From Tuskegee to Silicon Valley, selfiepay’s CEO Sharron Battle is an engineering powerhouse

(Photo courtesy: Sharron Battle)
(Photo courtesy of Sharron Battle)

Sharron Battle is the CEO of selfiepay Holdings Inc., which markets an app that allows users to make mobile secure payments using a selfie. Read on for what Battle has to say about the company, her leadership style, power, giving back and community.

Please describe your leadership style.

I am a mission driven leader with an out-of-the-box vision, leading and teaching people how to get to a destination. Throughout my career I have clearly identified [that] I am a visionary. Visionaries have to learn how to tap into the place where their talents come from and realize it comes from a much higher power than ourselves. A great leader is not someone who is self-absorbed but a person who filters their dream through enough of the right people that can form a powerful unity to make the dream a reality.

The characteristics of my leadership style:

  • I am a true servant and my goal is to solve problems by coming up with solutions that most people would view as unimaginable.
  • I describe myself as a business artist, creative and an architect. You have to be able to paint the picture of the vision you have imagined by putting together the elements that support the foundation. The second part is to know what it takes to build and construct everything into an end product.
  • Teamwork is a top priority. It is the core of success and it is essential to tap into everyone’s genius, bringing out the best in everyone, and strategically place them in a position to win. When I meet a potential person joining the team I like to quickly take a deep dive in to who they are, have they found their real passion in life. Usually that is not hard to discover because by the time they come to the table with me they are so seduced by the company they already have an idea within themselves on how they can help. It just becomes more of like soul mates joining forces to make the dream happen.
  • I am humble and have learned the power in being humble. We all learn from each other and even the smartest person in the world can learn something new.
  • Unlike leaders I have worked with in the past, I am a very well balanced individual. I am analytical in addition to being creative. For example, I am an engineer, businessperson, professional photographer and professional designer. I believe I can do anything. My parents instilled confidence in me at a very young age. They made it possible for me to explore anything I wanted to do in life. I have been able to tap into a lot of different professional spaces and it has helped in the development and creation of the company. Most people with my background are introverts but I’m lucky in the sense I enjoy being social with individuals as well as teaching young talented individuals deep, thought provoking imagination and information trading to ignite the passion they have within. To this regard I have been told I am a fantastic motivator. Motivating others is nothing I have to try hard to do, it comes natural.
  • Giving back is a part of who I am as a human being. I strongly believe in people giving back and encourage people on my team to do the same. We all must stir up humanity in our lives as that is part of the reason for our existence. The more we tap into humanity the more we can look into the mirror and understand the good we all have inside and the bad about ourselves. We all have to start with ourselves. If you tap into enough of humanity it transforms your thinking and provides a glimpse into the real purpose of life. It can be like drinking a tall cold glass of ice water and thinking to yourself “man that was good, I did not even know I needed that.”
  • Community is the entire world not just one block or one neighborhood. We’re all one, we all have the same problems and somehow we all need to work together to fix them. There are hidden treasures in diversity and the more diverse your team you will see the most profound and interesting ideas surface. It’s like putting together a very intricate puzzle. All the pieces have a unique shape and characteristic of their own. Once you are able to put all the pieces together you can see the portrait it was designed to be, a masterpiece.

What is your mission statement?

Selfiepay Holdings Inc.’s mission is to innovate, inspire and encourage unique human connections in one community, impacting diverse cultures around the world.

The passion in what we do is rooted from what we love, which is to provide a platform engine that is fueled by service and our ability to focus to meeting the needs of our users. Our aim is to utilize mobile technology to make distribution and task more efficient, digital assets monetize-able and processes more seamless for the end user.

We encourage teaming in everything we do, including our engagement with partners, sponsors, users, and others that will contribute to the business. Time has been spent to understand the needs of social networkers so we may strive to provide a quality experience gaining users commitment to our brand. We are a “love” brand and we’re here to ensure we provide all that you love to see in the experiences we offer.

What three skill sets are critical for the future executive that you hire for your organization?

Our core competencies are the following which will attract those that will support them:

  • Naturally creative and have the ability to adapt to change
  • Analytical thinkers and the ability to come up with unique ways of solving problems
  • Quick on your feet thinkers and able to train or teach others

How does having an advanced degree benefit you and your clients?

Life is truly the best teacher anyone can have and leveraging the things you can apply in real life situations are important. Education is important, everything you learn in school you will be able to use and need. Being able to quickly go through your rolodex of information stored from networking in the real world is a science. Having the ability to apply lessons learned to problem solve is a real skill that can only come from real life experiences. I have been able to do that quickly with the all the degrees and teachings helped me to make it to this place. My background is rather extensive, and commonly do not to talk about it because I know there are many successful people who learned from the school of hard knocks and have taught me so much on my journey. My educational history is the following:

  • S. in mechanical engineering from Tuskegee University
  • S. in nuclear engineering from University of Missouri of Columbia
  • MBA in finance and strategy from Washington University Olin School of Business and Studied abroad at Imperial College in London
  • Earned design credits at a professional design school called Portfolio Center as a Professional Designer and almost completed shy of 10 credit as I went on to participate in an Accelerator Program in Silicon Valley supported by Andreessen Horowitz and Google Venture Startup
  • Attended Advance Business Studies at Tuck University in Dartmouth
  • I’m also a certified Master Black Belt in Lean Six Sigma

How do you utilize technology to benefit your organization?

Technology is essential to any organization. I think the use of phones, Skype, social media, biometric data, Chats are all technology that has made our lives easier and able to collaborate within the work environment.

I believe in a paperless environment, emails, clean and current websites and the ability to use technology as a transparent vehicle to connect with others you work with. It is also a small way to support green initiatives that help save our world.

At no time do I think any barriers should be in the way of people connecting with each other 24/7

Finish the sentences:

Team work is important because …

It is the rock of the movement of a vision and the foundation necessary to complete a mission.

The best way to recruit great talent is …

The best way to recruit is to dangle an innovative, sexy and original product offering and the talent will come running to you, not you to it.

Speaking a second language is important because …

The world is so diverse and everyone should be equipped to be enabled to conduct business across borders at any time.

What social media platforms do you engage in the most?

I use to be active on Facebook, twitter but I have not as I have been so focused on completion of our products. Now that were about complete I plan to engage in all forms of social media: Facebook, twitter, Instagram, snap chat, vine and our own social networking platform that is being released “derbywire.com.”

 We have created a social networking platform that will allow users to monetize their digital goods as well as allow creative people sell their merchandise. It has been a long time coming but now we have made it. Social media will be a big part of our culture and it will allow employees to utilize the platform to make money through other creative means while as an employee of the company.

What professional organizations do you support?

As any new company we have had our challenges during the development of our product working to stay consistent with being involved in many professional organizations, but I support the local homeless shelter in downtown Atlanta and Homeless Veterans. I enjoy participating in mission trips to help severely impoverished children and many other organizations. My secret sauce to helping others is identifying a group, tapping into the root of the problem and coming up with a sustainable plan to really help to avoid the pitfall of individuals being in the same situation after you have helped. We will give back as a company and in a huge way as we continue to grow.

Describe your networking style.

I approach people and begin conversations quit easily. I give the individual my undivided attention for the most part. I am very strategic in my networking style as I like to get around the room to get to know everyone, but as I identify strategic relationships and spend more time with those I can create alliances with.

If you were giving a graduation speech to college students, what would the title of your speech be and give three reasons for that title.

Purposed Rain [Isaiah 46:11]

  • You have to put forth effort to tap into understanding your purpose
  • Purpose has dependencies
  • Purpose is not about the breath of your life but more about the depth and impact you will have on others live

Name your two favorite vacation destinations to relax and recharge and explain why you like them.

I have traveled a lot of different places in my lifetime so far. From London, Prague, Paris, Milan… I love traveling and seeing new places and meeting new people. Dubai is one place I would love to vacation. Bora Bora and Santorini would also be a good place as I love blue water ocean views and being around serene and peacefulness.

What are you reading and what are your two favorite books?

My favorite book of all times is the bible as it is my daily guide and inspiration. I run through a lot of books just by the shear nature of work I do and always having to search for certain information or knowledge I may need so I do not have another favorite.

Name three business or political leaders who inspire you.

  • Sheryl Sandburg, chief operating officer (COO), of Facebook. You have to be a beast of a woman in business to survive in the tech space and she has proven women belong in the tech field.
  • Warren Buffet because he is a conservative Billionaire that is grounded and stays centered.
  • Martin Luther King because of his tenacity for trying to impact poverty and utilize the vehicle of diversity in his mission.

Favorite sports team and hobbies?

My favorite team is the Houston Rockets. I’m a fan of James Harden.

I kind of stumbled upon design or you can say it stumbled upon me and I love it. I love design and have been able to discover I’m pretty good at it, from designing typography, brand concepts, magazine covers, business concepts, for example, something as simple as a packaging for a perfume bottle, environmental design of restaurant and hotel concepts, jewelry, shoes, fashion, and putting together style portfolios. My first AHA moment was when I won best year in design from an organization in London called the D&AD.org competing across over 50 countries. I won best design of an environmental design concept I did for the Holiday Inn Hotel by redesigning how hotel rooms are designed along with the redesign of the brand logo and also recommending the use of fingerprint recognition technology to check in to your hotel room. I was told by veterans that have been in the design world that most people that have been in the design field for years have never received that award. Somethings I have done has had prestige attached to it and I may be in the mist of it and not know or realize it until later. Sometime its good things happen that way because it is not on my mind that I have to do well. Design is a great stress relieving hobby for me.

When I was in college people use to also ask me to go shopping with them to help them put things together because they loved my taste. Design is definitely something I love to do, I have a natural ability to conceptualize original ideas and it’s clearly a strength.

Favorite quotes that motivate you?

“All your dreams can come true, if we have the courage to pursue them.” – Walt Disney

“What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us. – Henry S. Haskins

“Don’t look for big things, just do small things with great love.” – Mother Teresa

Quote I believe. This is from me.

“Love is your sword and faith is your shield”. – Sharron Battle

Visit selfiepay at www.selfiepay.co and find them on Linkedin.com/SharronBattle, Twitter: selfiepay, Facebook: selfiepay and Instagram: selfiepayapp.

Munson Steed
Munson Steed

Founder and publisher of rolling out's parent company Steed Media Group.



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