PODCAST: Episode 12 – Maria Jimenez-Lara Interview

Maria Jimenez-Lara is the CEO of the Naples Children & Education Foundation, founders of the Naples Winter Wine Festival (January 27-29, 2017), which supports effective, disciplined charitable programs that significantly improve the physical, emotional and educational lives of underprivileged and at-risk children in Collier County, Florida.

Running such an incredible organization, which helps tens of thousands of at-risk children, is no easy task. Maria Jimenez-Lara shares with Heather some of her leadership methods.

For example, Maria practices the Franklin Covey method of goal setting, whereby one starts with the end goal in mind in order to align your other goals, steps and activities. On a monthly or even daily basis, Maria checks in on whether she is working towards her goals, which she describes like a football game, moving the ball down the field. This also requires a constant re-setting of priorities, which can be the most difficult part of setting goals. How does Maria find the necessary alone time? At home, it can be waking up a little bit earlier than the rest of her family or at the office, “Sometimes it is as easy as closing the door.”

When it comes to leadership, Maria’s most effective strategies are communication and building relationships. Being an effective communicator for Maria means not being afraid to ask for clarity. It builds trust and forces you not to rush through everything, which can save conflicts and time. And when it comes to building relationships, be genuine.

Like many people, it is important that she understands her personal internal mission. For Maria, it is doing what is best for kids. Having clarity about your personal mission is important for many reasons. Maria says that this can help decision making become a little easier when you know your purpose.

But for many people, defining a personal internal mission is difficult. Maria suggests starting by asking yourself one simple question: What is it that you like to do?

Maria-Jimenez-Lara-036-r_highresYou can connect with Maria and her organization, the Naples Children & Education Foundation, at the upcoming Naples Winter Wine Festival (January 27-29, 2017). Click here to find out how you can get tickets: http://www.napleswinefestival.com/
You can also find out more about the Naples Winter Wine Festival on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.