I inspire through empathy, fostering growth by embracing diverse journeys without judgment, recognizing the potential within each unique path.
Why do you believe honoring achievement is important?
Recognizing and uplifting progress is a great way to encourage growth and prosperity. Good work should be celebrated and those behind the efforts deserve to be honored for their contributions. Especially in the business community, where innovation and drive are critical to success, it’s important to recognize those who are contributing to moving our state forward.
Arizona is quickly becoming the gateway to America’s economy, with more and more businesses, both large and small, coming to the state. Many of them are doing cutting-edge, revolutionary work that should be replicated nationwide. By elevating the people and voices of these companies, we are setting an example for others to follow.
Honoring achievement helps bring attention to the things that make us stronger and set the path forward for an accessible and inclusive economy. There are so many business leaders exemplifying how to create an Arizona for everyone, and they deserve recognition.
What insights have you gained in your career that would inspire others?
I have learned that there will always be naysayers and people who want to see me fail; more importantly, I’ve learned not to let them get to me — something much easier said than done. By centering myself around my values and the reasons I chose leadership in the first place, I’m able to stay focused on my mission, continue to deliver for Arizonans and tune out the distractions.
What can we do — now — to make a difference for young people/women in Arizona?
I’m proud to be the fifth woman governor of Arizona. I’m also proud that more than half my senior staff are women. I wouldn’t be able to do this work without them. But we need to bring more women into leadership positions, and we need to do this through intentional mentorship. By giving women a seat at the table now, we can ensure an equitable future for younger generations.
But just having a seat at the table isn’t enough. Young people and women need to be active participants in the overall operations of a team. That means trusting them to oversee departments, empowering them to execute plans, and taking their opinions seriously when evaluating current and future decisions.
Having a wide array of perspectives is a strength and will help improve operations and productivity. When we truly listen and trust people, we make a better future for all of us.
In A Few Words
- What was the last course, certification or training you took to improve yourself professionally? The Center for Progressive Leadership’s Leadership Fellows Program
- What would you say is a single characteristic OTHERS might attribute to you that defines your success? Fearless
- What is the one thing you feel you could work on professionally to be a greater success? Focus
- What is the one professional skill you have that has gotten you where you are today? Collaboration
- What is the single greatest issue facing Arizona today? Continuing our economic growth — and to do that, we must take common sense steps to secure our water future, build more affordable housing and invest in building a world-class workforce.
I’m a lifelong Arizonan, social worker and public servant. Beginning as a volunteer at my church and continuing as a social worker and chief compliance officer at one of the largest domestic violence centers in the U.S., my life’s focus has been to help others to gain security, to be heard and to create better lives — and it’s been my honor to have been recognized with dozens of awards for my service.
With more than a decade in government, I spent eight years in the Arizona Legislature, including two terms as senate minority leader. As Arizona’s secretary of state, I forcefully defended the votes and voices of every single Arizonan. Now, I’m proud to serve all Arizonans as governor. I’ve used my first eight months to move the needle forward on some of our biggest challenges and I will continue bringing people together to build an Arizona for everyone.
Katie Hobbs is Governor for the State of Arizona.