There was something special and inspiring to be at the Zonta International District 9 conference among women of like minds when word came of the Nobel Peace Prize being awarded to three women.
Even before the announcement, there had been a strong endorsement for Zontians to view “Pray the Devil Back to Hell,” a documentary film on the Liberian women who brought an end to the civil war there. Two of the three women Nobel peace winners are involved in the Liberia recovery. For more information about the film link here. For information on the Nobel peace prize winners go here.
Standing: Weiland, Neumiller, Hastings. Sitting: Spencer, Foissette
From Hawaii, there were 5 participants at the D9 Conference: Area Director (and Hilo Club member) Mele Spencer, former district Governor Karen Foissette (now a Honolulu Club member), Linda Weiland, president of Honolulu Club, Edie Ignacio Neumiller of Kauai Club and myself. Mele, by the way, has been elected to the D9 nominating committee. She is well-regarded in D9 Circles.
Our Hawaii group is determined to set up at least-quarterly Club presidents videoconference meetings with Mele.
Snippets from the Conference:
- Membership remains the biggest issue for Zonta International.
- What younger members want: More service projects; service projects that can be completed quickly; social media; exposure of projects on social media.
- Whatever a Club does should be evaluated against our mission—Advancing the status of women. That doesn’t mean you can’t take on other efforts for community, particularly children, but those should be in addition to, not in place of projects directed at women.
- We need to use technology to enhance participation in meetings at all levels. You don’t always need to be physically present.
Lois Frankel, Ph.D., Corporate Coaching International, was a keynote speaker. She is author of Nice Girls Don’t Get the Corner Office; Nice Girls Don’t Get Rich; See Jane Lead and other books. Her website: www.drloisfrankel.com Highlights from her talk:
A woman leader must be a leader for your time. The times are changing. “We still think of powerful women as an anomaly.”–she quoted Margaret Atwood
Women lead all the time, Frankel said, they just don’t call themselves leaders. She asked the audience why that’s so. Reasons that were called out;
- We don’t what to be seen as arrogant
- Push back from other women
- We were not raised to it
Dr. Frankel said “command and control” leadership no longer exists. It will sabotage you. There is a feminization of leadership going on across the globe.
“We’ve reached turning point,” she said. But the numbers don’t show it. Right now, only 9 of 190 countries are run by women, and women make up about 13 % of legislative bodies. (It has been estimated elsewhere that it takes 30% of women in a legislative body before the female impact matters.)
“We (women) have track record,” Dr. Frankel said, we are just too modest to put it out there. We need to elevate ourselves. (Aside: I thought of this when Nobel laureate Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, in an interview with the New York Times, said she is prepared because she’s been preparing both inside the country and out. She was confident, rather than modest.)
Dr. Frankel said our EQ–emotional intelligence—is more important than IQ. Emotional intelligence involves self awareness, self-regulation, motivation, empathy and social skills. The new brand of leadership is collaborative, networked, personal, teaching, fosters others to speak up, is flexible and reaches out.
Dr. Frankel outlined eight ways to help women be effective leaders:
- Articulate your vision.
- Develop your strategy.
- Resist perfectionism.
- Choose the hill you are willing to die on. (Pick your battles.)
- Get to the point. (First thing should be most important that you say.)
- Practice 7:1 rule. Seven positive to one negative feedback.
- Manage meetings effectively.
- Build leadership brand. (That means defining it and selling it.)
I’ll make every effort to post more D9 Conference information as time allows.