Marsha Petrie Sue

CEO, Communicating Results, Inc.

My mission in life is to give back more than I’ve received and connect my head and heart with my mouth. I work on that statement every day through my public speaking, coaching, mentoring, and volunteering with many Arizona organizations.

Why do you believe honoring achievement is important?

Honoring achievement shows me that there are many people reaching out in our community to make it more robust, vibrant and inclusive. It makes me want to do more. When my dear friend, Linda Herold, received the Lifetime Achievement Honor, I saw how it lifted her and how proud she was of the endless hours she has spent bringing people together, including me, in our community. It made me happy to see her filled with esteem and overflowing with graciousness. Then, when another very dear friend, Kelly Zitlow, was in the spotlight as I am now, and I saw how thrilled she was, I felt happy for her. How wonderful that these amazing women and so many more are recognized for their achievements. 

I think honoring achievement also highlights the effect women have on our business community and the important role they continue to play. Letting people hear that their hard work has paid off, and that they are being recognized for it, is wonderful. We all have an emotional bank account. Honoring Achievement is a real deposit for each of the recipients. This award helps all participants and attendees feel “rich” and better about themselves and our community. 

What insights have you gained in your career that would inspire others?

Be more flexible by setting aside judgment and opinion. Keep an open mind and ask more questions. This is a skill and a capability of being willing to change. Being more flexible helps to not get stuck in a rut. Mark Twain said, “The only difference between a rut and a grave is the length and the depth.” Without flexibility, we are bound for a rut! 

Example: I wanted to remarry when I was transferred to Arizona in 1990. I had dated every weirdo because I had a “list” of what they needed to be. No flexibility. I threw the list away and decided to be more flexible. Joining a matchmaker brought me to meet Al Sue. I am a city girl. He is an outdoorsman. He drove a truck. I had never ridden in a truck. I had never camped. He camped. I did not own a pair of jeans. He did. So, we made a deal. Be more flexible. Fast forward 30 years: He now goes to the theater and opera with me, and I have applied to be one of the five Arizona Game and Fish Department commissioners. Flexibility has brought me great happiness!

What can we do — now — to make a difference for young people/women in Arizona?

Mentorships, volunteering and, especially, reaching out to young people during projects or events. For example: Working with Arizona Game and Fish conservation projects attracts up to 50 people, many of whom are younger. Engaging them in conversation, asking about themselves and their interests, career aspirations, and such. Focusing on them, not on what we want to discuss. 

In working with the Arizona Marine Corps Scholarship Foundation, offering free mentorship and coaching to the recipients, sharing best practices while determining what they want. Inviting young people to events to suit their interests and meeting them there. 

Example: I met a young woman in Colorado at an event and found out she was moving to Arizona. She contacted me when she arrived, we went to lunch, determined her interests and goals, and she now belongs to and volunteers for Arizona groups of interest. 

I’ve stepped up and volunteered to speak to groups of young people who have wanted to hear my “story.” In addition, learning what is topical for conversation with the younger set. Statistics tell us that 22% of the American population is Gen Y and they are very tech-savvy. Discuss diversity, life balance, sustainability, and being a global citizen. And smile!

About Me:

Founder of Communicating Results, Inc.; professional speaker; executive coach; best-selling author of The Reactor Factor, Toxic People, and The CEO of YOU. Previously an executive vice president with Westinghouse Financial Services (business turnaround). Received my MBA (magna cum laude). In addition, I am a certified administrator of Myers-Briggs Type Indicator Behavioral Assessment. I am also a conservationist volunteer (making Arizona an attractive location for new business) with five Arizona “critter” groups — Antelope, Deer, Bighorn Sheep and Elk — and volunteer with the Arizona Marine Corps Scholarship Foundation. I have received several conservation awards, the DAR Community Service Award and an award from the Foundation for Women Warriors. 

In Few Words

  • What was the last course, certification or training you took to improve yourself professionally? The Authenticity Code: The Art and Science of Success and Why You Can’t Fake It to Make It
  • What would you say is a single characteristic OTHERS might attribute to you that defines your success? Attitude
  • What is the one thing you feel you could work on professionally to be a greater success? Balance
  • What is the one professional skill you have that has gotten you where you are today? Communication
  • What is the single greatest issue facing Arizona today? Drought

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