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The Association of Corporate Counsel (ACC) is the world's largest organization serving the professional and business interests of attorneys who practice in the legal departments of corporations, associations, nonprofits and other private-sector organizations around the globe.

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ACC president and CEO Veta T. Richardson recently made an appearance on Radio America’s Executive Leader’s Radio to talk about what shaped her into a successful executive. 

Richardson discussed several aspects of her childhood and upbringing, like organizing her Girl Scouts troop or helping her dad run his pharmacy, that engrained in her the leadership traits she carries today.  

“From the time I was small, my mother instilled in my sister and me that you want to stand out for positive reasons,” Richardson says. As a young Black family in a predominantly white neighborhood in Philadelphia, Richardson’s mother knew they would already stand out, so she made certain it was for reasons that counted. For Richardson, that meant “when someone needs help, raise your hand. If someone wants you to lead, lead,” and she continues that philosophy today as the leader of ACC. 

Being a leader is about “understanding the gaps between where you are versus where you want to be,” Richardson says, and then taking responsibility to step up and fill those gaps. 

“Our parents taught us that with hard work and focus, it’s possible,” she says. You have a job to do, whether it’s taking care of the home, running a pharmacy, or making sure your grades are high, and there is always a way to succeed. That might mean getting extra help, but “you cannot view anything as beyond your grasp if you’re willing to put in the time and work.” 

Listen to the full interview

Read more articles by, and interviews with, ACC President & CEO Veta T.  Richardson

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