How I Stepped Up as a Leader

When Molly moved to Washington, DC after college, she was without friends in the area and soon found herself hobbling around on crutches following knee surgery. Despite hitting these post-grad road bumps, Molly was excited to step into a leadership role at a young age and lead a nationwide coalition of advocacy groups across the nation working to protect social security.

But with all her new responsibilities, Molly was drowning in work, never sure when she’d done “enough” for the day, and struggled with the impostor syndrome. “I was really hard on myself,” she says.

Cultivating a leadership identity

Managing a coalition of national and state-based organizations led by policy wonks who’ve been in the game longer than she had been alive left Molly feeling nervous about gaining the respect of her colleagues. What was a young woman like her doing working on social security policy, anyway?

As it happens, Molly knows and cares a whole lot about social security and issues affecting seniors. Molly’s grandparents helped raise her and she grew up with a first-hand view of just how important – and often overlooked – policies relating to older Americans can be.

“That first year in DC was probably the hardest of my life,” Molly told me over coffee. “I felt like I barely had a life outside of work, I was never sure if I was living up to everyone’s expectations at work, and everything felt like it was out of my control.”

Learning to lead with confidence

At Bossed Up Bootcamp, Molly regained the confidence to own her power and be a boss. “I learned to step up and stand my ground,” she says, “And I’ve really started to look at success as a whole package.”

Molly has since become active in her local boxing gym and the biking community in DC. She’s quieted the inner voice that was constantly questioning her own qualifications and focuses her time at work like a true leader: enabling her coalition members to better achieve their common goals.

Her confidence rose exponentially when she recently delivered a 2-hour presentation to a national group of policymakers about how to talk to millennials about social security. “I’ve been recognized by my boss as someone who’s stepping up, as being a leader within my organization with this new initiative,” Molly told me.

On Bossed Up Bootcamp, Molly says it seemed like a universal need was met – she left feeling refreshed, supported by other ambitious women, and with a newfound sense of confidence in her own ability to make choices she’s happy with. “But it wasn’t just about feelings,” she added, “we set real goals and honed practical skills. And I left with a community that I know supports me.”

We can’t wait to see what’s next for Molly and the incredible work she’s doing on behalf of America’s seniors.


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