Featured Founder: True Passion in Event Planning
“Featured Founder” is a series that profiles founders and entrepreneurs connected to The Ohio State University. Today, we are featuring Lucretia Williams, a graduate of The Ohio State University, and her company, Distinct Event Planning. Read how this entrepreneur discovered her passion and a sense of freedom — a goal for many, many others.
Tell us about your business or organization.
Distinct Event Planning is a premier full-service event planning and design company serving clients in the Midwest and beyond. Whether we’re designing a wedding, themed party, or corporate affairs, we deliver the wow factor at events large and small. Be a guest at your own event and let us take your vision to the next level!
Why did you decide to take a leap and become a founder? How did you reach that decision?
I started planning events in 1998 — well before social media was available. After years of this, I discovered that it was a real profession. I then decided to make it official and open Distinct Event Planning. I love planning events and have a true passion to produce amazing ones. I found freedom in being my own boss. I’m able to curate my business to fit the needs of my clients, which provides them with a memorable experience that they’ll remember for the rest of their lives, which is the most rewarding part of my business.
How have you had to develop your leadership skills as a founder? What leadership lessons have you learned through leading your organization?
I’ve developed my leadership skills by always educating myself by attending conferences, workshops, networking events and I do a lot of reading. I push myself to be on the cutting edges of event industry trends, and I make connections with others who help me grow my business. I’ve learned that servant leadership is a form of leadership that is near and dear to my heart. As a leader, I pour a lot of knowledge into my team and mentees. It’s important for me to house principles of servant leadership like empathy, awareness and listening — just to name a few. Implementing these principles keeps me humble and reminds me that I am never bigger than my industry. I’m a vessel to provide quality service to achieve the goals of my clients and impart knowledge to the next generation of planners.
Describe a success that has been made possible through your leadership skills.
My leadership skills have allowed me to participate on some amazing platforms. Within the last couple of years, I’ve had to the opportunity be a guest industry expert on 10TV News, several podcasts — such as The Creative Speaker Podcast and Red Lipstick Chronicles — as well as speaking at several conferences, including, The Creative Growth Summit, Creative at Heart and the EmpoWEred Planners Conference, just to name a few.
Based on your experiences as a founder, what is the most important leadership trait that founders must possess? How did you foster that trait in yourself?
There are several important leadership traits, but ones that are important to me are character and integrity. I lead with my character, which is present in my brand. It’s important for my clients to trust me, my skills and ability to deliver what I’ve promised. Having a high-level work standard and being true to who you are will attract people who want to work with you. It also allows my business to sustain success with longevity.
What other advice would you give a current or future founder about leading others?
Be a change agent in your industry. As an entrepreneur, I think it’s important to give back to your industry to increase its standards. Use your business as a platform to collaborate with others and build relationships. I want to be known for building a business that positively impacts others and has helped them take their businesses to the BEST level.
Is there anything else you’d like us to include?
Find a way to use your talents to pay it forward. For years, Distinct Event Planning has supported charities and non-profit organizations. We provide sponsorships via planning or décor and design services. Philanthropy plays a very important role in our brand. We are blessed to be a successful business, and we want to share our talents for the benefit of others.
Here at Lead Read Today, we endeavor to take an objective (rational, scientific) approach to analyzing leaders and leadership. All opinion pieces will be reviewed for appropriateness, and the opinions shared are solely of the author and not representative of The Ohio State University or any of its affiliates.