IRIS Women in Leadership: Felicia Wynne (VP of Operations)
Felicia Wynne, VP, Operations
Born and raised in Pensacola, FL Felicia is a graduate of The University of West Florida where she earned a bachelor’s degree in Organizational Communications, a minor in Information Technology, and a Certificate in Leadership.
Felicia joined the IRIS team in 2016, leading external and internal operations. Felicia has worked as an Operations professional for over a decade with responsibilities in several areas including project/program management, customer contracts, interdepartmental communication, goal alignment, employee engagement, customer service, and service recovery.
Her commitment to excellence through process improvement and employee engagement initiatives aided in her previous company’s designation as one of the top 25 Best Small and Medium Companies to Work for in America from Great Place to Work® and Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award recipient.
Felicia volunteers her time by speaking to local organizations and leadership groups on process improvement, leadership, and time management.
Define a great leader. What are some traits you think great leaders possess?
“Great leaders don’t settle. I think the best leaders are self-aware, understand their own strengths, and leverage their team to fill the areas of their weaknesses. No one person is great at everything.
A quote on leadership that resonates with me ‘The most successful people these days not only need to be great at what they do—they need to be great learners. They need to know what they don’t know and be willing to work hard to learn it,’ Quint Studer.”
What are some strategies that can help women achieve a more prominent role in an organization?
“Be a self-starter. If you want a more prominent role in an organization, take the initiative to understand that role and then, develop your skills accordingly. You have to be proactive. Take pride in your work, don’t just check boxes to get it done. Put in the time to make it great.”
What’s one leadership lesson you’ve learned in your career?
“It’s about a blend, not a balance. Meetings and presentations, errands and appointments, conference calls and research, laundry and dinner, children and pets—they’re all threads in the fabric of this little thing called life.
I spent many years searching for an equal balance between a professional and personal life. A great mentor taught me that striving for that 50/50 balance would be a never-ending battle and that I’d always be left disappointed and exhausted.
When you strive for that perfect balance and you don’t achieve it, you can feel as though you are failing at both. Instead, approach work/life as a blend. There are times when my professional career requires more of me and other times when my personal life as a wife, mother, sister, aunt, etc. requires my energy and time.
Work-life blend doesn’t mean that everything is happening at the same time, all the time. It’s about finding a way to fit together the important pieces in a way that makes sense to you.
This approach has changed me in many ways and I now have a sense of fulfillment in both aspects of life.”
What advice do you have for women aiming for leadership positions?
“Communicate your interests to your leader and ask for feedback on your performance as well as a development plan to get you there. Not everyone wants a leadership role. Some people are content with the roles they have and every organization needs both to operate successfully. It’s important to make it known if leadership is what you want and be proactive about getting there.”
Who inspired you and why?
“My mom. She’s always been a full-time worker and yet found a way to make every practice/game for both my brother and me in addition to making dinner every night. We share a love of office products and organizations. To this day she still works full-time while also helping my dad manage his small business. I have always considered her to be our very own superwoman. Also, Debbie Ritchie, who is the president of Studer Group. She is not only a phenomenal corporate leader but an awesome mom, friend, mentor, etc.”
Do you have any other advice for success?
“Communication is key. Communication around what you want to do, where you want to be, where you feel your strengths are, and where your weaknesses are. Develop your areas of weakness and become as well-rounded as possible.”
Keep a lookout for the next in our installment of powerful women in leadership roles! In the meantime, check out our blog for more news and insights on our team.
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