When I’m creating new characters, I usually do quite a bit of research to find precisely the sort of attributes I want the character to have. In the case of Helen Sullivan, the fictitious governor of Florida who partners with Jess Kimball in Fatal Distraction, the research was fascinating to me, so I thought you might like to know what I found.
An early fun fact I discovered was that the first female governor held the job for just ONE WEEKEND.
Carolyn B. Shelton acted as governor of Oregon from 9 am on a Saturday in 1909 until 10 am on the following Monday.
She wasn’t elected… but she got the spot for the weekend because the outgoing governor had to leave to take on a new job as senator, and the incoming governor was sick.
- Since then, 35 women in the United States have served as governors.
- 27 states, including Florida, have never had a female governor at all.
Of course, if you’ve read Fatal Distraction, you know I think women make excellent governors.
In Fatal Distraction, Florida Governor Helen Sullivan remains competently in place despite claims that her son was at fault in the car accident that killed him.
Helen’s poise rivaled Queen Elizabeth, some said, speculating that Sullivan was cold and unfeeling, but Jess [Kimball] rejected that explanation; Helen Sullivan was more complicated than that.
If you could create your ideal leader, what qualities would you give him or her? How about these?
- Ability to collaborate well
- A good mentor
These are the qualities that served Governor Helen Sullivan so well.
In The Athena Doctrine, John Gerzema and Michael D’Antonio found that those very attributes — those listed above– are assigned more frequently to women than to men. That’s across the globe, across 125 different personality traits.
Again and again, people in business agree that a good leader is a good collaborator, innovative, transparent, inclusive, and a good mentor.
Many people assume that women make better leaders because they’re more nurturing. But that’s not exactly the case with Governor Helen Sullivan. And it doesn’t need to be.
The skills women have shown to be “most better at” than men are taking initiative, driving for results, integrity and honesty.
I hope you’ll get to know Governor Helen Sullivan even better and let me know what you think. To start, CLICK HERE.
I read the title of this blog, and thought, “She MUST be talking to us here in Wisconsin!!”
We’re trying, Diane, we’re trying! Almost ANYONE would be better than our incumbent.
The primary is in a coupe of weeks, and the ugly attack ads have started, but they’ll only get worse between now and November.
Wish us luck!
Good luck, Lynn!
Ah, if only we really did have a female governor here in Florida! I loved Helen Sullivan in Fatal Distraction.
Thanks, Kassandra. Personally, I think she’s a great role model! 🙂