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114. Unleashing the Power of Women Supporting Women in Leadership

Do you feel lonely in your leadership?

​Do you wish you had a community of women to support you through the highs and lows of leadership? We've got a solution for you! Listen to learn how you can overcome feelings of loneliness, connect with like-minded individuals, have fun, and learn from other women leaders, all while supporting the nonprofit Together Women Rise. Learn more here:

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While it's not perfect, we offer this transcription by Capsho for those who prefer to read or who are hearing impaired.

I almost quit. But the way that she saw me, supported me, and empowered me changed the course of the next five years of my career.

There is a special power in women supporting each other in the workplace, don't you agree?

Let's explore it today and look at how we can harness this power together. And then I will tell you as as Paul Harvey used to say, (am I dating myself?)...the rest of the story.

I'm Teri Schmidt, founder of Stronger to Serve coaching and team building. And this is the Strong Leaders Serve podcast.

00:00:55 Before we flash back about twelve years so I can tell you the rest of the story, I have an exciting announcement. We're not going to just talk about the power of women leaders supporting other women leaders. We're going to give you a chance to experience it. But first, a couple of questions for you. Have you felt lonely in your leadership?

00:01:18 Do you wish you had a community of women to support you through the leadership highs and lows? I know my answers are yes to those questions. Just a little side note, you know that I talk about how our leadership development model of ground Grow give is like a spiral staircase in that you go through the three phases multiple times as you ascend through your leadership. Check out episode five for more on that. Well, I'm at a place where I'm back in the ground phase and I feel like something happened and there's a little too much room between the different stairs.

00:01:55 I'm going through a big jump in clarity and confidence and I'm in the messy middle right now. This jump has been inspired by people like Tara J. Frank, our past guest Belinda Clemensen, ellen Duffield, tara Moore and future podcast guest Nina Simons. If you're not aware of them, I definitely encourage you to look them up and read their books. I look forward to sharing more soon.

00:02:25 But today, the reason I tell you that is that I want you to know that I need you. So if your answer to the questions I asked a little while ago was yes too, I've got the solution. And the solution is our brand new women's leadership Growth Collective WLGC for short. Starting on April 26, we'll be meeting quarterly during the lunch hour to help you, as an inspiring new or mid level female leader to feel seen, supported, and empowered. So what do we mean by seen, supported, and empowered?

00:03:06 Well, isn't this what we all want? And isn't this why it's important for women to get together? By scene we mean that we normalize our experiences. There are different challenges facing us in the workplace, and when we come together with other people who have faced similar challenges, we are better able to work through those challenges together. We're better able to develop a greater self awareness and to react to different situations and challenges in a healthy way that supports our well being.

00:03:42 Being seen also means that we know that other people recognize our value, even sometimes more than we recognize it in ourselves. Being supported means that we have someone there who we know has our back. Someone that we can reach out to when maybe we have a technical question or a leadership question. Someone who is going to listen without judging us and help us to move forward. And empowered means when we have a community of women who can help us to move forward, to have the impact that we want to have in our leadership, who can mentor us, who can provide a safe space for us and who can help us with compassionate accountability.

00:04:34 That is what we are creating. But before we get into the details, let's answer my favorite question why in particular? You may be wondering, why am I focusing on just women? First, it's definitely not because I have anything against men or dislike my male colleagues. I'm probably the furthest thing from a stereotypical girly girl that you'd imagine.

00:05:00 You see, my mom grew up with two brothers and was a bit of a tomboy, and I ended up the same way. I'd much rather be out in nature getting dirty than shopping or getting my nails done. But getting past those gender stereotypes, I do know that our workplaces have been out of balance for a long time. Weighted toward the masculine ways of leadership like charisma, efficiency, analysis, structures and strategies, and downplaying the feminine end of the leadership spectrum where skills and qualities like empathy, resilience, vulnerability and connectedness lie. A case in point just ask people what it means for a woman to have executive presence and many will talk about dressing in a suit and projecting your voice.

00:05:50 Contrast that with the description of leadership presence that Sean Overcast gave us way back in episode 50. The second thing I know is that even though women's leadership is needed, just check out episode 110 with Belinda Clemensen for the many business benefits of having women in leadership. According to McKinsey and company, women are leaving their workplaces at unprecedented levels. And finally, I know that when women come together, they create community and solidarity, banishing loneliness and providing a safe space to learn, grow and make progress toward change together. So, although I have nothing against my male colleagues, I do see a need for and a benefit of women coming together to support each other.

00:06:40 How about you? At the WLGC, you will meet other women leaders who care about developing others and making their workplaces more compassionate and just through their leadership. You'll meet other women who can help you through challenges and women who you can support as well. You'll get a break from your day to learn and connect, and you'll be supporting the larger community. The WLGC is ideal for you when you are an aspiring, new or mid level people leader.

00:07:15 Believe in the potential of others and want to see them develop. Are overwhelmed with your daily tasks but long to make an impact. Love to support other women, like to have fun, and love to do good in the world. Each quarter will have a different topic chosen by the group. This quarter's topic is all about women supporting women.

00:07:39 So we will continue this conversation with exercises and techniques to help you grow your tribe of women leaders. Will you join us? The cost is only $20 until April 12 and $25 after that, with 50% of each ticket purchased for April's meeting. Going toward the nonprofit together women rise. Come experience the power of connecting with other women.

00:08:07 And speaking of power, back to my story. You see, when I almost quit actually, I did kind of quit. I told my boss that I was going to be leaving the organization. I was in a situation where my husband's job was moving. We had to move out of state, and I didn't see a way forward for me to stay in my current role.

00:08:31 So like I said, I told my boss I was going to resign. But a woman who was senior to me sat me down and told me that. She said to my VP that you have to do all you can to keep your A players. She said to me, you're an A player. Her saying that and knowing that she advocated for me helped me to feel seen and valued and helped me to believe I was more valuable than even maybe I thought I was at the time.

00:09:01 Her belief and actions empowered me to request workplace accommodations that enabled me to continue to lead in a job that I loved and to have an even greater impact on the organization. She helped me to feel seen, empowered, and supported. Come join us on April 26 to feel that same way yourself. We need each other. Together, we will transform our workplaces and our communities one relationship at a time.

00:09:32 Get your ticket today at I can't wait to see you there. And until next time, lead with this quote by Robert Kaiyasaki in mind: "The richest people in the world look for and build networks. Everyone else looks for work."


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