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Leaders must carefully manage their influence to be effective and valuable, Davis says.

Brown County United Way CEO Robyn Davis on Stewarding Your Leadership

Robyn Davis, president and CEO of Brown County United Way, recently took part in St. Norbert’s Distinguished Leaders Speaker Series, an offering of the Schneider School of Business & Economics. She offers a few key takeaways from her comments on the skillful handling of your leadership and influence.

The key to setting yourself apart is to develop your soft skills, which are those personal attributes that allow you to interact effectively and harmoniously with other people.

Your influence, or your capacity to have an effect on the character development or behavior of someone or something, must be managed. “Often, as we progress in our professions or careers, we may forget to look after the impact of our influence on others,” Davis said, alluding to recent news of people in positions of power who have misused their influence, resulting in damaged reputations and loss of careers.

It’s important to “make the decision early in your career [to] do the right thing because it is the right thing,” Davis said.

Other ways to manage your influence:

  • Establish your moral compass.
  • Be quick to hear, slow to speak and slow to anger.
  • Be aware of when, where and how you use your influence.
  • Have integrity, be authentic and self-aware, and own your mistakes.
  • Develop mentor-mentee relationships and accountability relationships.
  • Be available to emerging and future leaders.


The Distinguished Leaders Speaker Series invites area business leaders to share their insights with the St. Norbert College community. 


Jan. 30, 2018