205: Lee Hews on Leading with Action
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Lee Hews, founder of Current Publishing & Maine Women Magazine has logged 30 years on the Maine publishing scene. Lee believes that outstanding local content, great design and fabulous art will build a strong and loyal readership, while providing the best environment for the advertising customer. Lee, a Maine woman for more than half her life is a Mom to four strong Maine women and mentor to countless others. She received an Executive MBA from Suffolk University in 2013.
Playing Small Moment
Lee has always been a hard worker who wanted to incorporate herself into the business and as much managerial decisions as possible, to the point of often doing her boss’s work. A colleague of Lee’s pointed out one day that she was performing all of the work without the title, recognition or proper pay. Lee laughed it off at the time, giving the credit to her manager, but this statement forced her to really see what was happening. Within the next year, Lee was promoted to general manager and a year later had started her own company.
The Wake Up Call
Lee found herself in a place of nonstop work, keeping up the building momentum, until one day she was ready to sell. Lee had discussed the idea of selling with her family, and knew it was the right thing to do, but was leery. Lee wasn’t giving up, and she didn’t want it to be perceived as that. She didn’t want to disappoint her employees, partners, or their readers. Lee’s wake up call was realizing that this sale would be the best way for her to grow, and to continue to grow the products she had created. Lee made the call to the people she wanted to buy, and the sale took place 10 months later.
Style of Leadership
Lee is the publisher; she brings it all together. Lee leads by example in her role. She works very hard—is creative and passionate—and she expects everyone working with her to be productive. Lee stands by her view, “We all have to produce, we can’t just talk about it.”
What Are You Excited About?
Lee is just as passionate as ever about the work she is doing with Maine Women Magazine. The magazine has been in the market for 10 years, but was recently relaunched as a glossy publication. It keeps keeps getting bigger and better and they get more excited with each issue. Maine Women Magazine is also involved in three upcoming expos and sponsoring a wide range of women’s events and panels.
Biggest Leadership Challenge
Patience is Lee’s biggest leadership challenge. She has never been particularly patient, so she is learning to be patient with the process. Lee believes that you have to be patient with people all around you. Another leadership challenge Lee has faced is always trying to find the right people to work with.
Lee is very adamant in her ability to reconsider. If you are on a course, or are set on an idea or a plan, you need to be able to step back and reevaluate, and feel good about pursuing a different path, even though you may have planned it out differently. Lee also believes in listening to yourself and others and always asking for advice and input.
Advice For Younger Self
Lee would advise her younger self to bee more patient. Also, to take time and understand what motivates each individual and learn what each person can bring to the table, as everyone can bring something different.
“It’s all about balance.” ~Lee Hews
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