After taking time to reflect on three days in beautiful Rome surrounded by 950 thinkers, dreamers, doers and in-general amazing professional women from around the world. I will share my reflections. In the last years I have somewhat limited my participation in gender-based forums and yet, I see and feel the value of them when there. I simply wish more men could experience the same profound impact of connection and inspiration, while talking solutions for sustainability, profitability and growth. In effort to focus, keep in mind this is not a summary of the WIN Conference as a whole, but my reflections as a global social strategist. Some pieces are simply memorable statements on leadership and vision.
Thank you, ladies, for joining us for a wonderful workshop at the International Committee for the Red Cross on International Women’s Day. I appreciate your patience for the computer glitches and getting things rolling. Sometimes it is good to be reminded how to avoid reliance on technology to allow us to share and learn. It was a pleasure meeting you all. I look forward to hearing from you as we near the launch of 2BalanceU throughout this year.
We must understand the importance of sharing. Often it is as simple as passing on the words of wisdom that we ourselves know. This clip is a beautiful expression of some of the women that have shared wisdom with me in the last few months. Thank you for sharing and keep it up.
Who am I? Like you, I am a dreamer
Believing the world is my oyster
In that oyster is a pearl
A pearl of wisdom
Left by someone who cherished it
Who then passed it on so that it could be cherished by another
Women Sharing Wisdom is nothing new
In fact it is as old as time
But what once was shared with few in a closed tent
During women’s monthly blessing
Now can be shared across cultures, across boundaries, across cultures
The Internet has made this possible
Who are we, we are dreamers
Believing technology will make anything possible, someday
Energized by the tools that enable us
To interact with information and individuals
Excited by the possibility of the most obscure of solutions can reach
One seeking the answer from a far corner of the globe
Who are we, we are women
We are global citizens, builder of communities, mentors,
We are mothers, entrepreneurs, wives,
We are Friends, Sisters, Daughters, Lovers of life,
We are hostesses, visitors and travelers
We long to create a better place than the one that we came into
Trying to balance the ever changing needs of our multidimensional lives
and those around us
Imagine reaching an audience engaged
Imagine connecting before a transition knocks you down
Imagine not feeling alone
Imagine leading and supporting other women who lead.
I have just returned from the TIAW Global Partnership Forum in Indian Wells, CA. I must commence with a kudos to the organizers at the Women’s Leadership Forum, particularly Dr.Rev. Cathy O’Connell, and TIAW’s Maxine Westaway, Stephanie MacKendrick and Diane Morris for pulling together such an inspiring group of presenters in the most marvelous of location. Thank you ladies!
It is hard to know where to begin with so much to reflect upon, so I will just mention some of the highlights that stood out.
* Dr. Reine Eisler from the Center for Partnership Studies spoke of the partnership model and the importance of hierarchies of actualisation rather than hierarchies of domination and rising to a call for action in awareness. I am looking forward to reading more of her work.
* Shalini Nataraj, Global Fund for Women, emphasized that women have to be at the table for every issue, not just women’s issues.
* Stephanie MacKendrick, of TIAW and Canadian Women in Communications, presented on women on boards and the 7 steps to recovery from a power deficit. 1. Build Professional Profile 2. Involve employer, share aspirations 3. Education plan 4. Networking plan 5. Applying judiciously (focus) 6. Serving on non-profit board 7. Be realistic. She also emphasized the importance of supporting the men’s liberation movement: to take their share of child and family care and free them from domination (the preconceived beliefs of).
* Libby Gill provided a wonderfully motivating presentation on establishing our brand and authenticity. 1. You are your brand 2. Stand out from the herd 3. Craft a Sticky Message 4. Predetermine press outcomes 5. Powerful plan and flawless execution.
* Hon. Patricia Russell-McCloud, A is for Attitude had us all ready to launch with her fantastic rhythmic incantations for striving for our greatest potential. A few soundbits that stand out: “Whatever you are going through is a temporary inconvenience for a permanent improvement.” “Money will not buy happiness, but it will buy a consultant who will look for a solution.” “Those things which make you exceptional may also make you lonely.” And, “Attitude will get you from duh to ahh.”
Breaking traditional cultural patterns is often met with resistance even when change is for the better. Introducing new solutions takes patience and persistence. I now watch my daughter and am proud to see her fight stubbornly for that which she feels is right. I believe that it is precisely that tenacity combined with compassion that create powerful leaders who can institute change.
Women sharing wisdom is nothing new, it is simply the method of sharing that has evolved. As a result, we are no longer simply sharing wisdom that enables us to support and sustain just our families and our communities. With the Internet, women sharing wisdom impacts the world as a global community. But first it must start at the core. The sustainability of self. If we neglect the sustainability of self, we cannot lead. The wisdom we gather in becoming sustainable at the core is what we share.
We no longer meet in red tents when we have our monthly visitor, we have women’s networks. And yet, as women we must remember that we have more in common than difference. We are united in laughter at shared images of hot flashes, helpless frustration at recollections of being violated, camaraderie at defiance of glass ceilings, and pride in personal success. Women leaders are still women at the core. Encourage tenacity and support one another with compassion, it is critical for the success of evolution of leadership. As it is change, it may be perceived as revolution. May the gift of compassion make it a peaceful one.