Deborah M. McCreery, J.D.
Women’s Network Executive Council
American Council on Education
What does leadership mean to me?
According to the dictionary, leadership is the action of leading a group of people or an organization. Synonyms include guidance, direction, control, management and supervision. While the synonyms provide a deeper understanding, there is still more to leadership. It’s taking personal responsibility for the direction of an individual or group of individuals to achieve the goals and mission of that group from grassroot efforts to big picture items. It’s inspiring and motivating others to do their best work. To achieve maximum leadership potential, it’s a journey that involves listening, taking risk, accepting other options, professional development and mentoring. It may take a lifetime.
Why is networking/mentoring important?
No one person can do it alone. Networking and mentoring are two distinct opportunities to maintain relationships to move or keep your career on the right path. The State Networks provide us the opportunity to network with other women from institutions not only in our states but around the country. The ACE Leadership Program provides opportunities on a national level to build our leadership skills and make connections beyond our state borders. I’ve met women who are now my formal and informal mentors to provide me the support I need and the help to make some difficult decisions along the way. These women are also my cheerleaders when I need a little love. The relationships are very special and cannot be replaced.
Why are you a member of PAACE?
I have been a member of a State Network for over 20 years. It has been an extraordinary journey on many levels. I’ve gotten the opportunity to meet women and to build lasting relationships which I hope are mutually beneficial and rewarding. The Networks energize me to be the best I can be and to give back. As a member of the Women’s National Executive Council I have the pleasure of serving and supporting PAACE, the network where I was first introduced to the organization.