The Sum Volume #4: Heat

“The first responsibility of leadership is the creation of meaning.”—Warren Bennis.

Word of the Week is: Heat

 I landed in Phoenix @ 120 degrees. Or 122, but who’s counting. Yes, it feels like putting your head in an oven even if it’s a dry heat.

There’s lots of heat everywhere.  They say if you can’t stand it, you should get out of the kitchen. I say this week gave us at least three more reasons why women need to stay in the leadership kitchen.

3 Reasons Women Need to Stay in the Kitchen

Sometimes the pot boils over and it’s a good thing.  Uber founder Travis Kalanick resignsafter the pot of his own making boiled so hot that he had to. It took the cool head of a woman on the board to force the change. Here’s Arianna Huffington’s speech to Uber’s employees. It’s been a rocky ride; she was quoted in Broadsheet saying, “Knowing how to deal with crises without being overwhelmed – keeping one’s head while people all around are losing theirs – is the most important leadership quality.”

Contrast Kalanick’s leadership style (power over) with that of China’s dominant rideshare CEO Jean Liu (#powerTO). Can’t help but apply a gender lens to this though the article did not do so.

Continue reading “The Sum Volume #4: Heat”


Gloria Feldt is the author of No Excuses: 9 Ways Women Can Change How We Think About Power. Buy the book here. Engage Gloria for a Speech or Workshop. Tweet @GloriaFeldt and connect on Facebook, LinkedIn, and Google+ Gloria is the co-founder (with Amy Litzenberger) of Take the Lead, a new initiative to prepare and propel women to leadership parity by 2025. Find them @takeleadwomen and on Facebook.

The Sum Volume #2

“The first responsibility of leadership is the creation of meaning.”—Warren Bennis. Welcome to the Sum, where I share my take on the meaning of sum of the week’s parts. I want your voice too. Leave comments here or @GloriaFeldt.

It’s about power this week.

Of course with me, every day of every week I’m obsessed with women’s relationship with power.  That’s because it’s so central to the decisions women make to aim for those higher salaries and leadership positions, elective offices, and grander entrepreneurial ventures – or not. The relationship is so profound, it’s almost spiritual, and often fraught with ambivalence.

The news of the week reveals the two kinds of power I talk and teach about as the basis for changing the power paradigm: power over versus power TO.

Continue reading “The Sum Volume #2”


Gloria Feldt is the author of No Excuses: 9 Ways Women Can Change How We Think About Power. Buy the book here. Engage Gloria for a Speech or Workshop. Tweet @GloriaFeldt and connect on Facebook, LinkedIn, and Google+ Gloria is the co-founder (with Amy Litzenberger) of Take the Lead, a new initiative to prepare and propel women to leadership parity by 2025. Find them @takeleadwomen and on Facebook.

MLK Inspires Our Power-to

Inspiration is balm for the soul and a powerful kick in the resolve to take action.

Last year, to honor Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr on his birthday, I posted this call to share his quotes that have most inspired you.  I hope you’ll go read them, for I know you’ll be inspired to use your “power to” to take action.

Upon rereading the quotes, I was struck by what  King said about power: “I am not interested in power for power’s sake, but I’m interested in power that is moral, that is right and that is good.” In words far more eloquent than mine, King tells us to define power on our terms. To reject the oppressive power-over model; to use the power to, in order to do good.

As I  mourn the effects of power over, carried to its logical extreme by Jared Loughner  in Tucson a week ago, I am so grateful for King’s uplifting words. They  remind me to celebrate Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords’ moral, right, and good use of her power to make life better for her constituents, her state, and the nation.

And I am inspired all over again.

What MLK quote most inspires you to use your power to? Please share it here to honor Dr. King’s birthday.

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Gloria Feldt is the author of No Excuses: 9 Ways Women Can Change How We Think About Power. Buy the book here. Engage Gloria for a Speech or Workshop. Tweet @GloriaFeldt and connect on Facebook, LinkedIn, and Google+ Gloria is the co-founder (with Amy Litzenberger) of Take the Lead, a new initiative to prepare and propel women to leadership parity by 2025. Find them @takeleadwomen and on Facebook.

Your New Year Power Tune-Up: a Resolution You’ll Keep

The problem with many New Year’s resolutions is that they reinforce the very problems that keep us unhappy and unhealthy. They’re aimed at reshaping our bodies and ourselves to please others rather than fulfilling our own passions or aspirations. That’s why so often resolutions are quickly abandoned. And then we feel like failures

My No Excuses Power Tune-Up and Journal is a set of questions you can ask yourself based on the 9 Ways power tools and practical tips I created in No Excuses. They apply to work, politics, and personal life. The questions can be used as a journal to jot down reactions and answers over the next year. Or, just to zero in on one  problem and find a new insight or strategy for solving it.

I’m excited to report the Tune-Up has been written up on StyleGoesStrong.com, with these examples of how it can make for more productive New Year resolutions–resolutions we’ll want to keep:

1. We first need to change how we think about power. Define it on our own terms not as the traditional idea of power over (oppression) but as the expansive power to (leadership). Then we won’t resist our own power, but will be able to embrace it wholeheartedly for the good it will do.

2. Take a fresh look at our personal assets. What we need is there if we have the wisdom to see it and the courage to use it.

3. Carpe the chaos: seize the opportunity chaos brings. The current economic instability, for example, is a time when companies are much more open to new ways of doing things, including women moving into more responsible positions. And every major study finds that the skills women bring to the decision table result in better decisions and higher profits. Innovation always comes from the edges where chaos reigns.

4. Embrace controversy. Don’t think of it as conflict but as a teacher and an essential characteristic of a vibrant society. Use its energy to propel your ideas or authentic feelings forward.

5. Use movement building principles to make the changes we want at work and at home, as well as in political issues.

6. Stop following our dreams and start leading them.

7. Pass it all forward through the power of telling our stories.

Download the 9 Ways Power Tune-Up and Journal now. Enjoy it yourself, but also think about sharing it with a friend or using it as the basis of your book group discussion. Focusing on these power-full questions will help you lead an unlimited life. That’s more likely to energize you than worrying again about losing that persistent 10 pounds.

Let me know your thoughts and suggestions.


Gloria Feldt is the author of No Excuses: 9 Ways Women Can Change How We Think About Power. Buy the book here. Engage Gloria for a Speech or Workshop. Tweet @GloriaFeldt and connect on Facebook, LinkedIn, and Google+ Gloria is the co-founder (with Amy Litzenberger) of Take the Lead, a new initiative to prepare and propel women to leadership parity by 2025. Find them @takeleadwomen and on Facebook.

Wonder Woman!

I love this video artist Linda Stein made about the history and social significance of the female super heroine created by psychologist William Moulton Marston (inventor of the lie detector test, perhaps the precursor of Wonder Woman’s ability to know who was telling the truth–or who knows, maybe she could tell who was lying because she was a mom) to be the antidote to Superman, the epitome of male power over others. Wonder Woman instead never kills, she uses her power to to help, protect, stop the bad things from happening. Here’s Stein’s intro:

How does Wonder Woman do it? She is able to stop the bad guys—even convince them to reform—without ever killing! Her gender-bending strength and power is matched only by her compassion in seeking peace and justice. The question, CAN WONDER WOMAN CRA-AC-CK GENDER STEREOTYPES? is paramount as this icon and superhero confronts the sexism prevalent at the time of her creation in 1941 as well as today.

So how does Wonder Woman do it? What lessons can we learn from her today?


Gloria Feldt is the author of No Excuses: 9 Ways Women Can Change How We Think About Power. Buy the book here. Engage Gloria for a Speech or Workshop. Tweet @GloriaFeldt and connect on Facebook, LinkedIn, and Google+ Gloria is the co-founder (with Amy Litzenberger) of Take the Lead, a new initiative to prepare and propel women to leadership parity by 2025. Find them @takeleadwomen and on Facebook.