How to Employ Strategic Leadership | Paula Marshall | Purse Power

Paula Marshall (1)

Purse Power

Ep. 170 - Paula Marshall runs her organization with the philosophy of honoring everyone and helping people be successful. She also has a personal mission statement that allows her to better balance work and other important things. It’s all about a strategic approach to leadership. Paula Marshall has served as the CEO for Bama Companies since 1984 and provides strategic leadership and direction to the organization. Bama companies is a family-owned business that specializes in frozen desserts and baked goods distributing to large companies like McDonald's. In this episode, Paula lets us in on her strategic leadership approach which entails helping people be their best and find success. Listen in to learn the importance of caring for your employees' mental and emotional wellbeing as a leader for the success of your organization. You will also learn how to find your passion and prioritize what’s important to you to find a work-life balance.

Key Takeaways:

  • Why you should only stay in a job if you are passionate enough about it to help in the growth
  • Learning how to prioritize and balance life and work earlier on in your career
  • How to help employees deal with their emotional damages so they can perform better
  • How to discover your true passion and what you’re willing to give up on to find balance in your life
  • How to help people find themselves and perform at their best as a leader

"You can create a fair and equitable compensation system if you can stop rating, and ranking people, and create an environment of trust." -Paula Marshall

In this episode you’ll discover:

Paula explains how unfortunate events put her in charge of her family company [1:33]

She explains how they grew Bama organically with capital and borrowing when needed [5:39]

How they’re planning to keep Bama in the family and continue growing as a private company [9:23]

Why Bama went for a B Corp certification to be more of a force for good [13:38]

How Bama uses an external payment service for their employees and the benefits that offers [17:24]

Why she wishes she would have learned earlier to balance her work and other important things [22:16]

The importance of helping employees deal with their emotional issues and damage [24:56]

How they maintain relationships with big companies by keeping quality high and costs low [31:07]

The lessons of honoring others and determination that Paula learned from both her parents [34:53]

How she helps people discover their passion and be able to balance between work and life [36:38]

Why you should create an inclusive organization where people care for each other [44:56]

She explains how Bama’s success sharing program works to create a fair and equitable system [46:37]

How to create a unique environment to run your company without following the old ways [48:29]

The importance of committing to creating a personal mission statement to guide you [50:57]


As Bama’s Chief Executive Officer, Paula provides strategic leadership and direction to the entire organization. Her vision stands as a beacon for Bama team members, inspiring the organization to achieve the Bama mission – “People Helping People Be Successful”.

Paula assumed responsibility as CEO of the Bama Companies in 1984, which now includes Bama Pie, Bama Foods, Bama Frozen Dough, Beijing Bama, and Bama Europa. Under her leadership, Bama has expanded to provide a wide variety of frozen desserts and baked goods to fast food chains and casual and family dining restaurants.

From their humble beginnings in Dallas, Texas in 1927, they developed, manufactured, and sold the first handheld pie in 1967. Today, their factories run 2 million biscuits a day, as well as handheld pies, buns, pie shells, and pizza crusts for markets all over the world.


The Bama Foundation consists of Bama AidBama Builds, and Bama Scholars.

These programs are designed to increase the quality of life for our team members by providing aid where there is a need and opportunities for personal growth.

Impacting Our Community

Beyond Bama is the only piece of the Bama Foundation that distributes funds to worthy organizations outside of Bama. It is to spread the love and hope that originates within our company to carefully selected organizations within our community.


Paula Marshall was inducted into the 2021 Oklahoma Hall of Fame.


Paula received her Bachelor of Science in business from Oklahoma City University (OCU) in 1982, and her Ph.D. in commercial science, also from OCU, in 1993.

Paula is the author of four books, the most recent was co-authored with New York Times bestselling author  Jim Stovall. The Executive Entrepreneur is an important conversation starter about how all business people must embrace both entrepreneurship and management to succeed.



Donna Miller is the founder and CEO of Purse Power, Let's Share the Journey. Purse Power promotes women-led, women-owned businesses by providing a Google extension that allows everyone who visits your website to locate nearby businesses.

Let's Share the Journey holds calls at 10 AM Central every Friday to learn from national leaders to share expertise, ideas, and support. One week a month features Zoom Room networking. We support Donna's endeavor and have provided the speaker calls in a podcast format. Please join her on Friday mornings! You can register for the calls here.

Leave a Comment to Join the Discussion!

Leave a Comment

Scroll to Top