Glenn Hall Photography

Account executive, Payment Plus, Inc.

Age: 34

Education: University of Kentucky, Gatton School of Business - business marketing; University of Newcastle Australia, master's of business administration.

Some of Shoulta's professional accomplishments include:

n Finance manager, Stovesand Auto Group.

n Leadership Paducah Class #28.

n Top chamber volunteer for 2017 membership drive.

A few of the organizations she has been involved in:

n Paducah Young Professionals

n St. Thomas More Catholic Church

n CRCC Cycling Group.

What is the biggest challenge for a young leader in today's workplace?

Work-life balance, which has a different meaning for every individual, and every organization has different expectations from their team. Finding and defining that fine balance between commitment to your family, social and civic commitments and your work seems never to slow down. It comes down to open communication and clearly defining your career goals and what it will take to get where you want to be. It is about being honest with your family, your organization, and most importantly, to yourself.

What is one characteristic that you believe every leader should possess?

Empathy. Having and executing empathy helps a leader truly understand another person's point of view, how they are thinking and truly feeling. Empathy helps a leader communicate, teach, handle conflict, influence and negotiate. The routine practice of putting the well-being of others first is one of the most important qualities of a leader and has the largest effect on an organization, its culture, and ultimately achieving its goals and their client's goals.

What are you doing to ensure you continue to grow and develop as a leader?

Community. It is all about community. I truly believe in our community connection - it is about being a cheerleader and committed to going local. As we become more digitally connected we are becoming less physically and emotionally connected to the people and our sense of community. With the local chamber, PYP, and Payment Plus - I focus on working with and promoting local businesses and nonprofits. Getting involved and supporting each other other is the only way we will achieve success, growth, and ultimate happiness through connection.

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