If you haven't heard of The Mayfair Group yet, you're seriously missing out. Their brand mission is to build an online community through meaningful merch, uplifting content, and an empowering digital community.
One supporting member of The Mayfair Group that I particularly look up to, is Devonne Badelt, Chief Operating Officer.
From my time interning at The Mayfair Group in the fall of 2020, I met so many inspiring women who were not only incredible in their careers, but made it a priority to be great people as well. Being a part of a quickly growing, women-lead company is nothing to be taken lightly, and I appreciated every moment of it!
One characteristic that can't go unnoticed about Devonne, is her ability to take on leadership while still maintaining a big sister aura. Devonne's thoughts on leadership just might be the advice that you need to help you become the leader you've always wanted to be...
Devonne's main responsibilities as C.O.O. of The Mayfair Group include "spearheading long-term strategies, ensuring that the company remains in a healthy financial situation - including handling potential collaborations, planning budgets, confirming merchandise design", and the list goes on. When you wear as many hats as she does in one company, it's important to always stay grounded or else you won't be able to take on each day to the best of your abilities.
In and out of the office, staying grounded includes being your authentic self and celebrating the small victories. Devonne states that "[celebrating the small victories] is one of my favorite things - making sure that we're not only focusing on the big wins, but everything in between is just as important in gearing us in the right direction". Leadership isn't only about rewarding your team for its huge successes, but making sure that they know you're there for them throughout the whole process.
It's definitely true what they say that "great leaders aren't born, they're made", and they all learned it from somewhere. Whether you have just one person that you look up to, or you gain inspiration from a number of places, having a foundation of what good leadership is will always be useful later in life.
When it comes to leadership styles, Devonne takes on a transformational approach - meaning, she inspires others to be the best they can be, while developing valuable relationships with each team member. "There's really no mold for what a leader needs to be. I think what's so beautiful about this company is the humanistic side of the business and relating with one another as humans - supporting one another. Whether you're a woman or not, it's really about celebrating people and lifting them up to gain their own potential. That's where the core of Mayfair lies".
Leadership isn't all about leading a team to one specific goal, true transformational leadership involves more than that. It involves relating to your team in a way that they feel they can connect with you on a deeper level, gaining mutual respect for one another, and building each other up. "No matter if you're a C.E.O. or an intern, I feel like understanding people and being able to connect with people is a skill that will guide you to success no matter what you're doing". Devonne's main goal in her leadership role is human connection, something that we should all strive to have more of every day!
As you can probably tell by now, Devonne is earnest in her relationships, no matter if that means inside or outside of her career. Her relationships with those in her team at Mayfair are certainly no exception - she claims that "she's a huge fan of this team and it's the most incredible group of women she's ever worked alongside".
When leading her team, Devonne takes leading by example very seriously. "When I'm preaching to the team about a certain thing, if I'm not exemplifying it myself, I feel like it loses its credibility so I always try to check myself. If I'm ever getting worked up or feeling a certain way, I try to come back down to my core and remind myself why I do what I do. Purpose, above all else, is the biggest motivation behind everything we do [at Mayfair]". Leading by example can be taxing sometimes, especially when one of your goals is promoting mental health (something that the majority of us struggle with from time to time). However, when you're in a leadership role, your team will definitely appreciate when you practice what you preach on a regular basis.
When asked about how being a leader has changed the way she interacts with others on a daily basis, Devonne answered: "Truthfully, I feel like how I interact with people hasn't necessarily changed but I gained more awareness about relationships and human connection. It's more about trying to understand one another so that I can better cater my managerial skills towards their needs and how they best communicate. I've gained [more insight] on who my audience is so that I can lead them better based on their own needs". Devonne also went on to state how, from personal experience, she noticed that the best leadership comes from communicating with her team the way that they understand best, not her own personal needs.
In essence, being a powerful leader means putting your team and their needs before your own - this way, you are ensuring that your team has the tools needed to perform to their greatest potential. Being a transformational leader not only means that you are leading your team well in the workplace, but you are inspiring them to be better people in their personal/daily lives as well. The foundation of Mayfair is built on human connectivity, and with this, you can work on creating stronger relationships that will last you a lifetime.
"Be strong therefore, and let not your hands be weak: for your work shall be rewarded"
2 Chronicles 15:7
-- Faith Blackshear