How to Take the Lead at Work [WEBINAR]

On today’s Power Lunch webinar, Gloria Feldt, the co-founder and President of Take The Lead Women, shared her incredible story.

Here are the facts: Gloria grew up in a rural Texas town, got married in high school, became pregnant at 15 and had two more children before she started college.

That’s how her rise to power began, ultimately leading her to serve as the chief executive of the world’s largest reproductive health and advocacy organization, Planned Parenthood Federation of America.

Here are my top three take-aways from our conversation:

  1. Know what you stand for – and what you will stand up for.

Gloria’s early life was characterized by pleasing others. Like many of us, she founder herself fitting into the role society told her to fill. And then she realized that a) her family needs her to have a kickass career and b) that with the advent of the birth control pill, she could control her future and really plan how she wanted to shape it. With three young children at home, she finished her college degree over the course of 12 years, and started working at her local Planned Parenthood Affiliate shortly thereafter.

“Know your history so you can build your future,” says Gloria. “If you could look back on your life from 10 or 20 years into the future, how would you like it to look?”

When in her twenties, Gloria knew that she aspired to have a big impact through her work, and set about making that happen.

  1. Power is all about how you use it.

In Gloria’s book, No Excuses, she provides nine practical power tools to help women own their power. But it all starts, says Gloria, with an acknowledgement that power is neither a bad nor a good thing. It’s all about how you choose to use power.

“Power to,” is Gloria’s way of describing power as expansive, inclusive, and quite literally empowering. Owning your “power to” enables you to see the good that your power can be used for, and reminds us women to grow our power and not shy away from seeking it out. Whether that means choosing to run for office, seeking out a big promotion, or growing your influence online and in your community, step up to the plate of power.

  1. Start before you’re ready

A common theme throughout Gloria’s career is to start before you feel ready. When Gloria was just starting out after college, she stepped into a role at her local Planned Parenthood affiliate she wasn’t sure she was capable of filling. “I had no experience,” says Gloria, “but that woman who interviewed me saw more in me than I saw in myself at the time.”

Later, just went Gloria was thinking about taking her foot off the gas at work to step back and write a book, she got the phone call: it was the national Planned Parenthood Federation asking her to apply to serve as President. She didn’t feel ready – but said yes anyway.

Surround yourself with those people who see more in you. When the question, “Can I be this fierce?” starts to echo in your head, be the one to shout back “YES” without hesitation.

Learn more about Gloria’s wonderful organization, Take The Lead Women here.

How can you put these #bosstips to practice in your own life right now? Share your story in the comments below and be sure to sign up to join us for our upcoming #FierceFall webinars, featuring other incredible women who will help you craft a happy, healthy, and sustainable career.

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