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*Editors Note: Sharon is one of the most badass, courageous leaders in the United States

Name: Sharon Hulce

Business Title: President/CEO

Company/Organization:  Employment Resource Group Inc.

Favorite Vacation: I love everything Hawaii – been 17 times.

Favorite Restaurant: My new favorite locally is Pisco Mar.  But you can’t beat Carmella’s.


BILL MARKLEIN: What is in the DNA of a servant leader?

HULCE: Lots of people describe themselves on their resumes as Servant Leaders. I think it’s a journey and one that is really hard to attain! A servant leader that I feel has “arrived” demonstrates compassion with just the right balance of accountability to the greater good.  They know that in leadership you must hold others and oneself accountable, but they do so in a way that creates champions. They seek to find ways to help others to find and create their own path, while having the humility to know they probably don’t have all the answers. Confident without ego.


BILL MARKLEIN: What has been the most important factor(s) in your leadership development journey?

HULCE: Humility.  I was not a great leader of people.  I really had to step back and look in the mirror to understand the impact that accountability without compassion was having on our organization.  And I made the commitment to change.  The hardest part was making that unwavering commitment and while sometime failing, never giving up on the journey.  I believe our company is stronger, my team is having fun and we’re having tremendous success as a firm, all because I finally realized I needed, “a checkup from the neck up”  I am honored to work with and lead a team of amazing people every day.

BILL MARKLEIN: How does Emotional Intelligence, the awareness and management of your own emotions and the emotions of others, play a role in your leadership?

HULCE: Emotional Intelligence is critical in successful leadership. While people can be competent technically, how you engage with others and bleed values into your organization is truly what wins in the end.Values are always driven into an organization from the top down.If we see a company culture in is disarray, we know the leadership is not emulating values that will build the organization in a healthy, emotionally intelligent way.


BILL MARKLEIN: Who has made the most positive impact on your life and what is this individual’s attributes?

HULCE: I’ve had so many wonderful mentors in my life.  Early on my parents made a tremendous impact with their care for others and amazing work ethic.  When I moved into the business community in Appleton, I was really lucky to meet and receive mentoring from several people I so widely respect; Joyce Bytof, John Bergstrom, Kathi Seifert and Cathie Tierney to name a few.  And the most influential person in my life today in my daughter Katie.  She makes me a better person, mother, friend and has shown me what true joy in life is all about.


In my business I see a lot of wonderful leaders who work hard and get it right.  I am also exposed to the opposite, those that tear people down and create fear as a method of motivation. Both type of leader’s really want to be successful.  I absolutely believe that most of the leaders that struggle have good hearts, but there was a missing piece that the great leaders have had.  Great leaders have had great mentors.  Someone along the way believed in them enough to make sure they learned the tough lessons that create amazing leaders.  My advice to young leaders is this – find someone you admire and give them permission to be candid and really listen.  You too will become an amazing leader someday.