. Drowlette/staff
Ann Stallard, partner and executive vice president of Graphic Communications Corp. is the guest speaker for the Women in Business signature event held Thursday at the Augusta Marriott Hotel.

Good leaders must also have a sense of social consciousness.


“True leadership is about accepting the challenge of connecting your head with your heart. A lifetime of learning and a lifetime of caring. We often hear that in order to be really successful, you’ve got to throw yourself into your work,” Ann Stallard told chamber of commerce members today..

Ms. Stallard is the first businesswoman elected national president of the YWCA and serves as chairwoman of the U.S. National Board of Trustees for the United Way of America.

She delivered the keynote address at the 2009 Augusta Metro Chamber of Commerce’s Women in Business Signature Event. The annual event is designed to celebrate the contributions of professional women. This year’s theme was advice for leaders in the making.

“I’d like to suggest that you throw your work into your heart to be a leader. The crisis that we have in our boardrooms, schools, religious institutions and public leadership is the lack of that connection – the head and the heart,” Ms. Stallard said.

Ms. Stallard is the executive vice president Graphic Communication Corp., a marketing and commercial printing company in Lawrenceville, Ga. The company has grown to be one of metro Atlanta’s top 25 printing companies.

Ms. Stallard said that many leaders lack “ethical and moral compass.” They are surrounded by people who “lack courage to actually call out that bad behavior.”

“As a leader, you are mandated to do the right thing, even when no one’s looking. When you do the right thing all the time ... this is called having a soul,” Ms. Stallard said.

Businesses must pursue profits for investors and “have the courage to be more socially conscious than ever before,” she said.


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