Darlene Templeton, winner of the 2018 Gene Barnwell Waugh Mentor Award, embodies the spirit of this award – she has given selflessly to others, providing advice, support, and wisdom for over 30 years. We recently talked with Darlene about life, career, and her AMAZING Women Alliance. This is a group of AMAZING, fabulous, talented, and high achieving women that are focused on supporting, inspiring and motivating each other to have a bigger impact in the world.

What inspires you and why?

I am inspired by people who are passionate! They are in service to others, are truly making a difference and having an impact on others around them. If we find our passion, we have more energy, we are more creative, we love our work, we are happier and our passion is contagious to everyone around us! Then we are empowering others to be more successful and achieve their dreams!

This year, Banner Brunch is about the power of sisterhood. Your organization, Amazing Women Alliance, embodies this theme. Tell us how you have been able to create such a successful community of women supporting women? 

My passion has always been working with women and I so believe in the power of sisterhood!  I have been very blessed to have so many amazing and wonderful women in my life and on my journey with me! I would not be doing what I am doing today, without what I learned from each of them, their support and their help! My dream was to be give back and to share with other women all the experiences, both personally and professionally, that I had along my journey!

My vision was to create a community or “tribe” of women where all women feel safe, can be vulnerable, feel supported, be mentored and can be their authentic self.  Through this community, they have the opportunity to grow their leadership skills and their careers and business! I had a purpose, a plan and was passionate about my dream! With my trusted tribe, over coffee, collaboration, brainstorming, much laughter and a few tears, the AMAZING Women Alliance was launched!

I have brought together a team of strong, authentic, heart centered, and talented women leaders who are as passionate as I am about supporting, developing and empowering the other women in our group! It’s our goal to continue to provide a community where we pay it forward, everyone grows, both personally and professionally and we all achieve our goals!

One of my favorite quotes is “Alone we do so little, together we do so much” – Helen Keller

What advice do you have for others who may be trying to bring their own creation to life?

My best advice is to be really clear on “why” you are doing this, what your purpose is, and develop your vison and your goals! Get your “trusted tribe” together so that you can brainstorm, create, collaborate and develop your action plans, set your plan in motion and START taking action.

The best leaders practice a form of leadership that is less about creating followers and more about creating other leaders. As a mentor, how do you do that?

When you are a mentor, it’s about sharing your experiences, your skills and being in service!  I believe very strongly that mentors must maintain the “servant leadership” attitude, and provide a high level of value, and then we will create leaders, not followers!