By EMILY MCGEE
Leadership development can turn a business into a tight-knit culture of co-workers working together to create values, goals and ideas to help the company succeed in
multiple areas of business.
Stephanie Shackelford has successfully implemented leadership aspects into the two
companies she works for, helping them realize their values and goals through leadership development in communication.
“I think leadership is the key to successful businesses,” said Shackelford.
Her success has helped other companies realize how important leadership development
is in a business and how it can take a suffering business with no culture and help them thrive.
Why She Chose This Career
Shackelford graduated from Vanderbilt University with an undergraduate degree in human and organizational development and a graduate degree in organizational leadership, also from Vanderbilt. She chose this degree because she could see how
leadership theories played out in the business world. Although she thought she would be working for a nonprofit organization upon graduation, she ultimately found a job with Element3sixty,which trains students for the business world and provides internships, as well as a job with Roam Atlanta, a company that provides meeting facilities.
She said an executive coaching course she took in college influenced her decision to be a leadership developer. This taught her how to be an executive leader and coach businesses and organizations on how to implement leadership development into their practice.
“It’s helped me apply everything I’ve learned and everything I’m passionate about,”
Shackelford is the organizational director for Element3sixty and the director of talent and
culture development at Roam Atlanta. She does everything from A to Z for Element3sixty since it is a start-up company. For Roam, she heads the culture development and helps to coach its employees.
Benefits of Leadership Development
Leadership development helps staff members find their passions and strengths and allows
them to apply the talents they have to every-day work. Shackelford is at these two companies to do just that for them.
“I think my leadership development activities have really enhanced the communication within the organization,” said Shackelford.
A staff member at Roam, Jessica Bernardo, explained that she feels Shackelford’s work
to create and define the culture at Roam has greatly increased the communication among employees and helped the company grow in a positive direction.
“If you yourself are a great leader, you will communicate the company’s purpose to
employees, and leadership development enables you to carry out that purpose beyond your reach,” said Bernardo.
Shackelford said she believes implementing leadership development into an organization is very critical for an organization because it helps build up leaders of the next generation. She emphasizes that companies need to be very intentional on developing all their employees to become leaders so that if someone were to step down from his or her position, another qualified candidate can fill those shoes.
Before Shackelford stepped in as organizational director for Roam, the culture was
almost non-existent and company values were not defined, according to Shackelford. Now that she has helped with its leadership development and defining the company culture, Shackelford believes that Roam is able to better focus on its goals and values.
Leadership development can completely change a company for the better. If a company hires a leadership developer to come in and focus on company culture, strengths,
goals, and values, it will thrive in more ways than one.
Helping students and adults realize their strengths and passions in life based on leadership development has given Shackelford what she said was an immense sense
of accomplishment and achievement.