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Success Secrets of 9 Top Leaders

(page 2 of 10)

Cheryl Kauhane Lupenui

Every so often, Cheryl Kauhane Lupenui, the president and CEO of the YWCA Oahu, takes mental inventory of her actions — or nonactions — by evaluating what conversations she’s tired of having with other people. Once she figures it out, she vows to either do something to resolve the situation or shut up about it once and for all.

In her mind, the path to leadership involves two major components: building relationships and accepting responsibility.

The latter has always been a breeze. However, training herself to think of tasks as social rather than solo responsibilities has been a bit more challenging.

“I’ve come to understand that it takes a whole community to raise a leader,” Lupenui says. “You have to always own your actions, but you also need to realize how important it is to build a strong support network to help you get where you want to be.”

That support network includes a loving husband who wakes up with her at 3:30 every morning for a workout. Another part of her daily regimen: a 3:30 p.m. power nap.

“As much as I value hard work, I also understand the importance of recharging,” she says, adding that the best leaders are the ones with the ability to bounce back and find their centers no matter what gets thrown their way.

With a schedule as jam-packed as hers — which, according to her assistant, is often fully booked a month in advance — Lupenui obviously has no problem rebounding.

“I’m always out meeting with people, forming connections, seeing how we can work together with other organizations and companies to create win-win situations,” she says. “That all goes back to the fundamentals of leadership — relationships and responsibility.”

Although she’s a self-proclaimed introvert, some of Lupenui’s colleagues describe her leadership style as that of an amiable driver.

“It means I like to be in charge, but I’m nice about it,” she says, laughing.

Her goal, she says, both personally and professionally, is to be pono in whatever she does. “I want to give my best self to all aspects of my life without sacrificing anything from any of them,” Lupenui says.

– SE

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Dec 30, 2008 09:58 am
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