5 Things I Took Away From YWCA's She Leads Conference

The YWCA Mankato hosted a two-day women’s leadership Conference, and I was lucky enough to be a part of it. After listening to the speakers for the event (and they were many), I learned a lot. Here are the five lessons that stuck with me the most.

 

 

1.       You don’t have to be an entrepreneur to think like one. Apparently, there’s a concept called Intrapreneurship, where you execute an entrepreneurial mindset while still within a large system or organisation. It’s all about being innovative, no matter the position you are in, and being confident in your ideas.

2.       Your ideas don’t always have to be perfect. If you focus all your energy on perfecting your idea, you might never get around to implementing it. Form lasting connections and surround yourself with people who will cheer you on when you’re bringing something to the table. This way, everyone can support each other in their less than confident moments.

3.       It’s important to have a personal vision statement. Define the values you hold in high esteem and make them part of this statement. Build up on your strengths and work on your weaknesses. This way, you can remind yourself often about what kind of leader you want to be, and you’ll be more deliberate about the actions you take towards your goal.

4.       If you don’t manage your brand, others will. I’m talking about your personal brand, but the same principle applies to professional brands as well. Know what other people think you stand for, and work hard to make sure it is in line with what you actually stand for. Your brand should represent who you are on the inside.

5.       A good leader questions things. Even in 2018, there are norms that just shouldn’t be. There are things that are done because “that’s the way it’s always been”. When you make it your business to ask questions, you’ll be able to make clearer decisions. You’ll be able to see what’s going on outside your bubble and discover a cause that’s worth fighting for, because there are lots of causes that need champions.