Chandra Diggs Small
President and CEO, Core National Foundation for Women and Families, Inc.
MY GREATEST STRENGTH
My greatest strength is the ability to discern talent in others. I pride myself on recognizing that talent, and planning programs that are mutually beneficial to the team and the business.
I am inspired by my three grandsons. Dylan, the eldest, has a burning desire to start and build businesses. My middle grandson, Ethan, is funny and very compassionate regarding the needs of others. And the youngest, Aidan, in spite of his disabilities, barrels forward fearlessly, facing each day with a huge smile on his face. They bring me so much joy, and challenge me to stay physically fit just to keep up with them.
HOW I MOTIVATE OTHERS
I listen to what they have to say and help them focus on what they are passionate about. I’ve seen how our staff excels when they get to do work they love. A life lived with no passion is a life not lived at all.
OUR GREATEST CHALLENGE
The greatest issue facing the African-American community today is the lack of commitment to nurturing and growing strong families. Family is the foundation of everything we do as humans. A solid family support system builds confidence and strengthens our young people to become leaders in the community and around the world.
I’ve always had a heart for low-income women and the families they support. I started helping poor families when I was ten years old by feeding and bathing neighborhood kids that had no running water in their home. My heart hurts for people when I see them hurting—and I have to take action.
Fear will always be there. Everyone has fears. It is the courageous person that moves forward in the face of fear.
I start each day with a spiritual commitment to accomplish what God has set before me. Then I commit ten hours a day, six days a week to my work. The rest of the time is for family and rest ONLY.
I’ve learned that I am no different than others who have a heart for helping others. Courage is built through time and challenge. True leadership is developed through time and challenge.
Imagine where you want to be in twenty-five years and write down a strategy for how to get there. Be prepared for plans to change, but have faith in your higher power that you are on the right path.