For its “Staff Snapshots” series, State Legislatures News is asking legislative staff about their role in the legislature. If you’d like to suggest a staffer for this series, please email Holly South at NCSL.
Jackie Little is the human resources director for the Maine Legislature.
Why did you choose to work at the legislature?
A friend encouraged me to apply. The incredible potential, autonomy and opportunity to make an impact are what attracted me to the job.
What skill or talent are you most proud of?
I want to be known as an encourager who helps to equip, support and empower others in their professional growth and success. At the Maine Legislature, I have been able to do this through our Aspiring Leaders program, leadership and staff training, and supporting new managers.
What’s the best advice you were ever given?
This is a difficult question because I have surrounded myself with an incredible network of top professionals from whom I often glean wisdom. One phrase that I have used to guide my approach over the past several years is, “Work to be successful rather than right.” When I focus on success in supporting the work of the Legislature, it is easier to set aside things that don’t contribute toward that purpose.
Who or what inspires you?
My family. My husband is the most incredible, compassionate, thoughtful and selfless human I know. My children—one in high school and one in college—both have hearts of service, volunteering several days each week to prepare meals for veterans and shut-ins during the pandemic and finding many other ways to demonstrate care and kindness towards their friends and community members.
What’s one thing you love about your state?
Maine is beautiful! The scenery during all four seasons is peaceful, majestic and breathtaking. Add to that the amazing seafood and no traffic jams. Perfection!
What are you currently reading/watching?
I am reading the book “Multipliers: How the Best Leaders Make Everyone Smarter,” by Liz Wiseman and Greg McKeown. It offers a practical approach to leadership success and sheds light on how our behavior as leaders can either encourage greatness in those around us or accidentally diminish and drain their energy. I also enjoy the FranklinCovey podcast “On Leadership,” hosted by Scott Miller, where he often features authors or thought leaders on the topic of leadership.
This interview has been edited for length and clarity.