Anyone can read the studies on why companies benefit from having effective women leaders from the C-suite down – just as any rising women executive can read a “how to be a better leader” NYT bestseller.
It's when we get to what's underneath the lessons, where we work through the really hard stuff and share our vulnerabilities - that's where the wisdom lies. That's where we find the insight that's real and useful.
Wisdom Warriors are stories by and about leaders who “get it.” These are stories tested and used in everyday situations. The individuals who generously share these stories are courageous, authentic, and dedicated to helping others be remarkable.
Signature is all about staying true to yourself, knowing that you will falter along the way. It’s about shared wisdom from person to person, generation to generation.
It’s more than stories with facts; it’s storytelling…from the heart.
After three years of running the Signature Program and engaging hundreds of executives in this expedition, the opportunity to share the wisdom from our candid, safe, and open conversations came to life. We had discussed practical approaches for how to make a life amid the demands of family and career. And there was so much great advice on topics like managing a tenuous boss relationship, staying true to yourself as you weigh opportunities that weren’t part of your original plan, and practicing the self-care needed to have the energy to be your best at work and still have something left when you go home.
I wanted more up-and-coming leaders to hear this rich insight. That’s why this book had to be written. To share, learn, and experience life through one another. Maybe if we hear it enough different ways, we can actually take it in.
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People feel authenticity. They even feel it in emails. Don't you owe it to yourself to be authentic? I think not only can you be authentic, I think you need to be. You owe it to yourself and to your organization to be true to yourself.
I had to overcome thinking I had to always fit in. I thought that my generation was going to be the generation where women were going to take the rightful place in company leadership and in some ways we have, but I don’t think we have come as far as I expected. In today's world, different perspectives will make innovation better, will make companies better, will make change better, and will be the difference in making a company survive in this complex world.
Business is a game you have to play and you have to play hard. The game is not going to be risk-free. Playing not to lose is simply not enough.
My father used to say “the only difference between a rut and a grave is the depth.” Don’t get into a rut doing the same old stuff because you may as well lie in your grave.
When you’re in an executive role, you are no longer playing a volume game. You won’t succeed based upon the number of initiatives you drive. Five years from now, you are only going to be remembered for three things. Organizations can’t remember more than three things. So think really hard about what you want those things to be and what you want people remembering you for.
Whether it’s Carol, the visiting leaders, or the women in the program, role modeling how to lead with purpose is the juice of Signature. That’s what makes it so impactful, with such lasting consequences. I get fueled whenever I’m there, just by being in the room.