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Final Embracing Your Own Power Talk


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Great talk on empowerment, self realization leadership and clearing away obstacles

Published in: Career, Technology, Business
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Final Embracing Your Own Power Talk

  1. 1. Embracing Your Own Power: A discussion about leadership, self-confidence & women Susan Mernit Women Who Tech October 14, 2008
  2. 2. <ul><li>What are we going to talk about? </li></ul><ul><li>What is the mindset it takes to be a leader? </li></ul><ul><li>How do emotional intelligence & conviction for into your professional life? </li></ul><ul><li>What does it mean to embrace your own power? </li></ul><ul><li>There are no answers, only observations & sharing... </li></ul>
  3. 3. This is a talk about experiences & observations…from someone who didn’t start out in corporate life...but did pretty well there.
  4. 4. My story--Susan Mernit Current: CEO & Co-founder, People’s Software , 2008 TechStars company; Program manager/consultant, Knight News Challenge , Knight Foundation Formerly, Senior Director/Head of Product, Yahoo! Personals , VP, AOL & Netscape
  5. 5. In the ‘90s, my career took a fork in the road…. Started as a poet and worked for non profits Became a writer/editor 1992: Writer & Editor, Scholastic, Inc. 1993- Dove into the Net 1998: Director/GM, Began running web businesses 2000: VP, 2002: VP, America Online
  6. 6. Transitions Ended up at Yahoo! after running my own consulting business… So how did I go from poet to business person to VP? And what does that have to do with this talk?
  7. 7. Susan’s theories about her success <ul><li>Risk tolerant-- no MBA meant no brain-washing </li></ul><ul><li>Learn from others, including mentors </li></ul><ul><li>Super hard working. Tackle tough stuff w/great follow through </li></ul><ul><li>Natural leader with strong problem solving skills </li></ul><ul><li>Pragmatic, results-oriented , confident </li></ul>
  8. 8. Moving from personal stories to general observations How do you get noticed and get the chances to move ahead? What is the balance between team-building and building your brand? What’s the degree of risk that feels right? How does the work part and the inner life part fit together?
  9. 9. <ul><li>What are the traits that can help breed success? </li></ul>
  10. 10. How about these? <ul><li>4 qualities that make you more powerful </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Confidence </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Risk tolerance </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Directness </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Know when you need help—but don’t take it if you don’t </li></ul></ul>
  11. 11. &quot;Nine guys, all used to being in charge. I'm absolutely conscious about speaking up more frequently and interrupting people - even though we were taught not to interrupt. Damn it, I'll repeat myself! I'll say it louder! I'll lean forward in my chair.” --Thereseia Gouw Ranzetta, Accel Partners
  12. 12. “ It’s a can-do spirit with a must-do responsibility that together generate great results.” --PepsiCo chairman and CEO Indra Nooyi
  13. 13. “ Nothing is created without something being destroyed.” -ADM chairman and CEO Pat Woertz
  14. 14. Questions If you “know” it, how do you do it? Does being powerful make you: unlikeable? a bitch? less feminine? Are we talking about work, or your whole life?
  15. 15. <ul><li>How about those voices in your head? </li></ul><ul><li>And those trolls? </li></ul><ul><li>How about failure? </li></ul><ul><li>How about success ? </li></ul>
  16. 16. What holds women back <ul><li>Asking for permission </li></ul><ul><li>Waiting to be invited </li></ul><ul><li>Perfectionism, aka competition turned inward </li></ul><ul><li>Putting yourself last </li></ul><ul><li>Fear (of course) </li></ul><ul><li>‘ Difficultly balancing/juggling </li></ul>
  17. 17. What practice can help you change <ul><li>Everything but juggling, that just sucks… </li></ul>
  18. 18. Things to think about <ul><li>What would you lose if you went for it this one time? </li></ul><ul><li>What would you gain? </li></ul><ul><li>Is there an opportunity cost? </li></ul><ul><li>What if you waited to do X—how much does timing matter? </li></ul><ul><li>To do X well, how do you clear time? </li></ul><ul><li>Who can help you? </li></ul>
  19. 19. More questions <ul><li>Who’s your kitchen cabinet? </li></ul><ul><li>Is someone watching your back? </li></ul><ul><li>Are your expectations realistic? </li></ul><ul><li>And can you work the learning curve? </li></ul>
  20. 20. <ul><li>Powerful women are pragmatic women—who grow incrementally and take risks. </li></ul>
  21. 21. <ul><li>Okay, let’s have a discussion—what do you think tapping into your own strength means? </li></ul><ul><li>When have you felt it? </li></ul>
  22. 22. People (friends) who inspire me <ul><li>Lisa Stone, co-founder, BlogHer </li></ul><ul><li>Lisa Williams, co-founder, Peoples Software </li></ul><ul><li>Viviane Tang, Viviane’s Sex Carnival </li></ul><ul><li>BJ Pheiffer, Napa chef </li></ul><ul><li>Christine Herron, First Round Capital </li></ul><ul><li>Mary Hodder, founder, Dabble </li></ul><ul><ul><li>And lots more….. </li></ul></ul>
  23. 23. So how is your power tied to your network?
  24. 24. How do you grow your network? <ul><li>Community </li></ul><ul><li>The web: twitter, blogs, etc. </li></ul><ul><li>At the office </li></ul><ul><li>Through your work life </li></ul><ul><li>Conferences and meet ups </li></ul>
  25. 25. And what do you do with it when you get it? (Insert discussion here)
  26. 26. <ul><li>Thanks.. closing remarks, questions </li></ul>
  27. 27. Interesting lists (corporate) Fortune Powerful Women Summit, October 2008 CNN Money: 50 Most Powerful women list 2007 Forbes 100 Most Powerful Women 2008 The New Valley Girls