So where is Leadership Springfield headed next? Richardson is zeroed in on streamlining operations by making sure all systems, processes and procedures are efficient and outlined for the long term. She’d also like to network with other nonprofit leaders and spread the word about The Great Game of Business. A dream of hers is to see other business executives take the leap and lead nonprofits into the future. “Business experience is invaluable in running nonprofits, and the industry needs more amazing professionals from all industries with a passion for the nonprofit mission,” she says.
As an accomplished leader who isn’t shy of making the right decision for herself, both personally and professionally, Richardson’s word of advice to other women is to make time for themselves. “I feel that women face unnecessary pressure to find this elusive goal of balance—to be all the things at all the times to all the people, wear every hat perfectly and juggle it all with a smile on our face,” Richardson says. So what did she do to fight this stigma? She read a book called Margin by Dr. Richard Swenson, a read she says changed her life. “The basic premise of this text is that ‘margin is the space between our load and our limits,’” Richardson says. “If I have more commitments than I have capacity there is a problem. I have no margin. I have no space in my life for contingencies or unanticipated situations, no gap for rest and breath. I found myself with no margin, and it affected my kids, my marriage, my friendships, my health and my life. I realized that no one could give me more margin. I had to carve it out, and that meant saying ‘no’ sometimes.”