You can do it at the beach, on a boat, or by the pool

I was on vacation the last few weeks.

And judging from the number of vacation messages from people on this newsletter list, so were many of you. Hope you had a restorative experience if you have already taken time off, (See below for who I met on my vacation.) And if yours is still to come, I hope you are planning to get away for a vacation or maybe a stress free staycation.

With summer location changes,  it’s only fair to extend the early bird rate for my 9 Practical Leadership Power Tools to Accelerate Your Career online certificate course. And the great thing is you can do this anywhere, any time, any time zone.Sometimes you have to slow down to accelerate. Yes, paradox is at the heart of leadership.

Register by end of the day July 1 and you’ll still get $100 off the full price.

What better time than the lazy(er) days of summer to get the benefit of learning  new concepts, tools, and tips that will refresh you, inspire you, and accelerate your career? I’ll share secrets I’ve learned from a lifetime of organizational leadership along with the latest thinking and research. And you’ll connect with other women in a supportive circle.

If you’ve been considering signing up but were afraid to make the time commitment, check out the benefits:

  • APPLY new power and leadership definitions to your own work
  • EMBRACE your power with intention, take challenges confidently, and lead authentically
  • UNDERSTAND the game — what keeps women from parity in leadership in order to accelerate your own career
  • APPLY the 9 Practical Leadership Power Tools to your goals
  • DEVELOP a powerful Personal Leadership Action Plan
  • NETWORK with purpose
  • NEGOTIATE with confidence
  • EARN a Leadership Certificate to advance your resume

Questions? Contact me.

Recap9 Practical Leadership Power Tools to Accelerate Your Career

When: Four weeks, July 16–August 13

Where: Online, asynchronous, meaning you don’t have to be online at any particular time (remember, you can do it on the beach)

Why: Because you are worth it

Bonus: Get the exclusive Take The Lead Close The Gap Appfree– the tool you need to close your own pay and leadership gap

Hurry: Early bird offer expires at midnight pacific time July 1.

 

Warmest Regards—and Power to You,

Gloria Feldt and the Take The Lead Team


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.

Women, Power and the Transformation of Leadership

This was this morning published over at the Women’s Media Center.

Ever had the experience of awaking at night from a nightmare where you’re onstage to give a speech and find you’ve forgotten entirely what you had planned to say? It happened to me but I was wide awake.

Last January, I was slated to give a keynote to a packed house of activist women who had traversed winter snows to attend the SeeJaneDo Passion to Action conference in Grass Valley, California. The speaker to precede me was Bioneers co-founder Nina Simons.

I’d had a chance to meet Nina at breakfast that morning and was eager to hear her talk about the women’s leadership program she’s created within Bioneers, a diverse global coalition of environmental groups that connect to leverage their common mission, which is nothing less than saving the planet. Like so many social movements, Nina told me over hearty biscuits and country gravy, the majority of environmental volunteers doing on-the-ground work are women—but the leadership was primarily men.

Nina began her speech, and my wide-awake nightmare began to unfold. Yes, my notes were neatly tucked away in my folder, and yes, I knew exactly what I wanted to tell the women assembled. The problem? Nina was giving my speech. Almost word for word, and definitely idea for idea.

Her personal journey to leadership paralleled mine. She eventually recognized that she had spent many years subsuming herself to a movement and an organization that she loved beyond measure, but in a voice not sourced from the well of her own power or initiation. It was a mirror image of the wake-up call I had after I left my 30-year career of leadership with Planned Parenthood in 2005, and proceeded to continue my pattern of speaking in someone else’s voice when I co-wrote Kathleen Turner’s memoir, Send Yourself Roses, the year after that.

Nina’s call to women to redefine power on their own terms—she says “power with and through” whereas I say “power to” in contrast to the prevailing dominance model of “power over”—was almost identical to one of the “9 Ways” power tools in my new book, No Excuses: 9 Ways Women Can Change How We Think About Power. I too was all pumped up to tell these women activist leaders that the first step to embracing our power is to define our own terms, before others define us.

“Women are negotiating power in new ways, understanding it as something sacred that runs within us each and all,” said Nina. “Our relationship with power is a spiritual one rarely acknowledged by the metrics or philosophers. Until we redefine that relationship, we will stay stuck in our unfinished revolution,” said my speech notes.

My underlying point, and Nina’s, is that we women have been dancing to someone else’s socially constructed tune for millennia. Even if we like the melody we need to awaken to its origins, get clear about where we are co-opted or disempowered by a culture that does not value us, and take the initiative to move to our own authentic rhythms so that we can be unlimited in the way we live and lead.

I was simultaneously filled with delight at having found a soul mate and terrified that I could add nothing to the conversation because she had stated this basic leadership skill so beautifully. My mind was doing its own little dance to reorganize my speech.

Then Nina launched into the second half of her speech and I entered the even worse nightmare where you see yourself naked on stage. She was poetically discussing the power of sharing stories. My ninth power tool, the one I had built the entire second half of my speech around, is “Tell your story.”

How was it that a woman I had never met before that day was giving the speech I had written?

Here’s what I think: the congruence of our two stories, Nina’s and mine, is a reflection of something that is happening in the United States, and even globally.

This is women’s moment. At least one woman has shattered almost every glass ceiling, and doors are cracked enough to get through them. We’re better educated than men, vote in greater percentages, and this year became half the U.S. workforce. Feminism—along with reproductive technologies that give women choices to separate biology from destiny—has changed the culture so profoundly that young women grow up believing they can be anything they want to be and young men assume that young women will follow their own paths.

Studies from the World Bank, McKinsey and Co. and elsewhere show that more women around the decision table result in better decisions in politics and business. Maria Shriver declared this a Women’s Nation, Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn say the moral imperative of the 21st century is the empowerment of women, marketers know we buy 85 percent of all consumer goods and make their pitches accordingly. Women have the very leadership skills the world needs right now. It’s women’s moment in so many ways, but do we know it yet? That’s where the work is yet to be done.

The power of the platform women now have, like all power when redefined as the power to, or through or with, is infinite—not a zero sum game like power over, in which if I take a slice of the pie there’s less for you. Shifting our definition of power from power over to power to enables us to move from a culture of oppression to a culture of positive intention to do good things in the world. Power over is passé; power to is the next iteration of leadership. Power over is from Mars; power to is from Venus.

So what did I do? I told the truth: Nina gave my speech so now we’re going to take it to the next level and put those power tools to practical action.


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.

Power Tool #1: Know Your History

Women’s history is the primary tool of their emancipation. ~Gerda Lerner

This week I’d love to know your thoughts about the first of the 9 Ways power tools, “Know your history and you can create the future of your choice.” Do you agree with that statement?

I wrote it because women have been all but written out of history. Yet we are always everywhere giving birth to everyone and doing all kinds of important things despite barriers.

Take the story of Sybil Luddington. At age sixteen, on April 26, 1777, Sybil rode through towns in New York and Connecticut warning that the British were coming. She gathered enough volunteers to beat back the British army the next day, and her ride was twice as long as Paul Revere’s. Yet, unless you live in the small Connecticut town named for her, it’s doubtful you’ve ever heard of her. Sometimes she is called the “female Paul Revere” but couldn’t he just as well be called “the male Sybil Luddington?”

How many women did you learn about in high school history classes? Bet you can count them on one hand without using all your fingers. So here’s your chance to rectify that. Tell 9 Ways readers (and me) about a woman or women in history that you feel wasn’t given her due by the history books.

We’re going to be talking about these questions all week. I’m looking forward to your thoughts and stories.


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.