Here at Executive Elements, we like to feature fantastic women we think you should know. Some of these women are clients, some are friends, some are women we’ve only just met. But they all have this in common: they are dynamic, interesting women who have agreed to share with us their insights and secrets to success.
Janet Smith Meeks
My Current Job/Company:
Co-Founder and CEO of Healthcare Alignment Advisors and Author of Gracious Leadership: Lead Like You’ve Never Led Before to be released in early 2018.
I advise C-Suite Executives regarding strategies to help their organizations reach peak performance within a fully respectful culture. I am currently immersed in writing a book about Gracious Leadership, a compendium of lessons about leadership and life that I have learned from my parents, from my favorite mentors and from my own leadership journey.
My family and helping other people to become all they were created to be.
Dick D’Enbeau (supportive husband and soulmate), Meredith (amazing daughter, wife of Steven and mother of Stella), Mallory (equally amazing daughter, wife of Matthew and mother of Gracie) and my “big brother”, Jim. I also am blessed that my family includes Dick’s four children, his four grandchildren and his sister, Marilou.
My Hero or Heroes:
My parents (James Edwin Smith, Sr. and Marcelene Cobb Smith, both deceased). They taught me to appreciate early on in life that every person is fearfully and wonderfully made in the eyes of God and that as such, every person is to be fully respected. They also taught my brother and me to do what is right, to do what is fair and to be consistent at all times, even and especially when it is not easy and the stakes are high.
Jogging while I listen to the Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir, or traveling with my husband, especially when we can cycle.
My Pet Peeve:
Arrogance and people who do not follow up.
Hattie Bell’s Caramel Cake, a very special recipe from a revered woman who lived in my hometown.
I grew up in a community of 3,000 residents and found myself surrounded by adults who told the young people of the town to dream big because we could be anything that we wanted to become. I am extraordinarily grateful to have been raised within a very inclusive Mississippi family in which my father was ahead of his time as he advocated for Equal Rights for all people at a point in history when such advocacy was not popular.
Excited, energized and continuously looking for every possible way to make a positive difference.
My Favorite Quote:
“People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.”
My mother’s ring which my father gave me when I turned 21. She died of cancer when I was 19.
My Advice to Young Women:
Always ask for opportunity. And know that even though you are a proven performer, you will not necessarily be given the promotion you want or the coveted stretch assignment you desire. Sometimes you just have to ask!
How I Balance it All:
I have learned to say “Yes” and to make time for the things I really want to do. I have also learned to say “No” when it’s necessary. I’ve realized that the little things in life are really the big things, and that the little things really deserve more of my time and attention.