Some people set out to become leaders; others naturally become them. Patty Funk is the latter. She joined Marco 33 years ago as an administrative assistant before moving into marketing and eventually becoming vice president.
As she retired recently, I reflected on her humble journey. She was not the traditional leader and that’s what makes her worth following.
She had a successful career at Marco by being herself and not trying to fit a mold of what people may think leaders should be.
She demonstrated that leadership takes multiple forms.
- Instead of pursuit, Patty brought perseverance. Rather than asking for promotions and seeking credit, she let her contributions and teamwork speak for themselves. She retired at the top of her field by focusing each day on how her work could make a difference.
- Instead of boldness, Patty brought a calming presence of positivity. That’s not because she was without challenges or adversity. She chose to remain optimistic and it was infectious.
- Instead of taking command, Patty brought humility and a genuine desire to hear people. She rarely was the first to speak; she listened to what was being said and what wasn’t before sharing her perspective.
- Instead of only a leadership perspective, Patty brought empathy and the ability to see situations as an employee. That helped our leadership team be more effective in how we made and communicated decisions.
- Instead of independence, Patty brought interdependence. She sought out mentors and paid close attention to opportunities to improve her own competencies. She wasn’t afraid to talk about what she didn’t know and kept learning new skills throughout her career. She surrounded herself with talent and recognized the value of each person and the collective team.
She earned trust and respect across our company because of her work and the way she treated people — not because of a title. Patty has been a mentor to many — myself included — without realizing it.
I know how much she enjoyed her work here at Marco. I hope she enjoys her retirement even more. I’m sure she’ll still get up early. But now, I hope she slowly sips on her coffee and simply smiles….
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