Five women share management hacks


Establishing a clear vision, organizing regular check-ins and putting the right people in the right roles are critical components when it comes to successfully managing a team.

That’s according to five local professionals, all of whom lead a group of colleagues in at least some capacity. They range in position (from entrepreneur to mid-level manager to CEO), as well as sector (with some working for nonprofits and others for private companies)—not to mention industry (banking, construction, tech). Some foster a more laid-back approach to leadership, while others are more hands-on in their management style.

Still, they’re linked together: All are women who, regardless of their differences, are deeply ingrained in the fabric of Baton Rouge’s business community and are determined to see their organizations succeed.

For some team management inspiration, check out the five tips these women recently shared with The Network.

Mimi Singer Lee

“It all starts with hiring the right people for the right roles.  Create an intentional hiring process that seeks candidates who can bring differing perspectives and strengths to the team, allow them to take ownership of their work and, as their manager, get out of their way!”

Mimi Singer Lee, executive vice president & chief human resources officer at Business First Bank

Amy Kling

“Great leadership starts with a clear vision. The vision should be well communicated so that the entire team has good goal clarity. With the right team beside them, leaders are there to listen to their team members, provide support and coach their team toward this common goal.”

Amy Kling, director of business systems for Turner Industries‘ Information Technology department

Emilia Gilbert Henry

“We have quarterly 2×2 meetings—check-in discussions centered around two things that are going well and two things we could use help with or would like to do more effectively. These provide an opportunity for me to share these items with each member of my team, and for them to give me the same feedback, which is really helpful to my development as their manager. The discussion also prevents anything good from going under-appreciated or anything that may need a course-correction from going on for too long.”

—Emilia “Emi” Gilbert Henry, senior vice president of investor development at the Baton Rouge Area Chamber

Karen Zito

“Open communication is key when managing a team. I try to create an environment where every team member clearly understands the expectations and what we are trying to achieve. It’s important to me to ensure each team member feels included. I am always asking for feedback and then I try to apply the feedback to demonstrate I understand and value their opinions and critique. We are smarter, better, and stronger together!”

Karen Zito, president & CEO of Home Builders Association of Greater Baton Rouge

Padma Vatsavai

“It’s important to remember that every team is made up of individuals, and in my industry, individual talent is of high value. I tell all my team members to be authentic, find comfort outside [their] comfort zone and make a difference, whatever their role. If every individual does these things, every team can be great!”

Padma Vasatvai, founder & CEO of Vinformatix


What tips would you share for managing a team? Connect with other readers of The Network in our LinkedIn group.

View Comments