Angela Creedon was born and raised in the small mountain town of Snowflake, where there was no expectation of attending college. But from an early age, she knew she was meant to lead.
Creedon, associate vice president of community and municipal relations at Arizona State University, started her career as a bank teller and then went to work for an Arizona Public Service (APS) call center in Flagstaff. She quickly jumped in rankings and increased her responsibilities through hard work and by building relationships.
“It’s all about relationships,” Creedon explained during her talk at the Chamber’s Professional Women’s Alliance luncheon on March 8. “But relationships are not built over night. It takes time.”
A community relations job opened up within APS and Creedon was approached to apply, but she wasn’t sure if she was ready.
“I came up with all sorts of excuses for myself. I had all these doubts,” Creedon said. But after an encouraging discussion with her husband, she applied.
“I realized I could learn from the opportunity and that somebody needs to prop us up, give us that advice,” Creedon said.
Creedon believes that empowering employees and peers is a key component to great leadership. When employees are empowered, they can better perform their job and make quick, innovative decisions, and even if mistakes are made, great leaders always learn from them.
“Don’t fear making mistakes,” Creedon said. “We’ll never innovate or create without mistakes. But learn from them.”
During her time at APS, several northern Arizona communities were devastated by the 2002 Rodeo-Chediski Fire, so Creedon decided to organize a major donation effort which saw great success and helped countless community members.
“I felt empowered enough and they (APS) had faith in me,” Creedon said. “I saw the value of being empowered, involved and what the company could do.”
In addition to empowering others, great leaders also mentor others, even if it’s simply discussing blind spots, have someone from whom they seek help and always prop others up.
“Have somebody you can lean on, seek advice from, to tell you your blind spots,” Creedon said. “Women have to build each other up. We have different things we bring to the table and we need to cherish that.”
-Written by Carolina Lopez, digital marketing administrator, Greater Phoenix Chamber of Commerce. This article is part of the Chamber’s Business Wise newsletter. To learn more about the Professional Women’s Alliance luncheons, click here.