Sunday, April 26, 2009

A Comment from one of our fans... a man's point of view

I received an email from one of our Contagious Community members regarding his point of view of women's leadership skills... he has some great ideas and is a proponent of us bringing rah-rah back to the conference. he-he... not that it ever left... it merely is a part of the conference, rather than the whole of it. :)

First, women frequently run into communication barriers in the business world because the men in their organizations rarely understand the female perspective. I have had huge success providing cross-gender communications training and it can be as simple for an organization as learning semantics. Because the fundamental essence of the human male is the need for independence, any male in a subordinate role to a female will view, "I need this on my desk by tomorrow" as a conflict confrontation. In his mind, he get's enough, "Honey, when are you going to take out the trash and mow the lawn?" at home. He naturally bristles when he hears it.However, if his female boss were to simply put it another way, "Roger, would you be willing to look at this?" or "Roger, I need your assistance with this and it must be done asap."The conflict with his need not to be told what to do is gone. In the second example, he becomes the knight, i.e. I need your assistance. Even gay men can't resist the call to chivalry. They feel needed, thus respected. Yes, I know this shallow and somewhat juvenial, but we're talking men here. I am the former Training and Development Manager for the State of xxxx (name deleted on purpose) where I once took these concepts to the Department of Motor Vehicles. The supervisors there in turn taught their front counter staff and low and behold there was a huge change in the public's perception of an agency they all hated to deal with. Now when a big burly man from this state walks in and stands before a small young female behind the counter, she says, "Sir before I can properly help you, would you be willing to fill out all the boxes on this form?" That simple phrase, "Would you be willing?" seems to work on most men. Try it if you are married.

Second, you mentioned your Leadership Confrence for women wasn't going to be a rah rah session. In daily performing the leadership function, there is one factor which, is rarely a solid given in men and very iffy in women. Confidence. Not confidence built on a false sense of self-importance, but true confidence built on a strong self-esteem. The average CEO in this country stumbles along, at best, when it comes to making individual decisions. I think there is a great need for women to be praised and lifted up in the business world and told that when they bring their true selves to the table with all their natural compassion, their desire to serve, and their male mind boggling ability to mutitask, they bring an unbeatable force. Rah rah has its place and women need it today. When I was seventeen, I was conoeing down a long set of rapids on a whitewater river and was met by a sixtyfive year old women kayaking back up stream. There is nothing so inspirational, nothing so empowering, and few things more glorious than a women, with confidence and courage facing whatever life throws at her. Give em some rah rah.

Thanks much my friend and stay contagious!

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Leadership for Women - in 2009???

Why is it that in 2009, we are still having the conversation about skills or roles for men versus skills and roles for women? Well, part of the challenge is that we seek equality, instead of fairness. Another challenge is that we, women, seek to be treated the same, instead of in our own unique ways.

Leadership for Women is a skill development path that still needs to exist because until we recognize that we do not play by the same rules, nor need to, as men have for decades, we will continue to be battling against not only the system, but ourselves.

Women are and always will be different. We communicate differently, think differently, function differently, and lead differently. The Contagious Confidence Conference for Women, focused on Leading in Tough Times is a course that teach women to lead on their own terms and by their own rules, not those that we are told we must follow in order to seduce the boy's club.

Maybe in 2020, we'll be talking about how leadership can be a component of the activities for little girls, or actually see the advent of CEO Barbie. However, until then, ladies, we need to learn new rules, and new skills. June Cleaver will not ever run a board meeting, but you can..

Stay Contagious !

Monday, April 06, 2009

Thank you Laura and Beverly

It sounds like you both had fun at the Fred Pryor Conference for Women in Tampa. Thank you so much for sharing the good news that the instructor read part of my article from the Tampa Bay Women Newspaper she found in the hotel lobby. The article was entitled "The Race for Your Business". How kind of you to share with the group that you knew the author - me! - and then to share your kind words about our very own Orlando Women's Leadership Conference coming up on May 13th. Thank you both for your kind words and for spreading the word!

I look forward to seeing you in May!
All my best and oh, stay contagious!

Thursday, April 02, 2009

Will you help us spread the word?

In a time when Seth Godin is writing about Tribes that we all can lead and MORE magazine is writing about women SHATTERING the glass ceiling, I am looking for your help in spreading the word about an event that combines the best of both.

On May 13th, 2009 in Orlando, we are conducting a Women’s Conference on Leading in Tough Times. It isn’t just about the times we are in, but about the skills women need to survive and thrive in them as leaders of organizations, businesses, lives, and the voices in their heads. This training conference will give women the skills to lead more effectively, eliminate the guilt in some of the choices we have to make, and lead without having to give up their femininity or who they are (or wish they could be!). It’s about teaching women to play by their own rules, not the ones of the boy’s club that we are told to follow. It’s about helping women recognize their own strengths and natural ability to lead. This isn’t a feminist thing or a reason to picket something, it’s merely a movement to help women rise to the positions of leadership in which they can excel, but may not know how to reach.

I am confident you know women who can benefit – maybe it’s even you! Would you be so kind to share this email and the attached registration form with the women in your world? We have even extended the early bird pricing so that there is still time to register at the lowest price possible. Please join us and invite your female friends to be a part of the movement. If we are going to shatter the glass ceiling, it will take all of us in this together. Will you help us spread the word?
Stay Contagious,