Growing up as a proud military child, Charlene Landen moved frequently living in Washington DC, Rhode Island, Norfolk, Virginia and eventually landing in Jacksonville, Florida.
Charlene loved school at all levels and graduated from Ed White Sr. High School in Jacksonville, holding many club and organization officer positions and Florida Community College of Jacksonville and Florida Atlantic University in Boca Raton, Florida.
After 9 years as the Checking Department Manager at Boca Raton Federal and City Federal, Charlene began her career with the PGA TOUR in December , 1989 as the Club Controller at the TPC at Eagle Trace.
Over a twenty-five year career with the PGA TOUR, Charlene has held numerous positions including Staff Accountant, Production Manager, Director of Finance and Administration, Sr. Director of Business Administration and her current position of Vice President, Business Operations at PGA TOUR Entertainment. As the VP of Business Operations, Charlene is responsible for all business areas, personnel and facility functions at Entertainment.
In her non-working hours, Charlene enjoys reading, watching all sports, especially GOLF, Fantasy Football and at the top of her priorities in spending time with her family and friends.
What does it mean to you to be fierce?
I think a fierce woman is a positive, strong and confident woman who can make well thought out but quick decisions about all phases of her life but also completely understands the need for and uses all her available support groups (family, friends, co-workers, mentors) when she needs help.
Your talk is titled ‘True Leadership.’ How do you define leadership?
It’s the everyday leaders that simply lead without much fanfare. It’s leadership that shows respect, concern, caring for all those in the organization. Listening is also a key factor in defining what leadership leadership means to me. Listening in all directions. Listening to your boss, listening to your colleagues, listening to your direct reports, your mentors and most of all listening to yourself and your instincts.
You are a leader in your industry, which combines the two male-dominated fields of golf and television production. What qualities does it take to lead so many men and women working on projects around the world?
Although the company that I work for is a major men’s sports league, I really don’t focus on being a female when I do my job. I just focus on the goals each day and making sure that we have the right people, the right tools and the right atmosphere to attain those goals. I do try to make sure everyday that the people who work for me know that I do care about them and that we create a team environment. I know and they know that none of us can be successful alone.
What have you learned as you have grown into your leadership role?
I have learned to constantly be grateful, make sure that people know how you feel about them, always try to communicate things quickly whether the message is good or bad, hone your listening skills, get feedback whenever possible and learn from it, and always be firm but fair in all decisions.
You are an incredibly down-to-earth and humble woman in a very high profile position… how do you maintain your sense of self?
I have a very strong and trusting faith, good, strong parents that gave me a good work ethic and great family and great friends. I am filled with gratitude everyday. I do think that keeps me grounded.
You have said before that strength and confidence come from being real and honest with yourself… how did you learn that lesson yourself?
I think you must constantly listen and be open to admitting mistakes and being humble. Some of the best learning moments I have had are when I have been “called-out” by a family member, friend, boss or colleague. At first there was disappointment in myself but I have had to quickly put that behind me and show the character to admit a mistake, brush myself off and get back up again hopefully growing as a person in the process.
What woman or women do you look up to as role models in your career or life? What are the characteristics you most admire in those women?
I admire two women who I have worked with over the last 26 years. One is [former WNBA President] Donna Orender and the other is [PGA TOUR Finance SVP] Jeanne Lightcap. They are both incredibly smart, strong women who are leaders in their fields. They both give everything that have to their careers and families and made me want to be better leader and person.
What is the best piece of advice you have ever been given?
Two basic principals that my father taught me long ago and are pretty simple but I do think about them almost everyday… One is to always follow the golden rule. Treat others as you would have them treat you. The other is to make sure that the imaginary scale between you and your employer is always heavier on the side of what you give to them. Work hard and you will have success.
Photo courtesy: Old City Life Magazine