• Magi Crawford

    Magi Crawford
    Communications Director of Gainesville Regional Utilities

    Describe your role as Communications Director of GRU.

    As the communications director for GRU, my job is fun. Well, that depends on your idea of fun. If you like being on-call 24 hours a day, chatting with the media when something goes wrong with your brand, answering questions such as, “Why does GRU advertise if they are a monopoly?” and “Why is GRU promoting conservation – they want me to pay less?” then you might find it fun. Or if you really love being in Gainesville, partnering with other community members; eating cake at lunch; spending your entire weekend at the office because a system is out of service and you need to keep customers informed; gaining knowledge about every department within the utility because you communicate with and for them; attending City Commission/Utility Advisory Board meetings on the regular; letting staff know, “No, I really do not think you should say that to the reporter today;” writing and proofreading without ceasing and always viewing each situation from every perspective that you can possibly imagine, then you understand my idea of fun and how it relates to being GRU’s Communications Director.  

    Describe your leadership style. How do you lead and how do you tackle challenges?

    My leadership style is a combination of democratic and laissez-faire. It’s democratic in that I make the final decisions regarding major issues, but that is after I receive input from my team to assist me with the process. I like to think that I encourage creativity with my team members. I let them know that I’m not interested in doing anything a particular way just because that’s the way we have always done it. I encourage changes that improve our processes and results. I consider my style laissez-faire because I give my team members freedom to complete their projects. However, I make sure that I’m available for support as needed.

    As a woman, have you ever struggled with asserting yourself and gaining respect as a leader from your peers?

    Yes, of course I have. But the more experience I gain by making and learning from mistakes, the more confident I am. I can also say, confidence increases with birthdays, as long as you are present in your life and learning.

    How do you set and attain goals for yourself?

    This is a cliché, but it’s true. I write my goals down. I have long-term as well as short-term goals with milestones. My experience with including milestones in goal setting is that it gives you a reason for frequent celebrations; which improves your motivation.

    What do you think your strengths are and how did you identify them?

    I’m a detail-oriented person who has trained myself to be a big-picture thinker. I like to view situations from different perspectives in my decision-making process. I’m flexible, open to change and optimistic. Another cliché is that I view hurdles as opportunities to learn and improve.

    How have your setbacks and weaknesses made you stronger?

    I had to learn not to sweat the small stuff. I was not always that way. I would spend a great deal of time worrying about things that never happened. When I actually made a conscious effort to change my attitude and how I view difficult situations in my life, that’s when I gained a marked improvement in my work-to-life balance. Conquering the weakness of worry has made me a stronger person.  

    How do you define what it means to be a fierce woman?

    A fierce woman is defined by her attitude. It has no bearing on her career, status, income or appearance. But, it’s determined by how she sees herself and whether she approves. My dear mother was small in stature, not a snazzy dresser and by no means wealthy, but I would defy anyone who met her to describe her as anything other than fierce.