Transformational Leadership Influencing Successful Outcomes

Lydia James is responsible for increasing market share and driving conversion for online and offline channels at Manheim, the wholesale vehicle marketplace for Cox Automotive.

She’s accountable for building the largest wholesale auto auction by leading the strategic direction to increase market share. As Manheim’s senior director of inside sales, James leads customer acquisitions, market place growth and development of a world class inside sales team.

Her colleagues say her focus is on change and process management and the result is transformational leadership and strategic direction. They say she consistently demonstrates an ability to lead, be strategic, and deliver results. She says her biggest career leap was making the transition from systems engineer to consultant. “I learned I could no longer make things happen by touching the dials,” James said. “Change occurs through influence and outcomes.”

James’ background includes more than a decade of experience in both public and private sectors. She has held various roles within the U.S. Department of Defense and in the public sector focusing on technology enterprise solutions and mergers and acquisitions with Raytheon Systems, Booz Allen Hamilton, and The Home Depot. She is a certified project management professional, change manager, and Six Sigma Green Belt with extensive accomplishments in root cause identification and translating business strategies into solutions.

James is active in the community and currently serves as the Chair for the Atlanta chapter of the Project Management Institute, a global leader of project and program management. In addition, she serves as a career coach for the executive MBA program at Kennesaw State University. Previously, she served as the Women in Technology program Chair for Careers in Action – Reinventing Your Career, a program dedicated to helping women find their career path, and as a Big Sister to bring positive perspective to youths.

James believes the most important quality a woman leader should have is courage. “Know your value and own it,” she said. She holds a B.S. in Computer Information Systems from Saint Leo University, Florida and an MBA in Finance and Accounting from Regis University