How to Elevate Your Impact As a Leader!

10 Takeaways About Leadership, Winning Mindset, Work/Life, Strategy and Success, from the BlogHer Creator’s Summit

“Let’s all pledge in this room… here, put your hands up.” Amy Schumer said. I looked around and about a thousand hands, went up slowly and in unison, like balloons at a concert. “I, then say your name…” She said. We laughed and tentatively said our names. She continued, “I pledge that when I find an honest, powerful creator of content I will promote the ever-loving shit out of her!” Applause followed as she concluded her powerful, irreverent and wildly funny, presentation. Her message that women can take steps, big and small, to help each other succeed was echoed throughout event.

Two weeks ago, female content creators, platform builders and brand marketers, gathered to learn and connect at the BlogHer Creator’s Summit. The agenda balanced celebrity star-power, with spotlights on up-and-coming leaders. Practical guidance, accompanied ‘big picture’ inspiration.

Enjoy wise quotes about leadership, entrepreneurship, strategy, career growth, work/life integration and cultivating a winning mindset from powerhouse speakers!

Be Uniquely, Unapologetically, You.

 “Whether I soar or sink, I want to do it with my integrity, and not somebody else’s idea of who I should be.” Gabrielle Union, Actress, Entrepreneur & Author

“I can’t help but be real. I realized that’s what I could bring to the table.” Katie Sturino CEO of The 12ish Style,

“I only found success when I started doing things totally differently than everyone else.” Courtney Quinn Entrepreneur & Founder of Color Me Courtney,

“Point of view is what truly differentiates you. It gets you to the next step and it’s a little bit different than passion.” Kendra Bracken-Ferguson Entrepreneur, Strategist & Chief Digital Officer for CAA.

Solve Problems & Find The Right Partners To Support You

 “…Great ideas have plenty of suitors. (…) Allow people to invest in your ideas who are worthy. That deserve it. Never feel lucky! They’re lucky.” Gabrielle Union, Actress, Entrepreneur & Author

“I realized I was bringing real solutions, to real problems, for women in the saturated beauty space. Make sure you have a point of view. You don’t want to get lost in a sea of sameness. People said my ideas were niche… it’s not niche, it’s just not being addressed right now.” Katie Sturino CEO of The 12ish Style, 

Create Value… Quality is Queen

On finding the right balance of how much content to produce, “Now you need to create these quality pieces even if it takes a little bit longer.” Courtney Quinn Entrepreneur & Founder of Color Me Courtney,

“I’m always thinking, what real value does this provide? If I can’t answer that, the post doesn’t go up today.” Mary Orton Founder of the Trove app

Don’t Let Critics Stop You

 “…A lot of people (were) telling me it was impossible… ‘I was an actress, what did I know about starting a business.’  …You have to persevere. …Get what you need to get done to move your business to the next stage. As much as the big goal is important, the baby steps to get there are even more important.” Jessica Alba, Founder of The Honest Company

“If you want something you’ve never had before, you’ll need to do something you’ve never done before. Take a risk!”  Tiffany Dufu, CEO of the Cru & Author of Drop The Ball

“I learned ‘no’ doesn’t kill you.” Kathryn Minshew, CEO of the Muse & Author of the New Rules of Work

“When you start from the bottom there’s nowhere to go but up. In a weird way that gave me a kind of fearlessness. Learn about everything you don’t know. I stayed open and learned. My parents encouraged that curiosity.” Jessica Alba, Founder of The Honest Company

“Sometimes it’s moments of pain that bring our greatest insight.” Shelly McNamara Writer & VP of HR at Procter & Gamble.

 Cultivate a Supportive Community

“…Building a network of people who get you and align with you takes time. Seek out connections and build those relationships through Meetups, or even Google Hangouts for those in other cities.” Kathryn Minshew, CEO of the Muse & Author of The New Rules of Work

“I’ve been an entrepreneur a long time (and know) the highs and lows (can be) maddening. It’s the reason to have a community around you.” Catherine Levene, CEO, Cat Perkins Shoes

 Find Mentors

“Be the type of leader people want to invest in… Know what you stand for. Be clear (about) what you stand for… so when people invest in you, they know they’re investing in something greater than you.” Tiffany Dufu, CEO of the Cru & Author of Drop The Ball

“Follow up three times on how your advice changed things for you with a mentor. Follow up, follow up, follow up!” Tiffany Dufu, CEO of the Cru & Author of Drop The Ball

“Show how supporting what you’re doing is beneficial for the company. The intersection between your passion project and how it also helps them.” Tiffany Dufu, CEO of the Cru & Author of Drop The Ball

Be The Leader You Want to See

 “…My first day at CNN, my boss said, ‘I don’t know if you’re thinking of having kids, I don’t know what your situation is, I just want you to know I will support you and I’ll help you make that work.’ Little did she know…I was going through the grueling process of IVF. She was very flexible with me and I hope to pay that forward to other women as well.” Chloe Melas CNN Entertainment Reporter

“… Everyone thought… I was just the ‘face’ of the company. For a long time, I was fine with it. Three years ago, I realized how important it is for people to see someone like me. …Who grew up in a Mexican family… with parents who worked 3 jobs my whole life, (as the CEO.) … I became successful despite all the odds… Everyone told me ‘no way you’re going to be successful.’ I just pushed through… and I made it happen. That representation, now as a business leader, is just as important as it was in entertainment.” Jessica Alba, Founder of The Honest Company

 “… I find having a boss who is incredibly flexible with where I work and how I work, i.e. working from home some days, staying late or leaving early some days, has immensely helped my life and my health.” Chloe Melas CNN Entertainment Reporter

“A colleague said he was rescheduling a meeting because of a parent/teacher interview. It says to the team it’s okay to go to a parent/teacher interview. Symbolic leadership is critical.” Alison Lewis, Global Chief Marketing Officer for Johnson & Johnson

“… When I was at Coca Cola, that was my moment, where I decided I’m going to have dinner with my children. When a meeting ran late, 6 pm hit…I literally stood up and said ‘excuse me I have to go and have dinner with my kids.’ That was my line…  Drawing the lines and being clear is super important. … And nothing happened to me in my career as a result of that. You’re all leaders. Think about the culture you want to create and that is what will drive the change you want to see.” Alison Lewis, Global Chief Marketing Officer for Johnson & Johnson

“I had a really tough first trimester. You don’t see that on Instagram. I try to talk openly about this pregnancy, the pros and cons, and how it feels… I want to model for people at the firm, … this is what it’s like, and I’m actually going to work from home this morning because it’s been really tough today.” Rachel Tuchman, Attorney and Activist

 Work/Life Balance is a Myth. Prioritize to Find Your Work/Life Blend

 “Give up Mommy guilt! Perfectionism and mommy guilt are real. You can’t be perfect all the time, you have to look at what’s really important to your kids.” Bonnie Fuller, President & Editor-in-Chief of HollywoodLife

“… Women who have babies between ages 25 – 35, 60% drop out of the workforce.” Keech Combe Shetty, CEO Combe Inc.

“Women wake up feeling like mushrooms, they’ve had shit heaped on top of them and are expected to grow.” Keech Combe Shetty, CEO Combe Inc.

 “… You have to make a choice when you wake up. … You can’t take everyone with you. The pressure you have to be there for your friends, your parents, the people that depend on you… the wheel can’t go if you’re in the center. You can take yourself out of the equation. Not taking care of yourself is being selfish. You have to be healthy to take care of other people. We have to be realistic of the expectations of the modern woman and what we need to be healthy.” Tiffany R. Warren, Chief Diversity Officer at Omnicom

“You can have it all just not all at the same time. Right now, my friendships actually suffer. But I know, as soon as my boys go off to college, I’ll spend more time with my friends. I know after that, my parents will be significantly older, and they will need me more. Throughout life you do have it all, just not all at any one time.” Alison Lewis, Global Chief Marketing Officer for Johnson & Johnson

If Coupled, Share The Household Work!

 “What can you do in your own home to make it easier to have a work/life blend? My husband and I have tried to be very intentional about distribution of tasks, so it doesn’t fall on me as part of the gendered backdrop. We actually have a Sunday meeting, we bring our planners to the dinner table, we discuss our schedules for the week. I’ll say ‘This looks like a good week for you to go to the dry cleaners and pick up the groceries or, I’ll be gone in 2 weeks so you’ll need to pick up that shift again. Be intentional in your home, not just in your workplace. Make sure the default isn’t you at all times.” Rachel Tuchman, Attorney and Activist

 Help Other Women!

 “Sometimes the people cheering the loudest for you are the people you’ve never met.” Gabrielle Union, Actress, Entrepreneur & Author

“This is a time when we need to be really lifting each other up and supporting each other. Especially in this movement…this moment!” Amy Schumer, Comedian, Actress, Producer & Author

“People who will never know your names will benefit from what you’re doing.” Tamron Hall, Broadcast Journalist & Television Host

“It’s important to have these women in life who bring you along with them.” Kendra Bracken-Ferguson Entrepreneur, Strategist & Chief Digital Officer for CAA.

“Keep using your voices!” Amy Schumer, Comedian, Actress, Producer & Author

When awareness for the gaps — in leadership, pay, safety, wealth and access to healthcare — feels overwhelming, remember, women have the power to change the world. Noticing is only the first step. Together, we can elevate each other, raise our voices and empower the leaders who surround us.

Many of the sessions were recorded and you can watch the videos from the SheKnows Facebook page.

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