A Man’s Takeaways From Leadercast Women 2017

Yovany Jerez

11 October 2017

*Yovany Jerez—Leadercast Now speaker, chief of staff at AT&T, and founder and CAB chair of the Hispanic Corporate Council of Atlanta—shares the nuggets of encouragement he took away from the inaugural Leadercast Women, which brought together both women and men to hear from nine inspiring female leaders on Oct. 5, live at Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre and broadcasted to Host Sites around the globe.

How do you measure success for a leadership conference? Is it based on who takes the stage, the number of people in attendance or the amount of media coverage that follows? For me, it is about the golden nuggets of wisdom echoed throughout the event… and last week at Leadercast Women was one of the most practical and inspirational leadership conferences I have benefited from (and I participate in a lot of them!).

After walking away inspired by this high-caliber conference, I wanted to share some of my paraphrased notes that fellow leaders can learn from. Here are my top takeaways from each of the nine inspiring female leaders who took the stage that day.

Molly Fletcher
CEO of The Molly Fletcher Company

  • The only “bad purpose” is the one that’s not yours. Purpose is personal and intimate.

  • Curiosity + Impact = Purpose. By staying curious, you can connect with others on the things that matter to them.

  • The best coaches start by asking their players about their dreams. After being curious and learning their goals, the coach then asks, “What would my role be in pursuing your dreams?” When you are curious, you will find something bigger than yourself.

  • Lead, connect and inspire. Purpose allows you to reframe moments.

Dr. Neeta Bhushan
CEO of Global GRIT Institute

  • Your mission is greater than the fears that you carry.

  • Do you live your life to please others or do you live it to serve others? Do you give them what you want or what they need?

  • Silence the “sideline noise” so that you can truly activate your God-giving gifts.

  • Have self-compassion for where you are today.

Ginger Hardage
Former Senior Vice President of Culture and Communications at Southwest Airlines

  • Studies show that 77 percent of employees are not using their full potential.

  • The way a company behaves on the inside, will always find a way to the outside.

  • Hire tough for attitude and cultural fit so you can manage easy. Think of the Navy Seals hiring process and the results they achieve as a unit, for example.

  • Studies also show that 80 percent of customer satisfaction comes from employees’ attitude. Happy employees lead to happy customers and shareholders.

  • You have to thread your purpose in the organization's culture.

  • This is one of the most revealing questions to ask in your employee surveys: How would you describe your current position? Is it a job, a stepping stone or a calling?

  • Help employees find their why. As leaders, our challenge is to make sure we're connecting our people with the purpose of our organizations.

Laura Vanderkam
Author of I Know How She Does It and What the Most Successful People Do Before Breakfast

  • What’s the problem with the “busy narrative?” Are you trying to convince people you are important?

  • Think through your week before you are in it. Don’t spend time mindlessly.

  • Since Friday afternoon is not your best time for productivity, carve moments to think about your top priorities for the following week in terms of your career, relationship and self.

  • We don’t live our lives in days (24 hours); we live them by the week (168 hours). Don’t fall into the 24-hour trap: Things don’t have to happen daily at the exact time.

  • Build in space! Everything takes longer than you think it does. Open space invites opportunity.

  • Be careful with the word yes. Don’t be promiscuous with it. Ask yourself, “Would I do this tomorrow?” If not, your answer should be no.

  • It costs money to outsource what you can’t get to; it costs nothing to lower your standards.

  • Saying, “I don’t have time,” basically means it’s not a priority.

Tammy Tibbetts
CEO and Co-Founder of She’s the First

  • In a world full of rage activists, are your social media posts having the desired impact?

  • “Purpose snacking” ties us to the moment until we come up with a better solution.

  • Be careful with passive forms of activism. To maximize our purpose, we have to link ourselves with movements for social change and justice.

  • Reframe into a positive perspective. Evaluate resources to overcome self-imposed illusionary limits and pivot into achievable goals.

  • Creating a “purpose resume” isn’t about what you have done; it’s all about what you can do in the future with your time, talents, treasure and network.

  • The ones who are pragmatic enough to connect the dots with what they do today, will change the world.

Shabnam Mogharabi
CEO and executive producer of SoulPancake

  • When you are joyful, people might dismiss you. Yet, it’s a powerful force! You are an influencer of some kind.

  • Evident through social media, people reach out to connect.

  • The best viral videos are those that give a sense of awe and inspiration.

  • Practice gratitude, compassion and service; they fuel joy. People work hard and it’s important to express gratitude, especially when you are asking your team to take the next big leap with you. Compassion is also critical—respect people’s full lives while being clear on accountability for business expectations.

  • Being uncomfortable is the key to creating authenticity.

  • You can’t find your purpose without finding your voice. Find the intersection of what feels natural and what no one else is saying.

  • You don’t have to find a good life—just start living.

  • Shift your perspective from roadblocks and into opportunities.

  • “Comparison is the thief of joy.”—Theodore Roosevelt. Joy is a state of being.

Mama Jan Smith
Multiplatinum Vocal Coach and Grammy-Nominated Producer

  • Music is the only thing that can enter your heart and mind without your permission.

  • Tough decisions are never comfortable, but leaders needs to make them.

  • You are the person who needs to wake up tomorrow with the decisions of today.

  • Good leadership is a lifelong learning process. The best leaders know the difference between a dream and a purpose, and they learn to follow their purpose.

Dr. Bernice A. King
CEO of The King Center

  • Women, if the soul of the nation is to be saved, believe that you must become that soul.

  • I have met three types of people: those who sit on the sidelines, the few who get involved and those who don’t know what happened.

  • The right purpose has you focus on the people instead of a task. You cannot sacrifice people in your journey of achieving tasks.

  • You don’t have to be your dad or your mom… just be the best you. There is no one who can out-do you in being yourself.

  • When you're a person who is powered by purpose, you're driven by your conscience.

  • When things come into your life that seem like disruptions, you can move onward if you are grounded.

  • Let haters be your motivators.

  • When you die, will it matter that you were born?

Jenn Lim
CEO and Chief Happiness Officer at Delivering Happiness

  • What would you do with your life if you didn’t fear failure?

  • Happiness is informed by your highs and lows; our lows informed our highs.

  • Adaptive change is about controlling and changing what we can and adapting to and embracing what we can’t.

  • Sometimes it is a good idea to let employees pick their own title. For example, a dental office receptionist picked “Director of First Impressions.”

  • “Yesterday I was clever, so I wanted to change the world. Today I am wise, so I am changing myself.”—Rumi

  • People, purpose and values create culture. Celebrating and nurturing a healthy culture is crucial.

  • Don’t treat culture as an add-on to business—it needs to be integrated into building a successful business and it needs room to grow. If you get the culture right first, then other stuff like great customer service, engagement and helpful employees comes after.

Yovany Jerez

is a Leadercast Now speaker and founder and CAB chair of the Hispanic Corporate Council of Atlanta, shares his takeaways from 2017's inaugural Leadercast Women event in Atlanta.

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