31 October 2007

Invitation to Empower Women in Leadership

Empowering women in leadership is the first step to empowering the next generation. To pave the path for others we must provide good role models, respect and teach respect one another, be open to learning from and teaching others, and rising to the occasion when we are given the opportunity to lead. As multifaceted individuals, we are in a constant mode of transition from one aspect of our lives to others. Our priorities require adjusting, sometimes more drastically than others, and sometimes only momentarily.

As leaders, as women, as human beings rather than doings, empowering each other through mutual compassion and respect is critical for the long haul. Simply said, it is lonely at the top. It is important to remember that our leaders are as human and multifaceted as the rest of us. Their passions may lie in supporting their followers, but they cannot do that effectively without support maintaining the others facets of their lives.

25 October 2007

Time for Change

After much listening, asking and thought, we are making some major changes to how we grow 2BalanceU. The networks need support to grow and share their work. Many of them are doing wonderful research that should be shared and learned from. Much of it overlaps with other networks efforts and could be used in a more comprehensive work. Work on empowering young women to fuel their ambition, women on boards, supporting women entrepreneurs, mentoring, the list goes on. But each of these are clearly universal themes in women's networks around the world.

We have listened and are soon launching our global community calendar to share events. We are creating a comprehensive directory of women's networks and organizations. We are turning off the questions and answers until user numbers make this effective. Our Groups are still available for more specific inquiry and response. We are returning to our focus of the resources that are available. Networks, Events and Resources are online, global, regional and local.

This change in format feels right, and effective for supporting the women that are the leaders of today and tomorrow. I hope that those who have enjoyed the questions will not be too disappointed at their temporary disappearance. But I believe they will be happy with the end result.

24 October 2007

Fuelled by Grassroots Intitiatives to Connect

Meeting with the founders of grassroots networks continues to validate the need for a tool to connect them to resources from similar networks and women involved in them for collaboration. Building and growing networks is a challenge. The value of and need for them is understood, but most take for granted that they exist and are self sustaining. It is vital to recognise the efforts of the few who are willing to, in most cases, volunteer their time to maintain and build. Much can be learned from shared research, dialog and group collaboration.

20 October 2007

Empowering women leaders

Building 2BalanceU and working with women sharing wisdom is empowering in itself. I constantly receive validation for the need for a tool that encourages women to share wisdom. As I meet with representatives from international agencies and global networks, we shared our thoughts about the similarities rather than the differences in women and what they need to succeed and be happy. They express their thanks for a tool to connect women in the field and partners of men in the field to other women in their communities. By supporting women in leadership roles we can empower them to be change agents. By removing the distractions of our differences and focusing on what we have to learn from each other we can all accomplish great things. We are both bearers of great wisdom and receivers of it. It doesn't have to be lonely at the top. We all can achieve more and rise to the occasion when we feel more balanced.

19 October 2007

Modern Women's Sacred Circles

Inspired and refreshed from my annual girl's retreat weekend, I forge forward. I have just returned to Sweden after gathering a group of close friends for a weekend of laughter, tears, sweat, and feasting. We challenged each other physically, emotionally, intellectually,and "culinarily". We shared insights, wisdom, humour, silence, many a smile and a few needed tears. Removed from our busy lives, our families, our work, our homes and all distraction. We focused on ourselves, our needs and our hearts true desires. We shared our authentic selves and it was a remarkable journey. Despite our different cultures, stages and professional goals, when the distractions were removed, we were simply women supporting one another. I am reminded of the need to take the opportunity to create and take part in modern women's sacred circles in whatever form they take.

09 October 2007

Wisdom Shared

Pride is perceived in different ways in different cultures. Self confidence could be perceived as pride, and yet, it is not the same. A very wise woman reminded me that by simply lowering one's chin, a look is changed from pride to confidence. To achieve what comes across as champion of ourselves we do not need to champion others. We can be courageous without being overpowering. Our eyes need to be lifted to prepare us for what lies ahead. When we hold our bodies aligned we find our balance. To achieve this the head need not be tilted back so as to look down upon our view. It is simple, but so important to understand that balance is the center of it all.

08 October 2007

Pass It On

It is exciting to see so much changing so rapidly in technology. I am finally getting a chance to play with new technology. It has been a part of my passion since the early days in school when we were printing out banners of repetative letters from Basic programming on Apple IIs. The disks were literally floppy. But it was exciting, as it is now. Now we have reach and a reason. So, my theme for this posting is pass on the passion for the little bit of nerd in you. We may not all have an apptitude, in fact seom simply have fear. So, I will try to simplify.

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05 October 2007

A Whisper to a Roar

The sound of a whisper can scarcely be heard. The whisper of many can be a thundering roar. I don't expect women to roar alone. But I do hope that women will rise to the occassion and part with a whisper. It might be in the form of sharing a burning question. It might be simply by sharing a favorite book, story, event, website or words of wisdom and inspiration passed to them. It might even be all of the above.

The feeling of giving is equal when one is sharing their thoughts. Each question inspires a thought, and in that a connection is made. We are not alone in our needs. We are more alike than we are different. I look forward to the roar created by parting with whispers in unison with women around the world. It has only just begun.

03 October 2007

Authenticity and Passion

What a relief it is to be authentic. Simply watching those who try to be something they are not is tiring. I am me, with all my faults, my quirks. Being real, having faults, is an asset, quite frankly. For if I have faults, I have room to grow, more to learn, it keeps me open and alive. Understanding my own imperfection enables me to be more accepting of others. If a first impression was poor, it makes me curious, rather than turns me away. Did I judge too soon, or was I misunderstood? Regardless of the conclusion, I find it a learning experience.

In building partnerships, I have discovered a new strength driven by my passion for building bridges. Truly believing that what we are building is a tool that is beneficial for all networks as a way to grow, build their community and their audience, raise their voice, and find alliances. I am driven. I can stumble because I am real. I stand to take the next step with caution at first to avoid the same fall. But my passion allows me the strength to stand tall even when rising. Not with pride of self, but confidence in doing the right thing.

That is not to say that it is easy, but it sure is gratifying.