Spelman’s Dr. Paula Grissom-Broughton creating new leaders and new mindsets

Spelman's Dr. Paula Grissom-Broughton creating new leaders and new mindsets
Photo provided by Dr. Paula Grissom-Broughton

It takes highly motivated people to lead. It takes caring and thoughtful people, to nurture and extract the absolute brilliance out of someone. Dr. Paula Grissom-Broughton is that person. A motivational speaker, life strategist, educator and musician, Dr. Grissom-Broughton is the first alumna chair of the music department at Spelman College. Prepared to lead, she possesses the passion and desire to empower individuals to be their best selves.

Rolling out had the opportunity to discuss her role as a leader and as a sister with superpowers.

As a Black woman/woman of color, what do you consider your superpower to be?
As a Black woman, I consider my superpower to be enhancement and visioning. I have the ability to extract and develop the best skillsets from people, particularly with children, youth, and young adults. Also, I am able to assist others in actualizing their dreams and help them to develop action plans to achieve the needed goals.

What key skills or qualities make you unique as an African American female leader?
I’m an active listener and I am able to clearly communicate in ways that help others move towards with what they desire to do.

What thoughtful or encouraging piece of advice would you give to your younger self?
Mistakes are only lessons to help you get to the next step on this journey toward your destiny.

Why is it important for women of color to lead or work in leadership roles and decision-making capacities?
It is important for women of color to lead and work in leadership roles because there is a need to recreate and redefine the social narratives that have historically portrayed women of color in negative and demeaning manners.

If you could thank any Black woman history maker for her contributions to society, who would it be and why?
Mary Jane Patterson — the first African American woman to receive her college degree. She used her education to further help her own community of Black students. She was also quite active in fighting for the rights of Black women.

Why is it important for the more matured, seasoned and experienced Black women to reach back and help younger women of color?
Experienced Black women serve as examples of resilience, tenacity, and accountability to younger women of color. In order for this legacy to continue for generations and generations, it is important for experienced women to take the time to mentor younger women on the importance of sisterhood and uplifting one’s community.

How do you feel about the hashtag #CollaborationOverCompetition? What qualities or values do you deem indispensable in your business partners or collaborators?
Love the hashtag. Competition is based on a scarcity mindset. Collaboration is an abundance mindset. Collaboration is the key to building creativity. Collaboration is the spark for synergy. I value building strong relationships and using my resources to promote the success of others. By doing this creativity is nourished and new ideas are birthed.

What are your thoughts on taking risks? Making mistakes?
Taking risks is necessary for success. Taking risks pushes you out of your comfort zone. Taking risks stretches you. And if you make a mistake? Great! You’ve discovered something new about yourself.

What are three success habits you implement into your daily routine to maintain your success/sanity/peace of mind, etc.?
Speaking daily self-affirmations, finding a moment for prayer/meditation, keeping positive people around me.

As a successful woman in business, what is your greatest or proudest achievement?
My greatest and proudest achievement was becoming the chair of the Spelman College music department, the first alumna to hold this position.

Who is your biggest inspiration? Why?
My mother. She was a wife for over 60 years and mother of 11 children. She used her talents to start several businesses from her own catering services to her custom clothing business. She was my first example of what having your own business looked like.

If you could have any person in the world become your mentor, who would it be and why?
Michelle Obama. She epitomizes what it is to achieve your highest dreams while finding harmony between your professional life and your personal life.

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