Welcome to She Leads Podcast Season 5, Episode 15! This episode of She Leads Podcast features Tonya Thomas founder of Team Delegate. Tonya Thomas is a Pioneer, Virtual Assistant, and Writer who leads her life like the Boss she is. To hear Tonya’s take on leadership, listen to her interview as she discusses the importance of allowing looking at the bright side, being personable yet firm, and the necessity of organization for operational success.
Tonya Thomas Bio
Tonya Thomas is the Founder/CEO of Team Delegate, LLC a virtual assistant staffing company. She began her career in the virtual assistant industry in 2001 when she started The Small Office Assistant. While running her company as a solo entrepreneur, Tonya worked with many entrepreneurs from various industries, supporting them with travel, calendar management, email management, client care, and much more. In an effort to scale and grow her company, Tonya rebranded her business in 2015 and Team Delegate was born.
Tonya has become a leader in the virtual assistant industry, having been featured in Black Enterprise Magazine, Entrepreneur Magazine, and Inc. Magazine. She frequently writes about virtual assistance, delegating and productivity. Tonya currently resides in the Dallas, TX area with her husband and two sons.
Nicole Walker’s Interview Commentary
I really enjoyed this interview with Tonya and I hope you did as well.
I agree with Tonya’s viewpoint on the importance of having structure in place for our businesses to avoid issues, create consistency, and foster growth. As Tonya mentioned, knowing the When, How, and Why is pivotal to smooth operations. Organizational structure helps to boost employee creativity and performance, expand operations, improve decision making, increase sales, and streamline operations. Structure counteracts confusion, and confusion can prolong or misdirect the attainment of goals. To be effective structure is a must! A quote by James Cash Penney reads, “No business can succeed in any great degree without being properly organized”.
I admire Tonya’s longevity as an entrepreneur. Closing in on 20 years of working for yourself, is definitely a great achievement! I believe Tonya’s willingness to improve processes, personable nature, and business acumen all have a direct correlation to her many years as an entrepreneur. Tonya is also very fortune to have had a manager that also served as a mentor. I’m sure this also plays a part in her continued entrepreneurial success. A quote by Megan Hilty reads, I look at the people’s careers who I want to emulate, like Audra McDonald, Kristin Chenoweth, Bernadette Peters… They’ve all found the key to longevity in this business, and that is diversifying, doing as many things as possible to keep yourself relevant, and so hopefully I’m on the same track as all those amazing women.
I can relate to Tonya’s experience of not realizing she was a leader although she held a distinguished leadership role, as I experienced the same. Tonya didn’t see running her business as leadership and I didn’t see managing myself as leadership. Tonya’s realization of her role helps her make changes to lead her company better. My realization of my role helps me make changes to lead my life better. As with Tonya, once I realized my role as a leader I also reflected back to times where I displayed my leadership, yet didn’t realize. A quote by Steve Jobs reads, “Innovation distinguishes between a leader and a follower”.
Nicole Walker’s Takeaway of the Week
Tonya mentioned the importance of checks and balances within our business operations, to assist in avoiding issues and pitfalls. Tonya shared a story with us about a business venture she entered into, with a known and respected agency which ended up hurting her business while also teaching her a valuable lesson. During this experience Tonya operated in a Laisse Fair way, and as a result of this she lost a big business client.
I will make it my business to continue to add the structure needed for my business operations, as I aim to grow and scale. I know that structure is necessary for longevity, so I will make it my business to implement and update my organizational as needed.
A quote by Christina Scalise reads, “Organization isn’t about perfection; it’s about efficiency, reducing stress and clutter, saving time and money and improving your overall quality of life.”
Nicole Walker’s Leadership Challenge
My leadership challenge for you would be to think about the one thing you can take away from this episode and adopt into your life. I know it’s hard to absorb too much information at one time and it’s even harder to try and implement too many changes at once. When I attend a training or listen to podcasts I aim to walk away with a least one thing that stuck out to me and one way that I can change as a result. I challenge you to do the same!
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Thanks and until next time “Be Empowered and Empower On”!