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Darlene Drew shared from 32 years of experience in leadership roles.

On Monday, November 4th, Darlene Drew shared inspiring lessons learned in her leadership roles with the Rotary Club of Sandy Springs. Darlene is the owner and CEO of Leadership Conditioning, Personal and Professional Development, LLC.

During her presentation, she spoke of her youth and lessons learned from being the youngest of eleven children. She spoke of being the first in her family to earn a college degree and she spoke of the obstacles and struggles that she faced while trying to land her first job. She went on to tell us of her father’s dismay when told of her plan to work with the Federal Bureau of Prisons.

That career decision was one that would last for over 32 years. During that long career she obtained the distinct honor of being the first female warden at the United States Penitentiary (USP) Atlanta. She noted that it only took them 110 years to come around to the idea. Her accomplishments (and occasional failures) as a warden taught her much about leadership.

Darlene quoted Jon Maxwell when she said: “Everything rises and falls on leadership.”

She was asked many times if she worked around the prisoners and if she was ever scared. Darlene then shared a pearl of wisdom that not only answered those questions but relates well to leadership roles: "Your strongest weapon is your communication skills."

Darlene Drew addressing the Rotary Club of Sandy Springs

"Your strongest weapon is your communication skills."

From left to right: Jim Squire - Rotary District Governor for area 6900, Darlene Drew, Darryl Drew - her husband and fellow warden, and Nancy Schroeder, 2019-2020 President of the Rotary Club of Sandy Springs.

To close her presentation Darlene left us with these three important principles for great leadership:
1) Don’t teach what you don’t know.
2) Don’t lead where you won’t go.
3) Don’t ask for what you are not willing to give.

The Rotary Club of Sandy Springs would like to thank Mrs. Drew for sharing her stories of failures, persistence and conquest. Her words will be fodder for anyone aspiring to a leadership role.

More information about USP Atlanta (United States Penitentiary) can be found here:
More information about Darlene and Leadership Conditioning can be found here:
These photos and more in original resolution are available here:
A quick biographical article about Darlene Drew can be found here:

Posted by Todd Lawrimore
November 12, 2019 12:00pm


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