Wisconsin Southeast CEO Christy Brown speaks about leadership to
members of the Waukesha County Business Alliance in Brookfield
BROOKFIELD - The Girl Scouts are about much more
than crafts, cookies and camping - they are about creating
leaders and making the world a better place, said Christy Brown,
CEO of Girl Scouts Wisconsin Southeast.
Brown shared her three keys to leadership with
members of the Waukesha County Business Alliance at the Sheraton
Hotel on Thursday morning. The keys are: discover, take action
With her background as an attorney and in human
resources, the Girl Scouts’ focus of empowering females appealed
to Brown. She said she was only a Brownie for a short time as a
girl and since then the organization has evolved. In its mission
statement, the Girl Scouts say they strive to build girls of
courage, confidence, and character, who also make the world a
Brown said Girl Scouts have evolved to have a
science, engineering, technology and math focus. The Girl Scouts
of Wisconsin Southeast started a partnership with Milwaukee Area
Technical College eight years ago, and during one event the
girls learned how to be arborists.
Seventh-grader Arianna Carella, left, receives the Girl Scouts
of the USA National Lifesaving Award in 2012 from Girl Scouts
Wisconsin Southeast CEO Christy Brown, right.
The three keys for leadership are as applicable
to Girl Scouts as they are to adults, she said.
“Discover,” she said, includes finding a strong
sense of self, developing positive values, gaining practical
life skills and seeking challenges.
For one Girl Scout, what she learned through
scouting helped to save her grandmother’s life. Seventh-grader
Arianna Carella learned what to do in an emergency situation and
how to talk to emergency personnel. Brown said after Carella
recognized her grandmother’s medical need, she called 911 and
collected her grandmother’s insurance records and prescriptions.
Her actions earned her the Girl Scouts of the USA National
Lifesaving Award in 2012.
Under “leadership,” Brown said, it’s important to
realize one’s strengths and talents, to anticipate future
opportunities, increase one’s knowledge base and try new things.
“You will have progressed to a state where you
feel confident,” she said.
It’s also important to mentor and sponsor.
“Mentoring and sponsoring others is one of the
most important things that can help a person in a career,” she
Mentoring, Brown said, doesn’t have to be an
older person helping a younger person or a more experienced
employee sharing ideas with a less-experienced person.
Sponsoring another person occurs when someone
recognizes an opportunity and recommends that person for it.
“My support group is my friends and family. They
can be very helpful, too,” said Brown. “My support people are
very honest with me.”
A support group should include people with
different perspectives who will be frank, and don’t necessarily
have to get along with each other, she said, comparing them to a
personal board of directors.
It’s also important for a Girl Scout or adult to
take action and not to be afraid to raise their hands or try
“For Girl Scouts, this is really tied to our
mission,” Brown said. “It’s really about making the world a
Women who have been Girl Scouts have higher
levels of self-confidence, volunteer more and have a higher
income, which applies across all races, she said.
The Girl Scouts' mission:
Girl Scouting builds girls of courage, confidence, and
character, who make the world a better place.