Leaders Making History: Tiffany Leonard, District Director of Operations
Tiffany Leonard started her career with the Company in 2003 and has paved the way for emerging leaders by becoming a mentor and sharing her story of success.
“I started as a Manager- in-Training in Alabama. What was most impactful for my career was understanding how to grow a well-balanced business from the leaders before me.”
Leonard seeks inspiration from her ancestors, her compassionate and hard-working parents, and the mentors who have guided her in her career. Through it all, the biggest leadership lesson she teaches is one of service.
“As individuals, leaders should always be willing to help others in need. If you have resources, be a guide for others. Learn how to give back. A customer came into a store with his head bowed and it seemed like he carried the weight of the world on his shoulders. He has lost his job and his wife didn’t know it, so he spent every day at the library looking for something else. I asked him about his experience, which was in Project Management, and put him in touch with a family member who I felt could help him. Not only was he able to obtain a position, but he had a dramatic pay increase! If you have the resources to help people make it to the next level, whether it be in their career or personal life, use it. We are all in this together.”
What inspires you?
“My Dad, Rev. Dr. Matthew Leonard, and my mom, Shirley Ann Leonard. I get my work ethic and tenacity from my dad, and my passion and desire from my mom. My parents were and are great role models and examples of a strong black family.”
“My dad has been a pastor all my life but has gone back to school for his Doctorate. He currently teaches English and Theology classes. He has inspired me to keep learning and reminds me daily that you’re never too old to learn something new.”
When did you realize you wanted to be a leader?
“When I started taking the initiative to do things where changes needed to be made. I began taking ownership of projects without being asked to do them. I would do things proactively and I became the go-to person for all things. People must have had a lot of confidence in me to come to me! That’s when I knew leadership was my calling.”
What does Black History Mean to you?
“Black History means a lot. Our ancestors have made a lot of accomplishments that often get put on the back burner. It’s American History and sometimes it’s just not put in the spotlight like it should be. When you hear about our heritage and the firsts that our ancestors accomplished, how they did things that everyone thought was impossible, it’s phenomenal and important to learn where you came from.”
“I keep a lot of history books in the house and participate in Black History programs at my church to keep my family learning about our culture and heritage.”
What advice would you give to emerging leaders?
“Don’t talk about it, be about it. Let your performance speak for you. Know your craft at the highest level and work on it daily. And don’t let better kill your best.”