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7 Questions on Leadership with Renee Budden

Name: Renee Budden

Title: Alliance Director

Organisation: Oracle

Renee is an Alliance Director for Oracle and serves as the Chief Executive Officer of InvestInYou317. Prior to these roles Renee has served as a Junior Executive at a Fortune 500 company and as a practicing attorney. Renee is also an experienced mediator who served on the mediator panel of Dispute Mediation Service (DMS). During her tenure with DMS Renee taught conflict resolution skills to at-risk youth and business professionals involved in union negotiations.

Renee is a published author, lyricist, and noted speaker. She believes each person has a unique gift inside of them and a unique destiny that only they can fulfill. Renee is passionate about helping people identify and achieve the uniqueness within. Renee is an engaging speaker. Throughout the years she has motivated people to change course or pursue their dreams, goals, and what once seemed impossible. Renee has done this on the individual level, small group level, and to crowds of hundreds.

Thank you to the 2,000 leaders who’ve generously done the 7 Questions on Leadership!

I hope Renee's answers will encourage you in your leadership journey. Enjoy!


Jonno White

1. What have you found most challenging as a leader?

I have found motivating unmotivated people is my top challenge as a leader.

2. How did you become a leader? Can you please briefly tell the story?

I believe you are a leader every day of your life regardless of your status. I believe a title does not make you a leader it makes you a boss. I became a leader in elementary school. I was interviewed by my local paper for treating everyone the same and kindly regardless of ethnicity, economic status, gender, or race. To be interviewed about it shows how unique that perspective was in that community. I was leading by example even in elementary school.

I honed my leadership skills through volunteer positions, going through leadership development programs, and while leading. I continually grow, learn, and hone my leadership skills.

My first path to leadership, in my career, started when another leader said I believe in you, sponsored me out of their budget for a leadership development program, and gave me my first team. Boy did I stink as a leader in those first few roles. I apologize to those I grew up my leadership skills on and I thank you for your investment in me that helped shaped me into the leader I am today.

3. How do you structure your work days from waking up to going to sleep?

As much as it depends on me, I start my day with quiet time. Then I take care of my spiritual needs and then I take care of my physical needs. I do not start with work, social media, news until my mind, body, and spirit have been taken care of.

I end my day with a check of my calendar and understanding my first few calls for tomorrow. This also reminds me to ensure I am prepared for those calls. I strive to get the minimum hours of sleep I need every night. For me to achieve this there is no TV, emails, or social media in bed. I put my phone on do not disturb and do not check again till morning. If it is urgent my teammates and leaders know to text me. They respect my boundaries and only text during out of office time if it is truly urgent.

I strive to get up from my desk and be active briefly ever hour. I strive to set aside learning time each day.

4. What's a recent leadership lesson you've learned for the first time or been reminded of?

Allow your team to bring their full selves to work. It can be scary to do that, however, the results can be remarkable. A reminder is there is more than one way to lead and get results.

5. What's one book that has had a profound impact on your leadership so far? Can you please briefly tell the story of how that book impacted your leadership?

Honor's Reward by John Bevere impacted my leadership more than any other. While the book has a spiritual tone, it talks about the importance of value and respect in how you treat others regardless of position or status. I highly recommend this book to anyone I mentor.

6. If you could only give one piece of advice to a young leader, what would you say to them?

Be yourself. Being yourself is the only thing you have to offer the company, your family, the community, and so on that is fully unique and highly valuable. When I have had the courage to do that me and my teams have achieved more than ever thought possible.

7. What is one meaningful story that comes to mind from your time as a leader, so far?

The meaningful story is the tapestry of several stories of helping individuals realize their goals, a better life, or helping someone who could not help me back. Being a leader has afforded me opportunities to help others achieve what was thought impossible. I am privileged & grateful to have the opportunity to lead.

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