By Kerry O’Reilly, LT ’15, Marketing Director, Tampa Bay Times and Politifact
We LT alums may not remember all our classmates, but we all remember the chair. This year’s Leadership Tampa Chair is Susan Maurer. She is Senior Vice President of Tampa Commercial Banking for BBVA Compass and will, like those before her, leave a positive lasting impression on this year’s class. Here are a few insights from Susan on leadership and the year ahead.
Will you add any new twists to the program this year?
Each year, the chair has the option of changing things from the year before. This keeps the program days interesting and up to date with what is currently going on in the city. Yes, we have made a few exciting changes to some of the program days to keep the class members informed and engaged.
What do you look forward to most about your role as chair?
The most exciting part about being chair is experiencing the impact the program days have on the class; those “a-ha” moments. Then seeing what the class can do with the information they have gained from the program will be my most satisfying part.
What’s one piece of advice you’d like to give this year’s class?
Allow yourself and your classmates to be engaged.
What year did you go through LT? Any Favorite moments?
LT ’14, BCE! What happens in Leadership Tampa, stays in Leadership Tampa …
What qualities do the best leaders possess?
The quality of being a good listener.
The quality of not being afraid to get in the trenches with the team.
The quality of effectively delivering feedback that helps improve the team and makes them the next leaders.
Are leaders born or trained?
We’ve all heard the term “born leader.” I think some people have the strength within them to lead, but I also believe that it takes other leaders before them to see the potential and to deliver the opportunities for a person to learn and grow. Well-learned mistakes make the best leaders. Anyone can say they are a leader, but it’s their team’s respect that defines that leader.