Women motivated to create their own roadmaps into positions of responsibility and influence attended the Poised for Leadership workshop. Co-sponsored by Women’s Leadership Coaching and Yahoo! Women in Tech SoCal, the workshop drew participants from a wide range of companies. Led by Jo Miller, CEO of Women’s Leadership Coaching, the workshop was informative and fun! Jo’s inspirational and engaging teaching style created a comfortable environment as we participated in group activities and shared personal stories with the class.
Poised for Leadership_Jo Miller
Jo explained that being a leader is not about having a certain number of employees reporting to you, or having a certain number of teams. It can be about a commitment to making a positive difference. “You can stay in the job you love being in today and be the best you can be,” said Jo.
Jo referred to office politics as “organization awareness” in which it is important to be a savvy observer of the communication and relationships that surround you in your organization.
The interactive workshop allowed us to openly give and receive feedback. A participant from Yahoo! spoke about coalitions created between people with common interests. “I don’t want to be part of that Fantasy Football team and I don’t want to be a smoker,” she said. So how does one get into coalitions? A participant suggested finding something you enjoy doing and creating your own coalition. Jo explained the importance of understanding the unspoken, unwritten “Rules of the Game” as they can be opposites at different companies. “Take time to learn the rules of the game. Empower yourself with a choice – you can choose to play the game or not play the game,” said Jo.
As networking was a key theme in this workshop, Jo asked us to break into groups throughout the seminar to participate in activities and share experiences with many women. You know it is truly a women’s seminar when you are asked to find a partner with a similar outfit or color scheme!
Poised for Leadership Workshop
Jo referred to a network as one’s “sphere of influence” and the most important asset in one’s career. “As your network grows your ability to lead and influence grows,” said Jo.
She spoke about the benefits of mentorships and sponsorships. “Diversify your mentors and also pay it forward and start mentoring others,” said Jo. A participant suggested having mentors both inside and outside your corporation. Inside mentors know the politics, personalities and positions of your company; whereas outside mentors can provide feedback about things you don’t want to share with inside mentors due to positions. Jo explained how sponsorships can be beneficial. “Sponsors can pick you up and drop you in the path of new opportunities and networks,” said Jo.
Jo emphasized the importance of making a name for yourself by creating your own personal brand. “Your brand needs to evolve and scale up at different points in your career,” said Jo. We learned how to create a 30-second commercial in order to develop positional influence. We then partnered with someone with the same hair color to share our commercial.
Sheila Norman from Bank of America said, “I plan to use the tools I learned at today’s workshop to develop and promote my personal brand and be more purposeful about strategically expanding my target sphere of influence. My bottom-line takeaway is that I need to focus on what I can do rather than allowing myself to be paralyzed by what I can’t do.”
As Jo ended the workshop and shared resources for WLC, she reminded everyone that WLC stands for Women’s Leadership Coaching, but can also stand for Women Love Chocolate! The workshop ended with a Wine & Cheese Social sponsored by WIT SoCal, giving us a chance to discuss what we learned during the session, network with more Yahoo! employees, and exchange contact info, while enjoying wine, cheese and chocolate!
For more training events offered by WLC, please visit: http://www.womensleadershipcoaching.com/
Visit WIT SoCal’s Flickr page to view more pictures from this event.