125: Susan Morris on Perfect Being the Enemy of Done
Susan Morris is a condominium developer in Portland, Maine and Principal of NewHeight Group, a firm specializing in providing marketing, branding and business strategy to organizations developing new products and services or repositioning existing ones. Susan is a Maine Angel and actively engaged in Maine Startup and Create Week, Women Standing Together, TopGun and the House of Genius. She has built and exited from several businesses.
Prior to having her own businesses, Susan worked for 13 years for Marriott International. Susan is co-author of a college textbook, Hospitality Sales: A Marketing Approach and serves as a speaker, adjunct professor and facilitator.
Playing Small Moment
During her Marriott career, Susan was the account manager for very large accounts, handling all aspects of their development and strategies. The man who replaced her when she relocated to a new position packaged up her work, claiming it as his own, and teaching presentations about it all throughout Marriott. Looking back, she viewed her work as not fully complete and realized that a lot of women tend to do the same.
The Wake Up Call
There were two instances during her career with Marriott where Susan was up for a job against men, where she was the more qualified candidate that didn’t get the job. When Susan inquired why she was not chosen for the job, her boss informed her that the man was married and had two kids to put through college. Susan realized as you go higher in a company, there tends to be more people who think the same and they don’t like it when you challenge those thoughts.
Style of Leadership
Susan believes in rallying people to believe in her vision and see what their part is in that vision. She is an exceedingly verbal person and quite proactive in throwing out ideas, recognizing that it gives people a chance to react. Susan prides herself on being able to change her mind and be convinced to do so.
What Are You Excited About?
Susan is excited about a new condominium, Luminato, with a new theme of living light. This condominium will bring about new concepts of living and the idea that if you live in a bright space, you can live in a smaller space. They will be including new amenities, such as a guest room you would see in a hotel and a community room to do your work or hang out in. Something else that excites Susan is that there are more female buyers than male buyers now.
Susan is full of curiosity about the world and the people she gets to interact with. Her style can be described as what you see is what you get.
Book to Develop Leadership
Women Don’t Ask: The High Cost of Avoiding Negotiation–and Positive Strategies for Change, by Linda Babcock and Sara Laschever
Advice For Younger Self
There are many times when Susan has thought she could make the changes needed or make it happen before throwing in the towel, when she should have moved on sooner. Susan often lives by The Serenity Prayer, reminding herself to only change what she can.
“Do not follow where the path may lead, go instead where there is no patch and leave no trail.” ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson
“Stop me before I volunteer again.” ~ Susan Morris