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Photography by Erin O. Smith / Kim Shumpert, chief executive officer of the Chattanooga Women's Leadership Institute, talks about her role at CWLI and what the nonprofit does in February 2019 at the Edney Building.

Kim Shumpert, chief executive officer of the Chattanooga Women's Leadership Institute since 2018, has worked in the public, private and nonprofit sectors over the past two decades in a variety of jobs from marketing a construction company to raising money for Bethel Bible Village. A common thread through her career has involved equipping people for success.

What books have you read and recommended to others that influence your leadership style?

There are two instrumental books I have relied on throughout my career. I have often had the pleasure of being involved in complete change management inside organizations. The tenets of "Leading Change" by John P. Kotter have withstood the test of time. His strategies for scaffolding new knowledge and applying Bloom's Taxonomy to achieve higher-order thinking truly lead organizations through adopting difficult but necessary changes. Kotter recognizes what all great educators know, that people need to embrace large-scale change in biteable sizes. The second book that has withstood the test of time was a book I read as a first-time executive director. Though it was published in 2006, "The Effective Executive" by Peter Drucker has helped me identify the difference between "doing things right" and "doing the right things." Drucker is the definitive leader on training strong leaders. While Drucker helped me as an individual, Kotter helped me scale to the larger organizational constituency. My personal copies are worn from reading and underlining. I often recommend these to emerging leaders or anyone who is navigating personal or career changes.

What books have you recently read for pleasure that you're telling others about?

My good friend Stacy Johnson, executive director of La Paz, gifted me "Atlas of the Heart" by Brené Brown for Christmas. I just started reading this book but I can already tell it is hitting me right where I need at a time that I need it most. The best part, though? Stacy and I are planning to read it together and discuss it as partners leading social impact in Chattanooga. I'm excited to see how it influences our year of leading throughout 2022.

What is next on your to-read list?

The next book I read will be something fictional. I escape best in fiction, and I find rest through storytelling. Ideally, my husband and I will be able to travel somewhere and listen to something together. We used to do this more when we were younger, and I'd like to see us do more of it in 2022.

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