What Successful Women Who Persevere Have in CommonMar 08, 2023
A record number of women are making changes in the workplace now. It’s called the ‘Great Breakup’. Women leaders in the United States are leaving their jobs in unprecedented numbers.
According to the McKinsey study from November 2022, here are the 3 reasons why:
- Women leaders are ambitious but face more hurdles than men.
- Women leaders are overworked and under-appreciated: Compared to their male peers, female leaders put more effort into staff well-being and Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI). However, the report says this is not formally awarded by most employers.
- Women want a different work culture: Female leaders are significantly more likely than male ones to quit their jobs because they want more flexibility. They are also keener to work for companies that are more committed to well-being and DEI.
I am not surprised by these findings. As we celebrate International Women’s Day every year on March 8th, I see this challenge with women has been going on since the creation of awareness of Women’s rights on March 19, 1911, in Austria, Denmark, Germany, and Switzerland.
Growing up with a mom who worked and taught herself to “break- through” glass ceilings to be the first to lead in male dominated roles in the sixties and seventies, I was always told, “you can be whatever you want to be.” Mom also taught me how I approach the workplace is very important. Over the years I have learned there are four things I need to focus on as a female leader:
My Personal Brand
A few years ago, I attended a “Women on the Move” Conference in New York City with my daughter (also an entrepreneur). We heard from women who had overcome barriers and made a mark in this world like Gwyneth Paltrow, Diane von Furstenberg and Condoleezza Rice.
I took away many great notes and inspiration from the day that propelled me as I started my own consulting practice. One particular quote stood out that has been my focus from Condoleezza Rice -
“Great leaders see the world as it can be, not as it is.”
Two years ago, I stepped out in courage and launched my podcast “Dominate Your Day” to share stories of difference makers who have transformed their lives and made an impact on the world. I created this space to help me learn and grow and have learned so much from the experience.
In honor of International Women’s Day, my team and I decided we should share some of the highlights from the Dominate Your Day podcast and help share stories from our female guests of inspiration. We are also sharing quotes from each of our female guests this month daily on our social channels.
The women featured in this special edition podcast have broken through barriers, persevered and made a difference. As Condoleezza says, “had a vision for what could be.” They are from India, Singapore, Africa, UK, France, Denmark and the USA. They are VP’s, Directors, Founders, and Trailblazers.
My first three guests all shared insights on how building relationships is a key part of developing your personal leadership brand.
Linda Rutherford is the Chief Administration and Communications Officer for Dallas-based Southwest Airlines, the nation's largest airline in terms of domestic Customer Boardings. In her role, she provides executive leadership for Communication & Outreach, Culture & Engagement, Diversity, Equity & Inclusion, Internal Audit, People (Human Resources), Talent and Leadership Development, Total Rewards, Technology, and the Southwest Airlines University. Prior to joining Southwest Airlines in 1992, she was a journalist in the Dallas area, including working for the Dallas Times Herald, and she began her career with Newsweek magazine in New York.
Linda gives three bits of advice for female leaders:
- Find your voice and recognize people who want to hear your perspective. “If I am whispering to one person, I am not contributing to the conversation in the boardroom. I had to find the courage to find my voice and speak up when I needed to share my thoughts."
- Lead from beside and admit you will modify and adapt- Leadership has to be a lot of things at once without a lot of practice.
- When you have a solid relationship network you can move faster. Go meet your opposite for coffee. Look at your network where you can learn. Don't underestimate mentorship- find someone who can be a truth teller.
Morag Barrett is a best-selling author and the passion behind Skye Team, an award-winning leadership development company. At last count Morag has supported the development of more than 10,000 leaders from 20 countries and on 6 continents. Morag has contributed to CIO, Entrepreneur, and the American Management Association, amongst others.
She’s the award-winning author of three books: Cultivate: The Power of Winning Relationships; The Future-Proof Workplace and her latest book You, Me, We: Why We All Need a Friend at Work (and how to show up as one!).
Morag shares the following advice in building relationships:
- All business is personal. That means relationships matter. So, go first, call that friend you have not spoken to. Start making those relationships to serve others.
- You can thrive in helping us all live to our full potential. "Leadership is a choice." "Look up, show up, step up."
Dr. Cindy McGovern is the author of the new book Sell Yourself: How to Create, Live, and Sell a Powerful Personal Brand. Dr. Cindy is the founder of Orange Leaf Consulting, a business consulting firm. She is the creator of The Orange Leaf Academy and the author of the Wall Street Journal Best-seller Every Job Is a Sales Job: How to Use the Art of Selling to Win at Work. Known as the First Lady of Sales, Dr. Cindy speaks about personal branding, sales and leadership topics all over the world.
- We tend to identify with whatever is on our business card or our email signature. The problem with doing that is we are not giving ourselves enough credit for who we are.
- We are multifaceted, so know your facets and your strengths so you can bring to light.
- You have a brand whether you know it or not and you are selling whether you know it or not. Everyone knows it but you. If you have a lack of awareness, it is holding you back. Part of having a personal brand is seeking feedback so you can be more powerful.
My next three guests shared insights on how they have learned to make an impact through never giving up.
Diana Mao is an abolitionist with a mission to eradicate human trafficking in her lifetime. Diana actively champions change, and her visionary skill sets have urged Nomi Network forward into enormous growth and success. She is a 2015 Presidential Leadership Scholar, New York Academy of Medicine Fellow, and co-chaired the Nexus Human Trafficking Modern Day Slavery Work Group from 2013-2019. Diana also served on the White House Public-Private Partnership Advisory Council to End Human Trafficking. Diana writes for the Huffington Post, Reuters, and the United States Chamber of Commerce Business Civic Leadership Center.
Diana’s advice to those wanting to make an impact -
- Learn as much as you can about who you are serving.
- Work hard to share what is not visible - "I spent a lot of door knocking to pitch vision."
- Empower yourself to be a “100 stepper” and love your whole role - even the tough parts (which might be 100 steps) that you do not enjoy doing.
Lisa Burwell is the founder and CEO of Cornerstone Marketing & Advertising, Inc., specializing in niche brand marketing since 1994. Headquartered in Grayton Beach, Florida, the parent company incorporates The Idea Boutique® branding agency/creative studio and the national luxury lifestyle magazine VIE® (est. 2008). Burwell has created and led her businesses and their growth, along with that of her clients, despite enormous economic obstacles and ever-changing business climates. Opening a satellite office in Galway, Ireland, from 2014 to 2019 yielded The Idea Boutique publishing another lifestyle/travel magazine entitled Connemara Life and was a strategic pivot in Burwell’s model for growing her business nationally and globally.
- Adapt to Change to Keep Your People. The world does not teach you skills in courage; leaps of faith are required.
- How to Fuel Confidence. Your passion provides energy.
- Overcome Courage Blocks. When something is hard, it doesn’t mean it’s wrong.
Beate Chelette is the Growth Architect and Founder of The Women’s Code. She is passionate about helping visionaries and leaders to grow their authority and scale their impact. In so many words from Beate – “I don't sell the dream; I provide the strategy.” She is listed amongst the “Top 100 Global Thought Leaders” by PeopleHum and “One of 50 Must Follow Women Entrepreneurs” by HuffPost.
Beate Chelette three words of wisdom:
- Lean on people and ask for help. Finding industry associations and strategic partnerships in corporate structures.
- The audacity to not give up – how to become resilient during times of adversity.
- Encourage you to take a hard look to see if you are following fear mongering or are you a thought leader and say this is the moment for me to step up and take leadership. No one will give it to you.
The following three guests share how they approach growth by managing their mindset:
Fabienne Fredrickson is an inspirational mentor to thousands of clients worldwide, an author, international speaker and founder of Boldheart. Ranked repeatedly by Inc. Magazine as one of America’s Fastest Growing Private Companies. As one of the most influential and highly acclaimed success mindset speakers and mentors in the world. Her book, The Leveraged Business: How You Can Go From Overwhelmed at 6-Figures to 7-Figures (and Get Your Life Back) is the definitive roadmap showing women how to increase their income and impact with heart.
As Fabienne shares her work on mindset she believes:
- We can “have it all,” whatever “all” means to each of us.
- Each and every person is to become the full expression of their purpose here on earth by taking a no-excuses approach to growing within and willingness to “play a bigger game”
- Mindset around building your business serves as the foundation for creating financial growth and freedom
Liji Thomas - Chief DE&I Officer for Metro Water District of Southern California. She is a Highly Effective People and Performance-focused leader with experience and education across multiple disciplines committed to ensuring there are no barriers to full human potential in corporate America. She is married and raising two daughters while making a difference in her community of LA. She believes there is no cookie cutter approach to DEI approach. Each company has its own approach and at the end of the day it is about the employees.
Liji belief for all of us is:
- When you get a roadblock is when you are being set up to do your best work in the world.
- The longest journey we ever take is the journey inward.
- Courage is not being afraid. But it's being brave and having the conviction that you are exactly where you are supposed to be, and we do the world a disservice when we do not lean into who we are.
Jenny Toh is an ICF ACC coach, a lawyer and a mother of three living in Singapore with a deep passion for helping introverted Christian women find the right balance between the marketplace and the home front. She is also a strong proponent of mental fitness for her clients to achieve their highest level of success with sustained happiness.
- Finding energy from within, as a way to empower introverts through connecting with their purpose.
- Challenge yourself to see what our biases are. The main thing is to ask yourself how true this is?
My last and final three women shared how they manage their well-being in their personal and professional lives:
Jaclynn Robinson, PH.D., is a consultant at Gallup where she brings expertise in the areas of transformational culture change and learning strategy. Her focal points at Gallup are in strengths-based development, talent selection, employee engagement, high-performance management, and leadership development. She advises them on creating an engaging culture that drives sales and performance by helping them identify and cultivate the talent of their teams.
I had the pleasure of interviewing Jaclynn when the book Well-Being at Work- How to Build Resilient and Thriving Teams (https://www.gallup.com/workplace/336935/wellbeing-at-work.aspx) came out in 2021.
Jaclyn shares, "The one element that can really create some significant impact is career well-being because we spend a third of our time at work or focused on our purpose. So, if you feel like you're thriving and engaged in the workplace, that impacts your ability to feel good."
Our next guest, Revati’s Rani Puranik is co-owner, EVP and Global CFO of Houston-based Worldwide Oilfield Machine (WOM) and was recently named a “Top 25 Most Influential Women in Energy 2022.” In her upcoming book, Seven Letters to My Daughters: Light Lessons of Love, Leadership, and Legacy, Rani recounts how womanhood and motherhood influenced seven transformative phases of her life, sharing the wisdom and perspective to help others find their own path, success, joy, and freedom.
Rani spent 17 years in India and says that her experiences shaped her career trajectory.
- Rani believes you can bring positivity into our daily lives playfully, purposefully, and powerfully.
- Career Dynamics 101: The four stages of leadership – listening, bridging, inspiring, and letting go.
- When there’s nothing, the only way is up.
Antonella Pisani is the founder and CEO of Dallas-based Eyeful Media, a digital marketing and consulting firm. Eyeful Media brings expertise to their clients from a fully remote, 40% minority team with employees spanning 16 states and 23. Antonella is a Forbes Council Member and a Fast Company Executive Board Member.
Antonella is building a strong workplace by focusing on the five areas of wellbeing:
- Purpose - Lessons in business: choosing people that are aligned by a common set of values.
- Social- Cultivating a robust company culture with diverse people.
- Physical - encouraging a growing and learning environment.
- Financial- Measuring themselves frequently.
- Community- Giving back to non-profits.
Key point: You can achieve what you want to achieve by having a vision of what it could be instead of what something is.
Important: Do not be afraid to ask for help.
Today’s exercise: What is one challenge you need to persevere through right now? Pick one or two items from the takeaways today and make a commitment to act on them in the next 30 days.
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