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20 Questions - Posted November 25, 2016 10:34 a.m.
photo by Shannon Richardson

20 Questions with… Lisa Blake, Executive Director, Leadership Amarillo & Canyon/City Council Member

What is the best advice you received when you were beginning your career? Don't try to do it all!

How do you use social media to grow your network? As a means of connecting and showing my personal side. I am a Facebook junkie because it has helped me connect and reconnect with so many people in life. I also use LinkedIn for business purposes.

How do you maintain balance? I believe in striving for balance. Some days are better than others. I work very hard to make time for what's important to me: God, family, friends, church, career, community, downtime. I live by the calendar. I block off time on it for everything. Anything that is important to me gets put on the calendar. (Including rest!)

What has been your wisest investment? People.

How has your past work experience shaped you into a leader? Working with teams of people has provided such insight on business, relationships and people. Learning from others has enriched my life in so many ways and taught me what leadership should be. I can't imagine not learning everything I can from others. I have definitely learned how to listen and be mindful that life is not all about me – it's about others.

What is the best part about your job? Meeting a new group of individuals every year and educating them on our community’s successes and obstacles.

How has mentorship made a difference in your professional and private life? Mentorship is incredibly important. We all need honest feedback from someone we trust and admire. Mariwyn Webb, who passed away recently, was an incredible mentor for me. She taught me so much about business and life. My mother has also been a huge influence in my life. She always encourages me, believes in me, and prays for me.

Which living person do you most admire and why? Our daughters. They were in the foster care system for several years before coming to us. (We were foster parents before adopting them.) I know what they endured and the obstacles they had to overcome. I just can't imagine … Now, they are strong, caring and loving women who are excellent moms to their children, our grandbabies. I admire them so very much!

Which over-used word or phrase makes you cringe? “Awesome.” I am so tired of that word!

What is your business philosophy? To do what is right – always.

Which quality do you most value in an employee? Honesty.

What personality trait has most helped you succeed? The ability to interact well with people (also known as "woo" in Strengths Finder).

Who is your favorite author? Holly Gerth. Her books are incredible!

What did you learn from your best boss? I learned to be assertive and confident. Your worst? That leadership starts at the top.

How can Amarillo improve its business environment? Learn from past mistakes and learn to work together.

Most important tech tool: My iPhone. It has my calendar, notes, contacts, calculator, emails, phone numbers, etc. I would be lost without it!

Best time management tool: The calendar on my phone.

I can’t live without my: husband. He's my greatest supporter, a stabilizing force at home, encourager – my everything for 35 years now.

My favorite thing about Amarillo is: the generous and kind people.

Most unusual job or task: Being a gift wrapper. When I was 16, I wrapped gifts for a nice department store. This obviously was before we used gift bags. Everything was wrapped in a beautiful box with a lovely bow.

-- the AM Team

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