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Authenticity, humility, empathy, clarity: These were just a few of the core leadership values discussed on the Leadercast Women 2018 stage on Friday, Oct. 12. More than 12,000 leaders gathered in Atlanta and at Host Sites around the world for this second-annual event to gain the tools they need to lead themselves.
No matter if you missed the event or want to review the lessons you heard during the day, here is an all-in-one summary of the day, complete with downloadable recaps from each of the nine female speakers.
Jess Ekstrom on Controlling Your Narrative
Charming and inspirational, Jess Ekstrom, founder and CEO of Headbands of Hope, opened the day with an uplifting message about how bad things happen to everyone, but we have the power to decide how we’ll use them for good. Jess told the audience that no matter what negative or positive events come your way, you control your own narrative. This principle helped her overcome failures early in her entrepreneurial career to build her impactful company that donates headbands to children with cancer.
Marilyn Tam—executive coach and author , who left Hong Kong as a teenager and rose to be an executive at major lifestyle brands like Aveda, Nike and Reebok—recounted how living her life’s purpose pushed her to success, and explained why leaders must live theirs too. Throughout her life, staying committed to helping others encouraged her stay grounded through good and bad times. For Marilyn, her purpose guides her actions every day.
“At the root of authenticity is a practice of knowing who we are, embracing who we are and being who we are.”
Ritu Bhasin, author and founder of her own diversity consulting firm, explained that being authentic and not conforming to others’ desires will make you happier and more successful. She explained why she left a career that was not making her happy and detailed how she was able to live authentically moving forward. Ritu encouraged attendees to know, embrace and be who they are. For Ritu, the key to being a leader is being authentic and not conforming to norms.
We rely on technology to communicate too much, says award-winning journalist Celeste Headlee. Instead, we need to focus on listening so we can have better conversations. Her presentation at Leadercast Women taught the audience how to have real conversations. Engaged, person-to-person communication will help everyone reclaim their humanity and help leaders learn more about their teams.
An engineering student-turned race car driver, Julia Landauer knows how to stay focused. But keeping others on task can be tricky. At the event, she shared how to help every team member contribute more by connecting with them. However, Julia also cautioned the audience not to change who you are for your followers, but to be sensitive to their needs.
Clemantine Wamariya—storyteller, author and human rights activist—lived through war, escaped and now uses her story to inspire others. She is an adamant believer in sharing your story to help others learn and grow. Clemantine implored the audience to share their experiences because the world needs to understand people of all backgrounds. In her view, this is the best way to eliminate hate.
Barbara Bush and Jenna Bush Hager transitioned from being in the first family to forging their own paths in leadership. For these sisters, kindness, humility and empathy are key ingredients to being a leader worth following.They learned these lessons from great mentors in their lives and are spreading these tenants in the world today.
Closing out the show, Molly Fletcher, former sports agent and CEO of her own leadership company, discussed the importance of being present. Molly told attendees that we often confuse being busy with being productive. Expending energy on “urgent” things can drain our resources and cause us to miss what is important.