To me, a leader is somebody who gets something done. And while we make choices about what level and responsibility we take on as leaders, I believe that the most important leadership values are honesty and courage.
And if a leader is someone who gets something done, then LisaBeth exemplifies leadership too. She uses the power of her artistry to make a difference for the causes she—and YOU—believe in. When you or I wear one of LisaBeth’s cause pins, we’re also using Power Tool # 6: Wear the Shirt –showing the world what we believe.
I’ll bet LisaBeth would love to know what you want on your pin, if she were to design one for you. So tell her in the comment section below.
How do I know Gloria? Our paths were destined to cross, and they finally did back in 2004 at a campaign event in Pennsylvania. Having defined a mission of making a difference in the world over 20 years ago, I’ve always channeled my core beliefs into my work. It seems inevitable that my creativity and mission would manifest into a line of handmade pins for causes that began with a pin about CHOICE.
As an artist and activist, I realized that an art-pin could be like a mini-billboard for people to ‘wear their heart on their lapel’, to spark conversation, and to effect change.
Over the years, I developed cause pins for politics and voting, peace and social justice, women’s rights, the environment, animal rescue, and more. The pins found their way to many non-profit organizations that have utilized them for fundraising and awareness.
Executive leadership coach Ora Shtull understands the power of using your voice. In her lively guest post and the accompanying video, she tells women that it’s not enough to sit at the table; talk at the table if you want to have an impact on decisions and be recognized for your ideas. When I was writing No Excuses, I came to realize that power unused is power useless, and unless we are sharing our knowledge and ideas, they are not helping anyone, including ourselves. So, here’s how Ora tells it:
What is it about nines? Nine is the number of lives that cats are said to have. The Beatles sang “Revolution 9” on their White Album (in almost nine minutes!). And when you look pretty darn good, you’re “dressed to the nines.”
It’s no secret that I am a big admirer of Gloria’s work. Her rise from teen mom and high school dropout in rural Texas to CEO, author and acclaimed expert on women and power is nothing short of extraordinary.
Coincidentally and perhaps cosmically, I too have a belief in nine.
“Before I got pregnant, I was full-steam ahead in life,” said Carolina Pichardo, cofounder with Mary Targia of the educational and inspirational New York-based organization and website YUM (Young Urban Moms).
“I’d received a partial scholarship to New York University, after traveling abroad and interning at the New York City Public Advocate’s Office and Tor Books Publishing.”
But when she found out she was pregnant, the resulting harsh remarks and judgmental looks threw the slim, stately Harlem-born Pichardo off her track—for a while: “I just became angry. I didn’t know what to do with that anger, so I simply worked hard to prove those around me wrong.”
With some of the same rebel instincts that had propelled her parents to immigrate to the U.S. from the Dominican Republic—where her mother was a teacher and her father a doctor—she stayed in school through most of her pregnancy. She took a semester off after her daughter Lyanna (known as Lulu), now age 11, was born. Then she returned to earn her bachelor’s degree in communications from NYU “with leaky boob stories galore.”
Today I was feeling frustrated. I’d been working hard on a project but it wasn’t moving forward. I thought of a quote from the humorist Will Rogers, one I’ve often used when speaking about strategic planning or leadership. He said, “Even if you’re on the right track, you’ll get run over if you just sit there.”
How often do you find that a great quote can inspire you, inform you, give you just the kick of encouragement you need at a particular moment?
Happens to me all the time.
I’ve long collected quotes that speak to me in various files and electronic folders. I turn to them for inspiration and I often share them in writings and speeches. People tell me they look forward to these morsels of wisdom, encouragement, and power. In fact one friend told me she was addicted to the quotes I post on Facebook and twitter.
Former Susan G. Komen for the Cure NYC board member Eve Ellis became devoted to the cause of finding a cure for breast cancer after her sister, sister-in-law, and one niece all battled breast cancer. They survived.
But her other niece, Hally Yaccino Steiner, wasn’t so fortunate. She died of breast cancer 6 years ago at age 36.
Every year since she became a Komen NYC board member in 2004, Ellis, a wealth advisor who lives in NYC with her spouse, theater producer Annette Niemtzow, raised money for them enthusiastically, and since 2006 she raised it to honor Hally’s memory.
Every year until this one, that is, joining many thousands of people who have withdrawn their support for Komen since it created a tsunami of protest by discontinuing funding of Planned Parenthood at the behest of a politically motivated staff and board members.
I wrote about the incident for the Daily Beast in case you need to review the gory details that saturated the media.
In that showdown, at least for the short term, Planned Parenthood won. And recently, founder and CEO of the national Komen for the Cure Nancy Brinker stepped aside from her top leadership post, no doubt under severe pressure. However, she remains chair of the executive committee.
So this year, instead of her annual appeal for funds, Ellis is asking people to sign this petition urging Brinker to step out of all powerful leadership roles.
I signed the petition and hope you will too. If you have reservations, here are Ellis’s reasons why she hopes you reconsider:
Martha Burke has balls. And thanks to her leadership, now at least two women will have the privilege of chasing golf balls around the Augusta National Golf Club’s manicured course.
Former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and South Carolina financier and former banker Darla Moore have become the first female members in the club’s 80-year history.
Burk, who for the last nine years persisted in organizing to gain membership for women in the club that represents the pinnacle of power and influence, can finally, deservedly, celebrate success.
Burk explained the history in Women’s eNews last April when the august male-only golf club once again refused to let a woman wear its vaunted green members’ jacket at its annual Masters Tournament:
Well, the big day for the big boys at Augusta National Golf Club came and went without a woman showing up in the green jacket that denotes membership. The particular woman in question was Virginia Rometty, CEO of IBM, the leading corporate sponsor of Augusta’s Masters Golf Tournament.
For those who don’t follow news of puffed-up men chasing little balls around a green course, the club has always been male-only, and resisted extreme pressure nine years ago from women’s groups, led by the National Council of Women’s Organizations, to open up to female members.
The debate raged for nearly a year, complete with death threats to the NCWO chair, yours truly.
Crowley, 61, has won many awards for political reporting during stellar career. She graduated from Randolph-Macon Woman’s College—my friend Amy Litzenberger is sure that women find their voices in all-female college settings—and rose from a Washington DC radio newsroom assistant through the Associated Press and NBC ranks before joining CNN news in 1987. Along the way, she covered every presidential campaign and convention since Jimmy Carter.
On the same day Crowley’s selection was announced, Cosmopolitan Magazine’s iconic former editor-in-chief and the author of the 1962 game-changing best seller Sex and the Single Girl, Helen Gurley Brown, died in Manhattan at age 90.
I get the power of golf. That’s why I took it as my physical education in college. And I garnered the only “C” in my life. I’d have failed had it not been for the written final exam that brought my dismal playing score up from the tank.
So I chuckled when I received this e-mail from Joan Cavanaugh, former Dominican nun, creator of the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s recorded tours, teacher, entrepreneur, and the founder of the Boardroom Golf Institute:
“I listened to you on the Takeaway and thought this is a woman who should and would enjoy the benefits of the golf game…I would really like you to join me next Thursday at the business golf workshop. Golf is a great strategy for making new business relationships with men as well as women. It will be a fun packed day and you will go away educated about the game, elevate and empowered to play the game.”
Oh, if she only knew, I thought. I politely declined and thought that would be that.
Instead, she wrote back, and I discovered one of the most fascinating women around.
Her second epistle began cheerily, “I just opened a fortune cookie at lunch and I think the message has always been my mantra. ‘Enthusiasm is the greatest asset in the world. It beats money, power, and influence.’”
Google it. You can find suggestions for sharing tips with your girlfriends about their personal health, 10 Ways to Celebrate — fun things like going to a spa and niceties like writing a personal thank you note — and even girlfriend humor about why it’s better to be a female (“We got off the Titanic first.” “We don’t look like a frog in a blender when we dance.”).
But if you really want to do something of lasting value for your girlfriends, you might want to turn them onto Tamia Gallego’s blog. It’s called Women In The Black and it’s a self-described “community where like minded women discuss personal finance, saving, investing and building wealth.”
Come to think about it, do it for yourself too!
A banker with a CPA by day and an advocate for women’s financial literacy by night, Tamia lives in Sydney, Australia. Her information and advice are valuable for all of us girlfriends around the globe. In addition to her website, she offers a free daily newsletter with practical tips on personal finance and encouragement for the women (and she says also some men) who subscribe.
Tamia hopes eventually to secure corporate sponsors for her work, but for now she and her husband are supporting the “passion project” as she calls it.
Tamia’s posts are especially aimed at younger women in order to help them get on the best financial foot for life. She pointed out to me in an e-mail that because women typically earn less than men, we also end up with less in our retirement funds. Ouch—I can vouch for that.
I recommend you return to Women in the Black periodically for useful posts on personal finance ranging from advice about buying a business to tips for maximizing the money that is available to us but that we sometimes fail to collect.
I asked if I could repost her piece called “Know Your Worth” to share with all my, um, girlfriends, and she graciously agreed.
Here’s the post in full, with a big thanks to Tamia for kind words about No Excuses