When I went looking for a great quote about feedback. I quickly noticed how few women are quoted in collections of quotes, especially those pertaining to leadership.
So then, I deliberately looked for quotes by women about feedback. Here are a few:
- “There are two things people want more than sex and money… recognition and praise.” —Mary Kay Ash, founder of Mary Kay cosmetics, which she started after being passed over for promotion by a man whom she had trained–talk about using feedback productively!
- “Everything in my environment is offering me feedback, if I will only listen.”–Sharon Weil, ChangeAbility: How Artists, Activists, and Awakeners Navigate Change
- “In fact, all of us are very susceptible to having our humiliating experiences turn to shame, especially when the person who is putting us down is someone with whom we have a valued relationship or someone whom we perceive to have more power than we do…”–Brené Brown
- “Policy was not reconsidered because the governing group had no habit of purposeful consultation.” —Barbara W. Tuchman, The March of Folly: From Troy to Vietnam
- “If you put out a new product and it doesn’t sell at all, that tells you something about what your audience does and doesn’t want. When we look at praise and criticism as information about the people giving it, we tend to get really curious about the feedback, rather than dejected or defensive.” —Tara Mohr, Playing Big: Find Your Voice, Your Mission, Your Message
- Feel the power that comes from focusing on what excites you.” —Oprah Winfrey (who needs no introduction)
Apropos of the value of negative feedback, Michele Weldon’s blogpost this week, “Your Faults are Your Gifts: 10 Leadership Lessons from ‘A Wrinkle in Time’” is a delightful as well as insightful read whether you have seen the movie or not.
I’m redoing my online course right now due to the lack of feedback—for silence in itself is feedback. I want to create a course where people are effusive in their feedback because they are thrilled by the progress it has helped them make in their careers and their lives.
All of this is to say that I value your feedback tremendously. And here is my big ask:
I am writing my next book. Help me decide what to call it.
My call to action in my last book, No Excuses: 9 Ways Women Can Change How We Think About Power—the one that spawned the program that became Take The Lead—is for women to redefine and embrace power. I provided the 9 Leadership Power Tools to help them do it. Because you cannot be an effective leader unless you are willing to use power.
When the #metoo and Time’s Up movements roared onto the scene, it put wind under our wings to achieve a mission that many people had said was impossible. (A good example of why one should listen to feedback, but don’t take it if your gut tells you it’s wrong. I knew in my bones that this was the time, long before women started raising their voices to say “no more” and running for office in record numbers.)
My call to action today is for women to use their phenomenal power with big, no, even bigger than that, intentions, and boom! we’ll achieve that elusive gender parity by 2025. Of course, I’m creating 9 additional Power Tools because I believe in giving actionable tips and skills, not just talk.
So help me out. What would you call this book if it were yours? What would make it leap from the shelf and cause you to say, “I need this book!”
Big Intentions: 9 NEW Ways Women Can Act on Their Power TO Find Parity, Prosperity, Confidence, and Joy
Big Intentions: 9 NEW Leadership Power Tools for Women to Lead Large, Reach Parity, Close the Pay Gap, and Love It All
Sex, Power, Equality: Why Everyone Wins When Women Take the Lead
Sex, Power, and Parity: Turning #metoo into Your Power to Lead
Bold: The Bigger Intentions Toolkit for Women
Do any of these reach out and grab you? Which do you like best? Any you actively dislike? Put your thoughts into the comments. And thanks in advance for the feedback!
P.S. to be fair, here are quotes from men whose wisdom I admire too:
- “Not everything that is faced can be changed; but nothing can be changed until it is faced.”— James Baldwin
- “Excellent firms don’t believe in excellence – only in constant improvement and constant change.” — Tom Peters
- “True intuitive expertise is learned from prolonged experience with good feedback on mistakes.” — Daniel Kahneman
- “I think it’s very important to have a feedback loop, where you’re constantly thinking about what you’ve done and how you could be doing it better.” — Elon Musk
- “Feedback is the breakfast of champions.” — Ken Blanchard
P.P.S. Your feedback, please. Leave comments here. I promise I will use them. I want to be both a champion and a champion for women.
GLORIA FELDT is the New York Times bestselling author of several books including No Excuses: 9 Ways Women Can Change How We Think About Power, a sought-after speaker and frequent contributor to major news outlets, and the Co-Founder and President of Take The Lead. People has called her “the voice of experience,” and among the many honors she has been given, Vanity Fair called her one of America’s “Top 200 Women Legends, Leaders, and Trailblazers,” and Glamour chose her as a “Woman of the Year.”
As co-founder and president of Take The Lead, a leading women’s leadership nonprofit, her mission is to achieve gender parity by 2025 through innovative training programs, workshops, a groundbreaking 50 Women Can Change The World immersive, online courses, a free weekly newsletter, and events including a monthly Virtual Happy Hour program and a Take The Lead Day symposium that reached over 400,000 women globally in 2017.