Leadership Equity: A New Paradigm for Power

Leadership Equity

The way power is playing out right now is just not working.

Our current power structure is based on an old model that was designed to reflect the needs and the desires of just a small representation of humanity. Our view of power has become distorted and unhealthy, and it’s not inclusive of the voices and perspectives in our world today.

What we want is equitable, equal, just, and compassionate power. Not power over, but power with.

What we need is a new system of power that best reflects our shared humanity.

Leadership Equity is personal, community-driven, and systemic power that is used for the service of others and is representative of our diversity.

What Is Leadership Equity?

Similar to financial equity, Leadership Equity is a balance sheet of assets; yet, instead of financial assets, we’re talking about our influential assets: our clout, influence, and position in our communities and the world.

It is the value we’ve built through our work in current leadership platforms.

Yet the definition of equity doesn’t just speak to what we own — it also refers to how we use what we have in this world. The true definition of equity is: “the quality of being fair and impartial.”

True Leadership Equity isn’t used to benefit ourselves and our own communities. Leadership Equity is best used when helping to level the playing field for others.

The three ways in which we can build leadership equity within ourselves and out in the world are within the realms of:

— I
— We
— The World

Our growth, development, and impact in all three dimensions are what creates our Leadership Equity. How we use this equity within these three realms is how we shape our vision of the world.

Leadership Equity in the Realm of I

Everything starts inside the Realm of I.

All ideas start as whispers from our inner voice. These ideas are influenced and birthed by our values and belief systems. What matters most to me?

My truth. My acceptance. Celebration of my stories.

Our individual wholeness is the root of our personal expression in the world. All of us have personal power. Just by being here and taking up space.

For many, drive comes from overcompensation for our not-enoughness. We’re motivated ‘to become’ to hide our fears and vulnerabilities and to un-become what we don’t want the world to see.

But when we source our drive from deep, deep, radical self-acceptance, we can give up the war we have with ourselves, our not-enoughness, and our falling-shorts.

Leadership in the Realm of I starts with self-compassion. When our drive begins with self-compassion instead of a ‘covering-up’, only then can we risk vulnerability, failure, and hard lessons.

Leadership Equity in the Realm of We

We cannot be fully expressed as human beings in isolation. To what end are we doing this work on ourselves if not to take that representation — those ideas, truths, acceptance, and stories — into the world, into our relationships and communities?

When we emerge from our dark night of the soul, we are inspired to lead with the truth of who we are, and to do so with others. Our natural impulse is to share ourselves with others so that we may feel the power of belonging. Belonging is not about fitting in, it’s about fitting with – lending our unique imprint as we fit together with others to make a whole.

We must ask ourselves, “How can we connect with and support others as we are reaching for the stars ourselves?”

But sometimes people are scared of too much ‘We’ space. We’re afraid the people around us will dull our unique gifts or we will go unnoticed by the world.

This can happen – when there’s not enough diversity in the people around us.

If you find yourself scared of ‘We’ space, if you’re finding your gifts dulled within your communities, ask yourself:

Am I swimming in sameness?

While there may be comfort in surrounding yourself in people like yourself, sameness doesn’t have the same chemistry, spark, innovation, and grit as a diverse group.

The antidote to sameness is reaching for differences.

Reach for differences to build teams and communities with as much diversity in terms of:

— Race
— Gender
— Socioeconomic background
— Identity
— Perspective

Encourage new patterns, new solutions, and new thinking, and you’ll foster true innovation.

When we’re in the ‘We’ space, we need to pay attention to our language, set our intention, and welcome the gifts of curiosity. But above all, we need to place checks and balances on ourselves to ensure we’re creating an inclusive environment when we’re in this space.

Leadership Equity in the Realm of the World

I + We = The World

The Realm of the World represents whole-person leadership, relationships, communication, influence, and impact. The I and

The We create The World we live in.

Our old idea that The World just ‘happens’ and we respond to it is just not correct.

All the roads, the buildings, all the systems that support the functioning of our World are all direct results of efforts put forth by ‘The I’ and ‘The We’. Systems produce the results they were designed to produce. If we’re not getting the results we want, we need to change the system.

This is good news because we have more control than we think to make the world around us reflect what we want.

Leadership in the Realm of the World builds systems that reflect what we want and produce the outputs we desire.

Leadership in the Realm of the World means ensuring our systems are set up for inclusion and equality.

We need to evaluate every system (from our talent evaluation meetings to our hiring processes and our political landscape) to ensure they’re inclusive and that all races, genders, cultures, and bodies have a seat at the table.

We all have some level of clout, influence, and position (even if it’s only within our own families and communities). Our Leadership Equity is the value we’ve built up through our work in current leadership platforms, but also the work we have done on ourselves and in our communities.

What are you doing with the Leadership Equity you’ve built?

Leadership Equity Starts with Connection

Leadership Equity should be used to help level the playing field for others.

Doing so not only benefits others — but it benefits all the realms, from The World to The We to The I.

And Leadership Equity starts with connection.

First with the connection to yourself, to your truth, and knowing who you are. Then with your connection to others. Connection to your teams and to your community and connection to the earth, our world — and all of life. Emerging into being is so much more powerful when we do it with others.

When we structure our lives this way, Leadership Equity stops being the topic of conversation and just becomes the natural order of things.

Leadership Equity is the natural order of things.

The Radiant Leader: Authentic Leadership for Influence, Visibility and Fulfillment

As a former woman in technology, Emerging Women CEO Chantal Pierrat understands what it means to be “the only woman in the room.” When she was head of marketing and sales for an OEM product, she often found herself pitching mostly to men in white lab coats.

I know what it’s like to be underrepresented – both in terms of the business side but also on the tech and innovation side. And what that costs us in terms of the depth and the breadth of the solutions that are coming to the table.

Being that fly on the tech wall helped inform me of the challenges women face in the industry. Which is why when I was asked to speak at the Grace Hopper Celebration this year, I already had my topic: authentic leadership.

Why Is Authentic Leadership Important?

Both men and women must be themselves at work to be the best at what they do. But women are often viewed as a problem to be “fixed” for a “better fit” instead of a resource for a new paradigm for leadership.

When we are allowed to be our authentic selves, we radiate confidence and purpose. We come alive through our bodies. And this energetic power is the strongest differentiating quality in any leader.
But when we are pressured to fit in? We suffer from burnout, from fatigue. We don’t see the value in advancing our careers. And we rarely make it to the tech executive level.

The Problem in the Tech Industry: When Women Don’t Feel Valued

Mid-career is an especially challenging time for women. Most of us become discouraged from advancing onward when we:

  • Don’t see any evidence that our skills and contributions are recognized.
  • Cannot see a clear future path when so few women have forged those paths before us.
  • Are encouraged to spend our time fitting-in instead of innovating and streamlining products and services.
  • Suffer from low input, high burnout and lack of self-confidence.
  • Become isolated from those who would advocate for our success and advancement.
  • Have growing family commitments and are expected to “do it all” in order to “have it all.”

Mid-level burnout isn’t only a “tech problem” either. It spans across nearly all industries — from business to finance to farming.

The Solution: Connection-Based Radiant Leadership

Conscious, feminine leadership is changing the world for the better. But we still have a lot of work to do.
If we want to become our authentic selves in the office, we need to first believe we are worthy. Radiant leadership is all about the expression of love, confidence and happiness. But more importantly, the love, confidence and happiness we draw from within.

When we are whole, we are using our hearts, minds, bodies and souls in unison.
The result? Resilient women and men, working together to influence the world through a strong sense of purpose and making an impact on their industry.

When you are connected, you are:

  • Coming alive through your body.
  • Using intentional self-talk to override critical or negative thought patterns.
  • Visualizing your goals and creating your inner reality in the outer world.
  • Listening to your heart, checking in with your body and tuning into your intuition.
  • Following your highest truth (your purpose in life).
  • Connecting with yourself first and using storytelling to connect with others; it’s the specificity that makes all stories universal.
  • Changing hearts and minds with your charisma.

Case Study: HP

How do we know it works? This isn’t our first rodeo. When it comes to radiant leadership, we’re all for conversation — but we’re all in for more action.

In a collaborative partnership with HP delivering programming to 1,000 women (and men), we were able to measure the following in our participants :

  • Increased confidence
  • Higher instances of speaking up
  • More clarity of purpose
  • Reduced attrition
  • Recruitment savings
  • Increased engagement
  • Higher rates of advancement

When we support women, everyone enters a greater position of power. Everyone becomes free to innovate and create. We can all benefit from radiant leadership — on personal to societal levels.

How could radiant leadership change your industry? What could you build or streamline if you were fully supported? For more information, contact Emerging Women at [email protected].

Can KonMari transform your business?

Less is more. Less is more. Less is more.

I have to chant this as a mantra a few times before it starts to sink in. I seem to be a magnet for not only things but also experiences – gobbling up both in order to keep things alive and moving. Ah, but that is the irony: a life packed with objects and activities actually slows me down. Big time.

When I first became an entrepreneur, sticky notes were on every flat surface in my home and car. I met with so many people I could barely remember my own name. I was adrift in an endless sea of opportunities, connections, and partnerships. It was impossible to stay prioritized and selective with my time. My life and mind quickly became, well, a mess.

Then I discovered The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo, a small book on the Japanese art of decluttering and organizing that has already sold 2 million copies. This is not the standard “neurotic-perfectionist-with-OCD-tendencies-illustrates-just-how-far-I-am-from-remotely-achieving-an-organized-life” declutter book.

Tidying Up is almost spiritual – a perspective on keeping house that reaches far beyond the physical environment. It’s not just a method, but a worldview that cultivates deep personal insight and real resilience in all areas of life – especially business.

The KonMari Method presented in Tidying Up really is life-changing because it allows room for clarity around who I am and what I want, and that’s the secret sauce to becoming an inspired leader.

So out go the bags and bags of clutter from my home and office. And it feels good! Thinking about giving it a try? Here’s 5 reasons you (and your business) will be glad you did.

 

KonMari Tip #1: “When your room is clean and uncluttered, you have no choice but to examine your inner state.”

I notice that the more clutter I have in my life and business, the more it distracts me from my greatest power source: ME. When clutter sprawls out of control, it captures more and more of my attention until I am spending way too much time managing my space. I feel heavy, distracted and completely disconnected from my intuition and inner wisdom. All that noise makes me lose my way as I become reactive to the clutter rather than proactive with my deepest vision.

Business Tip: Staying connected to your inner knowing is easier when your life and mind are free of clutter.

KonMari Tip #2: “There are 3 approaches we can take toward our possessions:  Face them now, face them sometime, or avoid them until the day we die.”

Still hanging on to letters from high school boyfriends, a gazillion drawings from your kids, or papers from business school that you will NEVER refer back to? I do it, too. I accumulate stashes of old baby stuff that might come in handy when I’m a grandparent (my kids are 8 and 5!), endless computer wires and electronic equipment that might magically become useful again at some point, and countless clothes that are a few sizes too small for when I get back into that “skinny” phase.

According to KonMari, people hang on to their stuff because they are either still attached to the past or they have a fear of the future — or both. Getting rid of the things that don’t serve me keeps me in the present moment by letting me process my past and move on into my future.

Business Tip: Don’t hang on to your mistakes – thank them and move on. Staying streamlined in this way allows you to pivot easily and efficiently through the ups and downs of entrepreneurship.

KonMari Tip #3: “The question of what you want to own is actually the question of how you want to live your life.”

For so long women have forced our desires out of our bodies and minds in the name of serving others. As we begin to understand that there is room for both service and our desires, getting clear on what we want has never been more important.

What I love about Marie’s approach is that she doesn’t make tidying the end game of life. She may be a tiny bit obsessive (her “shock” at seeing socks tucked into themselves made me wonder), but she knows that a tidy house is a means to a more important end. “The true goal should be to establish the lifestyle you want most once your house has been put in order,” she says. My read: If you are searching for your purpose in life – throw some shit out!

Business Tip: Discarding what is not working for you in your business life allows your vision to become more clear.

KonMari Tip #4: “Selecting and discarding one’s possessions is a continuous process of making decisions based on one’s own values.”

The act of tidying up your physical space is actually thousands of micro decisions about how you want to live your life. The golden questions: Does this make you happy? Does it bring you joy? When you continuously make decisions based on this criteria, you get better and better at surrounding yourself with things that reflects your desires and values.

I am one month into the process (she says that it takes 6 months for your entire living space), and I am already noticing a difference not only in my home, but in all areas of my life and business.

Business Tip: Making decisions on what to keep and discard in your life builds confidence and aptitude for making decisions in your business.

KonMari Tip #5: “The process of assessing how you feel about the things you own, identifying those that have fulfilled their purpose, expressing your gratitude, and bidding them farewell, is really about examining your inner self, a rite of passage to a new life.”

Finally, what I love best about Marie’s approach is that she encourages me to thank all of the items that I throw away. So I do! I thank them for their service before sending them on their way. This helps to punctuate the transition to a life more in line with what I really want.

I use the same approach in my business with all of the “mistakes” I have made along the way. Instead of hanging on and over-processing a failure, I thank the experience for its tenure in my life, and free myself to focus on what is going right.

Business Tip: Appreciate where you are now and all of the events (good and bad) that have led you to this point. Gratitude for your more challenging experiences makes you a better leader without all of that bulky psychological baggage holding you back.

For me, the way back to my inner wisdom is to turn off the noise, get rid of the clutter and give myself the gift of less.

Does the KonMari Method work for you? How do you bring these principles to your life? Please let us know in the comments section.

8 Badass Environmentalists You Should Know

In honor of Earth Day and Arbor Day, we’re celebrating 8-extraordinary women who have continuously advocated and rallied for our earth.

These women work endlessly to implement policies and enact change to preserve and protect our environment – from waterways, forests, access to clean air, oceans, mountains, to the precious wildlife that reside within these ecosystems.

The challenges we face today, especially with the onset of climate change, have opened new opportunities in the environmental sector that has long been filled by men. The progress that has been made by these remarkable women is illustrative of just how dynamic the feminine power really is.

1. Dr. Jane Goodall

Dr. Goodall is considered one the world’s foremost experts on chimpanzees and ecology – it is hard to overstate the degree to which she has changed and enriched the field of primatology.

During her 55-year research study, she defied scientific convention by giving the Gombe chimps names instead of numbers, and insisted on the validity of her observations that animals have distinct personalities, minds and emotions. She has harnessed the power of the feminine, instilling such into every aspect of her work – from her research studies to her global work through the Jane Goodall Institute and Roots & Shoots program, which aim to raise awareness and action for endangered species and vulnerable habitats.

Dr. Goodall has transformed the epistemological framework of how we study primates, and has exemplified immeasurable ecological integrity. She will forever be a leading voice in the environmental movement worldwide.

If you haven’t heard the exciting news yet, she is our keynote speaker at Emerging Live this year in San Francisco, and we hope you’ll join us to share in the energy of this legendary woman!

2. Julia Butterfly Hill

In 1997, Julia Butterfly Hill stormed onto the environmental activist scene in Northern California with her courageous 738-day protest living in an old-growth redwood tree, nicknamed Luna. This incredible act of civil disobedience saved the tree from being cut down by the Pacific Lumber Company and resulted in the raised international awareness for sustainable forest management techniques and the importance of establishing safeguards to protect old-growth trees.

Today, Hill continues her work as an activist, motivational speaker, and founder of the Circle of Life Foundation, a non-profit that trains community leaders to enact social change. Her invincible spirit is illustrative of the immense power that the feminine holds, and the tenets of her legacy – love, courage, devotion – are of immense significance and have made the environmental movement undeniably stronger.

“You, yes you, make the difference.” ~ Julia Butterfly Hill

3. Frances Beinecke

As the former president of the Natural Resources Defense Council, Frances has worked tirelessly across political spectrums to strategically develop and execute the organization’s program of work; focusing on curbing global warming, protecting our oceans and endangered ecosystems, developing a clean energy future, addressing toxic chemicals, and greening our global economy.

Beinecke has been instrumental in igniting our global discourse on climate change. She was appointed in 2010 to the National Commission on the BP Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill and Offshore Drilling by President Obama. She co-authored The World We Create: A Message of Hope for a Planet in Peril. She is the recipient of the Audubon Society’s Rachel Carson Award, and her environmental stewardship has been honored by numerous other environmental entities. She is an incredible woman and a force to be reckoned with.

4. Winona LaDuke

Winona LaDuke is an environmentalist, social activist, economist, speaker, professor, and writer. She is Indigenous with Ojibwe ancestry. She began her career in education on the White Earth Indian Reservation in Northern Minnesota, and soon realized the injustices that many American Indians, especially women, faced, which led her to found the Indigenous Women’s Network.

She is also the founder of White Earth Land Recovery Project, which fights for the retrieval of 837,000 acres of land to their original American Indian owners. Passionate about Native Environmentalism, she leads Honor the Earth, a non-profit that raises awareness and funding for environmental injustices–such as climate change, renewable energy, and sustainable development.

Bold, brazen, and unrelentingly dedicated to our earth, Winona LaDuke is a leading global voice on environmental issues and sustainability for  American Indians and Indigenous Peoples and communities everywhere.

5. Dr. Sylvia Earle

A National Geographic Society Explorer-in-Residence, Dr. Sylvia Earle (dubbed “Her Deepness” by the New Yorker, “Hero for the Planet” by Time magazine, and an “environmental badass” by us at Emerging Women) is an oceanographer, explorer, author, and lecturer.She has extensive experience as a field research scientist, government official, and director for corporate and nonprofit organizations, and is the former chief scientist of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

In the 1960s she fought to join male-only expeditions, and has since clocked 7,000 hours of diving, several of which were to record breaking depths. In addition to her PhD. from Duke University she has 22 honorary degrees, has penned more than than 190 publications, and speaks all over the world, focusing on preserving oceanic biodiversity in the wake of climate change.

Thanks to Dr. Earle and her fearless curiosity we know more about our oceans today than ever before. Her lifetime of work has enriched us with a deeper understanding of how to live sustainably and symbiotically with marine life, and our oceans are healthier because of her commitment to environmentalism.

“The only thing that men can do down there that women can’t is grow beards.” ~ Dr. Sylvia Earle on gender equality and deep sea diving

6. Lois Gibbs

Environmentalism claimed Gibbs, perhaps before she could claim it. In 1978 Gibbs discovered that her son’s elementary school in Niagara Falls, New York, was built on a toxic waste dump. Investigations revealed that her entire neighborhood, named Love Canal, had been constructed on top of this toxic site. Lois took to her neighborhood and organized a grassroots movement and battled for years against state and federal government.

After years of fighting, nearly 1,000 families were evacuated and a massive cleanup of Love Canal began. Gibbs’ efforts led to the creation of the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act, a superfund within the US Environmental Protection Agency which is utilized to clean up toxic waste sites throughout America.

Lois went on to to form a grassroots environmental crisis center, the Center for Health, Environment and Justice, where she currently serves as Executive Director. Love Canal is considered one of the nation’s worst environmental disasters, and Gibbs’ fearless heart and feminine leadership has transformed the way the US handles toxic waste sites, and for that, our communities are healthier and safer.

lois

7. Peggy Shepard

Peggy Shepard is arguably the most important proponent of environmental justice issues in communities of color in the country. She is founder of WE ACT for Environmental Justice, a non-profit she created in 1988 to improve the environmental health and quality of life for communities of color in New York City.

Shepard also serves as an investigator for Columbia University’s Children’s Environmental Health Center and is working to open partnerships between researchers and clinicians and local community members to increase environmental health education and outreach.

Shepard was the first female chair of the National Environmental Justice Advisory Council, a position she held from 2001-2003. She is the recipient of numerous awards including the Heinz Award for the Environment, the Jane Jacobs Medal for Lifetime Achievement, and the Susan B. Anthony Award from the National Organization of Women. She remains extremely active in the environmental justice field and lectures often at universities nationwide. Her environmental consciousness is one of integrity and is an amazing leader with a passion for fairness and justice for underrepresented communities that is unmatchable.

 

8. Laurie David

Laurie David burst onto the environmental stage in 2006 with her Academy Award-winning film An Inconvenient Truth. The film received international acclaim and is considered to be a catalyst for significantly increasing global awareness of climate change and for reenergizing the environmental movement. She serves as a trustee on the Natural Resources Defense Council, is the founder of the Stop Global Warming Virtual March, and the creator of Earth to America!, a film raising environmental awareness with a comedic stance.

David is heavily involved in public education and advocacy campaigns, and is involved in lobbying the automotive industry and Congress to increase fuel efficiency standards for vehicles with her creation of the Detroit Project. Laurie David is a leading voice in the environmental movement and has utilized her unique position in the entertainment industry to promote and raise awareness of global environmental issues, amplifying participation and the accessibility of environmentalism.

“Everybody has to look at his or her own footprint and do the best they can. It’s not about being perfect, it’s about doing something.” ~ Laurie David

Know a woman who is making a difference for the environment? Let us know in the comments, or tweet at us @emergingw!

The Business Ecosystem – #emergingnow

Hello Friends and Loved Ones,

One of the things I appreciate most about my life is that I live in an area surrounded by dramatic expressions of nature – Boulder, Colorado. Mountains, creeks, wildflowers and endless hiking trails are just steps away from my front door. But strangely enough, I did not really start to take advantage of nature’s proximity until I learned how well it meshes with my business life.

In this thriving entrepreneurial town, many of my meetings – with investors, media, speakers, partners, sponsors – get to be in person. Lately, about a third of those meetings take place on a hike.

It took some getting used to: I worried that I wouldn’t be able to articulate my vision without my computer. How could I refer to important statistics or relevant studies… and what if I forgot to say something important? But those worries fall away as the connection you feel with somebody when you walk together in nature blossoms.

Continue reading “The Business Ecosystem – #emergingnow”