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Kahra Buss

Executive Director

Perkins Center for the Arts

What lessons can we learn from women?

Strength and resilience. Being strong doesn't mean being cold or unfeeling - it is, in fact, the opposite. Strength comes from patience, kindness, and understanding. Strength makes you resilient as the world around you changes and challenges you.

Who is the most influential woman you know? How does she inspire you?

There are four - my daughters and my mother. Each has faced adversity in their own right, and each has chosen to follow their own authentic path. My mother chose to leave a promising career to raise her family and use her talents to support her community through chronic volunteerism. My daughters have embraced their authentic selves, and have embarked on their own journeys, despite the obstacles encountered along the way. They are private about those obstacles as use them as fuel to pursue their dreams. My daughters inspire me daily, finding their center and reframing adversity as opportunity. They are growth focused.

If you could meet any successful woman, who would you choose?

Jane Goodall - authentically, and unapologetically dedicated to her mission, and to improving the world around her through her work.

What is the best part about being a women in business?

Feeling grateful to so many who came before me who have helpled redefine leadership.

What barriers have you faced and how did you overcome them?

The internal conflict between being a care-giver and a professional. Finding the balance is challenging however, I believe it comes down to personal choice and internal support. I am fortunate to have a loving family, and a very supportive husband who honors and supports my decisions. Together we support one another and those around us.

What advice do you have for young women who want to be in a leadership position?

Be your authentic self. Do not change yourself to fit someone else's expectations. Work hard, because hard work beats natural talent every time. Be a listener. Listen to all those around you not just those you identify as being in positions of power - power takes many forms. Some of the best lessons come from the most unexpected sources. Identify your core values, your belief system and hold true. Success is manifested in many ways, and leadership is only as effective as the impact you have on others.

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