On Being With 7,000 Women at the Pennsylvania Conference for Women

On November 1st I attended the 10th Annual Pennsylvania Conference for Women and spent the day with 7,000 women! Hillary Clinton and Madeleine Albright delivered the key-note addresses and there were many other extraordinary women leaders who spoke through out the day. It was a conference alive with waves of energy that kept surging. While I am only one among the 7,000, and apologize for not being able to report on what learnings others may have garnered, or on the nuggets delivered by presenters I did not hear, I want to share my “take-aways.”

The themes? Acknowledgment of the…

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Beyond Sheryl Sandberg’s Leaning In

In an interview in the April Harvard Business Review, Sheryl Sandberg said, “Women face huge institutional barriers. But we also face barriers that exist within ourselves, sometimes as the result of our socialization. For most of my professional life, no one ever talked to me about the ways I held myself back.” (Harvard Business Review April 2013 “Now Is Our Time”).

I’m glad the business world is now buzzing with commentary about Sandberg’s book “Lean In.” The book has not only triggered some readers to wonder if she is blaming women for not getting into the Board room, not only brought the ‘f’ word, feminism, into the picture, but has also introduced an honest conversation about the internal barriers that inhibit women from asserting themselves.

Far from blaming women for not showing up in greater leadership positions, Sandberg names both external and internal factors that make it hard for women to assert themselves, to sustain high self-confidence, to maintain resilience in the face of work place adversity, and to keep up the emotional support that it takes to overcome the multiple barriers to success.

Continue reading this article at The Huffington Post.

New Year’s Musings 2013

I’ve been very earth-bound this year. I’ve been growing a new wing of my consulting business, The Resilience Group, with my work partner Dr. Jane Shure, marketing leadership coaching, formulating what words of wisdom I can deliver in speaking engagements, hoping to be of practical use to my clients, building our new website and creating our new brochure — all solid work for my professional passions and the realities of managing a business.

As the new year approaches, I ponder at what cost I have attended to this solid ground.

Continue reading this article at The Huffington Post.

Creating an Inner Coach that Supports Resilience and Self-Confidence

I heard a colleague say, “Choose your words the way you would your clothes… to feel good.” Now that it’s fall and we’re clearing out our summer clothes for what feels good to wear in the new season, let’s clear out our negative self-thoughts and only wear words that contribute to our self-esteem.

What I know is that the words we feed ourselves turn into how we feel. Years ago, I had the privilege of studying with Angeles Arrien, a cross-cultural anthropologist who told the following story: She was at a conference of shamans, and one of them was wearing a necklace with two different wolf faces. One face was snarly and biting, and the other was a sweet, cuddly face of a wolf pup. Angeles asked the shaman about the necklace and what meaning it had. This was her answer: “I wear this necklace to remind myself of the two parts of myself and the two different voices within me. One voice is angry and destructive, and the other is gentle and kind.” Angeles asked her which voice she heard most often and the shaman responded, “whichever one I feed the most.”

Continue reading this article at The Huffington Post.

What Makes for Good Leadership

In 2008, Gallup scientists reported on a research project that surveyed more than one million work teams, conducted more than 20,000 in-depth interviews with leaders, and spoke with more than 10,000 “followers” around the world asking people why they followed the important leaders in their life. Results of their research launched a new perspective on the question, “What makes for good leadership?”

One of the surprising outcomes was the debunking of the myth that leaders need to be what they called “well-rounded,” which I take to mean that good leaders do not need to be talented, gifted or skilled in all aspects of leadership. The Gallup findings say that good leaders focus on the strengths they have, not their weaknesses, and use those strengths to their best advantage.

Continue reading this article at The Huffington Post.