Women in Leadership 2021: Redefining Superwoman

The Women in Leadership National CEO Conference was a powerful day of learning, inspiration and celebration — for women, by women.

Watch the opening poem “I dare to dream.”

This highly interactive virtual event on Aug. 18, 2021, offered compelling keynotes that inspired an outpouring of shared resolve for the path forward. It prompted honest, heart-to-heart conversation in peer-to-peer Roundtables. It provided actionable tools in Targeted Learning Breakouts from trusted Business Resources. Overall, it was a day that imbued a shared optimism — now is the time for women to lead as never before. 

Capture the top takeaways below from keynotes Nicole Lapin, No. 1 New York Times bestselling author, and Andrea Jung, President and CEO of Grameen America. Vistage members, you may also access their complete presentations for a limited time on the Women in Leadership post-event page. Looking ahead, keep an eye on the Women in Leadership Resource Center for deeper dives into learnings from the day.

Be your own superhero

In a world that teaches women to lean into everything and be like superwoman, how can you create boundaries to live a healthier, more sustainable life?

At 21 years old, Nicole Lapin had everything she thought she ever wanted — except happiness. Ten years later, a breakdown stemming from severe burnout landed Nicole in the ER, with the grim realization, “There is no external solution that is going to fix an internal problem.” Her subsequent healing process prompted her third book, “Becoming Super Woman,” and inspired the advice she shared with the Women in Leadership audience. A few key takeaways:

  • Admit you have a problem. There is a huge difference between swimming and “just not drowning.”
  • Embrace mindfulness and meditation. EQ is in your power to change.
  • Self-care is the biggest asset or liability in your career. Are you included in the list of top five things you value you most?
  • Balance is a noun AND a verb. Saying “I found balance,” implies you are done, but balancing takes constant work and cultivation.

Nicole summarized her hard-won success with these words of wisdom: “You CAN have it all, but only if you define what IT ALL is — and stop changing the definition on yourself.”

Leading a successful business

Follow your compass, not your clock.

Andrea Jung began her presentation with a bold assertion — you must have a love affair with your work.

It’s the only way, she elaborated, that it becomes not a job, not a career, but a deep, true passion. Passion is the No. 1 quality on Andrea’s list of “seven qualities of successful leaders” that fueled her own leadership ascent to become the longest-tenured female Fortune 500 CEO.

Here are the other must-have qualities on Andrea’s list:

  • Compassion. Embrace empathy to bring a critical layer of authenticity to your leadership.
  • Courage. Be brave enough to say what’s right, even if everyone else is going left.
  • Perseverance. From every difficult situation, you learn.
  • Humility. Absence of ego is a difference-maker in influencing others.
  • Pride. Be proud of what you’ve accomplished, to pave the way for those coming behind you.

Andrea capped her presentation with the seventh quality of successful leaders, Impactfulness. This is the decade we’ll see the most progress for women’s equality, she shared, closing with a challenge: “If not us, who? If not now, when?”

For those able to attend, we hope you left motivated and equipped with insights and connections to serve you well as you dare to dream, together. It’s the attendees that truly made this day special. To all readers, don’t forget to keep an eye out for a deeper dive into learnings from Andrea, Nicole and more in the Women in Leadership Resource Center.

Vistage members, we encourage you to visit the post-event page for takeaways, keynote presentations, and many additional resources. And please continue connecting with the incredible women in the Vistage community in the Women in Leadership Network.

Category: Leadership


About the Author: Vistage Staff

Vistage facilitates confidential peer advisory groups for CEOs and other senior leaders, focusing on solving challenges, accelerating growth and improving business performance. Over 2…

Learn More

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *