Leader of our October 24, 2007 cafe, Carol Grant studied at the University of Missouri and the University of Michigan Law School before becoming a litigator for major law firms in St. Paul, Minnesota and Boston. She joined NYNEX (now Verizon) just as AT&T began its divestiture in 1983.
In her 13 years with NYNEX, she was involved in law, public policy, and general management, rising to direct NYNEX-Rhode Island, a $350 million business unit with 900 employees, as its vice president. In 1997, she became vice president for human resources at Textron. Carol was involved in the Chairperson for the Rhode Island Airport Corporation, leading to the expansion of the airport.
In 2003, she was named Chief of Operations for Providence Mayor David Ciccilline. She has been honored with the New England Council's Women in Leadership Award, the Humanitarian Award of the NCCJ, March of Dimes' Citizen of the Year Award, the Volunteer of the Year Award from the Volunteer Center of Rhode Island, and the American Heart Association's Gold Heart Award.
This cafe focused on identifying the strengths in others. Read Carol's story below.
When Carol was tapped on the shoulder to join Providence Mayor Cicilline in 2003, she had no city government experience at the time, but said she was excited at the idea of trying something new. "The real reason I came here is because the Mayor was setting out on an audacious path of changing city government," she said. Cicilline wanted Grant to make city operations such as snow plowing, parks cleanup and garbage pickup run more efficiently with fewer staff for the same amount of money. She had no expertise in these things - but she said she knew how to tap people who did.
"My job wasn't really to know everything about city operations - it was to build a team to know everything about it."
And Carol was the right person to take this on, her background is extensive with increasing responsibility and involvement in finding the right set of solutions for the task.
Now Carol is transitioning to her next passionate work. "The City has the right people in place...time for me to go to what is pulling me...time for me to tap myself on the shoulder." From Carol's story of going from private sector, taking time off from work, and then stepping into City government, and now to her new transition, we explored the following key themes:
- Identifying the strengths in others
- Beauty of declaring your limits before jumping into the next opportunity
- Three key factors in making transition to honor your passion
- Ministry as managing