Shelley Davis Boyd, MBA, is Director of Communications, PR & Marketing at the Michigan Association of School Boards. She is a seasoned leader with over 20 years of experience in management, business development, communications, sales, marketing, planning, goal setting, and implementation. Shelly is a trained and certified Business Image Coach who believes that women in leadership positions must mentor and support other women and minority groups who work hard every day and aspire to be leaders.
What does leadership mean to you?
Leadership is about providing the framework, opportunity, and support necessary for the growth and development of the people you lead. Great leaders are humble, unthreatened, and celebrate the achievements of others. They meet people where they are and empower them to see the possibility ahead. Leadership is a selfless commitment to the greater good and shouldn’t be about personal triumph. Exceptional leaders walk their talk, which requires holding themselves to the same standards as they hold others.
Who has influenced your idea of leadership?
My step-mom, Jacqueline Sales, has been a mentor to me throughout my career. She showed me that it’s possible to be a successful and strong leader who is open-minded, thoughtful, and empathetic.
Why do we need more women in leadership roles? What do they add to the table?
We should have leaders who are a reflection of the world in which we live. Women, like many minorities, are underrepresented in leadership roles. In my experience, successful female leaders create buy-in and build consensus through well-developed, thoughtful, and strategic communication skills. Women are excellent at assessing the impact of decisions from the big picture down to the minute details. Their presence at the table both broadens and deepens the conversation.
How are you leading in your career/community?
My most important leadership role is at home. I aim to demonstrate and instill in my children the importance of authenticity, intellectual curiosity, and personal accountability. I encourage them to live their truth, stand up for what they believe, and be positive contributors to the world.
I am fortunate to be able to support my community through voluntarism as a board member for the Lansing Economic Development Corporation and the McLaren Greater Lansing Healthcare Foundation. I am also a sustaining member of the Junior League of Lansing and serve in a volunteer leadership role on the parent council at McDonald Middle School. Involvement in this capacity keeps me connected and provides the opportunity to have a positive long-term impact on the Greater Lansing Area.
I take my role as a leader in my organization seriously and understand that it extends beyond the strategic plan or bottom line. Many of us spend more time at work than we do with the people we love the most. On any given day, my job may be to cheer, challenge, advocate, or be a listening ear for those that I have the privilege to lead. I strive to create an open and safe environment where diversity of thought is respected, and individual growth is encouraged.
Is there anything else you’d like to share?
I believe women in leadership positions must mentor and support other women and minority groups who work hard every day and aspire to serve in leadership roles. We must speak up and use the power we have to extend a hand to those who haven’t yet made it to where we are.
What is the best way for someone to contact you?
Email is the best way to reach me, and I aim to respond within a day: firstname.lastname@example.org.