Diane Paddison is the founder of 4Word, a non-profit organization dedicated to serving professional Christian women. She is also Independent Director at the Stan Johnson Company, Harvard Business School Christian Fellowship Alumni Association, and Behringer Harvard Opportunity REIT II, as well as a member of the National Advisory Board for the Salvation Army.

Diane joins Jared Siegel to discuss her career journey, preparing children for the working world, and 4Word’s mission.

Tune in here, at delapcpa.com/podcast, or wherever you listen to podcasts:

Here are a few highlights from Jared's conversation with Diane Paddison:

  • Jared asks Diane how she gets clarity on priorities despite having so many commitments. “It comes down to soul-searching and figuring out what's important to me,” she responds. “My family has always been my top priority, and even in the contracts of some of my jobs, I negotiated how much I would be willing to travel. There are a lot of things I did to set boundaries to stay focused, but it was a constant learning process.”
  • Diane talks about the fulfillment she experienced in various stages of her career. She shares insights about her time at Trammell Crow Company; how she started, how she moved up, her accomplishments at the organization, and when she decided to move forward.
  • “One of the things I learned the hard way was that it’s critical to have the right people in the right seats; if you don’t, you need to make changes fast and not allow them to linger,” Diane says. “Another lesson that I learned is that it makes a huge difference when people understand that you care about them.”
  • Diane shares advice for parents. “Make sure your daughters and sons play team sports, because it teaches them how to work in a team environment, and that’s important in the business world. Debate is a great place for your kids to learn and build confidence in their communication. And finally, get your daughters engaged in something competitive, especially if they have to work with boys. It enables them to feel comfortable no matter what gender the person they’re working with is.”
  • Jared asks Diane what her experience was like being the only woman on a C-suite board. “I just had this confidence [because of my mother’s support] and my faith was a big part of it. But it really spurred a desire within me to help other women grow in their God-given potential with confidence because I knew that I was not the only one that should be in that room,” she replies.
  • Part of the reason Diane founded 4Word was that she didn’t like the fact that a lot of companies weren’t allowing people to bring their full selves to work. She was blessed to be granted that opportunity at Trammel and sought to help other women get the support she did. “Our vision is to grow a global community of Christian women in the workplace,” she adds.