Beautiful is Powerful – Embracing Femininity as a Leadership Strategy

leadershipLast week I was proud to be part of the panel ‘Beautiful is Powerful – Embracing Femininity as a Leadership Strategy’ at UCLA Anderson. We were the ‘dinner entertainment’ for the first night of a five day program, which is an exciting and innovative one for women from all over the world supported by the Spanish bank, Banco Santander . Every year they select 50 women out of an applicant pool of several hundred to spend a week in leadership & management training at Anderson. My fellow panelists were:

Kathryn Cicoletti – the CEO and Founder of
Zhena Muzyka – the founder of Zhena’s Gypsy Tea
Samantha Shear – Head of Film and TV Development at Kickstart Production
And we were moderated by Summers McKay – Founder of Caution Curves Ahead

The variety of backgrounds we had made it an interesting (and very fast!) conversation. In keeping with the theme of the evening, some lessons shared and learned included:

– Have and use a story to build and create your product/service – that opens the door to action
– Be persistent, take the first steps, and don’t wait to be 100% right before sharing your ideas – and take credit for them
– Look for and build a support system, whether it be a formal mentorship group or your personal board of directors
– Make decisions for yourself, and don’t feel bad for letting things go, including those that aren’t supportive of your goals

This past weekend, I was part of a bachelorette party to celebrate the upcoming wedding of one of my good friends. We had a lot of fun wine tasting in Santa Ynez, hanging out in a ranch house with little to no cell service, and making friends with some of the locals. There was also time for some good ‘girl talk’, and I think coming off of the panel, I was mentally putting some things in to the context of strong females (which this group was as well).

– Don’t hide your feminine side – whether it be some awesome boots or some yummy homemade baked goodies.
– It’s OK to ‘break up’ with friends, especially when the relationship is pulling you down, but if you are the one doing the breaking up, it’s better to talk through it, and not just disappear.
– Having a group of women you can talk to and trust is a great way to bring new energy to whatever may be going on in your life.

What do you think it means to use femininity to lead?

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