Episode #95: Five Ways to Amplify Your Leadership Skills
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Many businesswomen struggle with the idea of calling themselves “leaders.” This thought-provoking episode will remind you that you are already an empowered leader, and you deserve a seat at any table of leaders with whom you want to associate. Plus, you have the power to start your own table at any time! Caterina’s five guiding principles for amplifying your leadership will help you uplift yourself, uplift your business, and uplift more lives. Do not keep your massive value a secret, be a louder and prouder leader and uplift more lives with your massive value!
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Expand Your Fempire Podcast #95 Transcript
Five Ways to Amplify Your Leadership Skills
Welcome to Expand your Fempire with Caterina Rando, the podcast for women in business on a mission. Sharing ideas to support you to grow and thrive. Now here’s your host, Caterina Rando.
[00:00:00] Caterina Rando: Welcome back to another episode of the Expand Your Fempire Podcast. I’m your host Caterina Rando, and I am blissing to be with you today because our hot topic for discussion is amplifying your leadership to uplift yourself, uplift your business, increase your impact, and uplift more lives with your amazing self.
[00:00:55] Empowered women empower women. You, my friend, are an empowered woman, and let’s amplify your leadership so you can empower even more.
[00:01:08] I want to let you know about two of my favorite gals from history that you probably don’t know about: Harriet Hemingway and Mina Hall. In 1896, in Boston, Harriet reads an article that talks about all the birds that are being killed for their colorful feathers to put in hats. And some hats don’t just have the feathers, they actually have the birds in the design of the hat. In fact, there’s one hat with twelve blackbirds going all the way around the brim of the hat.
[00:01:46] Now this article that Harriet is reading actually has lots of drawings of all these birds in all these hats, and Harriet is outraged. Now she had seen women walking down the street with birds on their hats, but she didn’t know that it was happening to the great extent that this article shared. She grabs the article, she grabs her hat from the hallway and puts it on –now, of course, no birds on her hat– and she decides that she is going to walk across the street to her cousin Mina’s house, because she’s got to tell Mina about it, and they’ve got to talk about it, and they’ve got to figure out something they’re gonna do. She walks across the street. Mina can see that she’s distressed. They have the conversation. She shows her the article. Mina doesn’t like this idea of lots of dead birds either. And they say “okay, let’s do something about it”.
[00:02:43] So you know what they do? They decide they’re going to host an afternoon tea. I love this because I love the idea of women changing everything over afternoon tea. Especially if there’s little finger sandwiches involved, They host some teas. They get all the women in Boston Society to sign a petition. And by the way, if somebody didn’t want to sign the petition, you know what? They embraced some peer pressure to have them sign the petition. They get 900 women in Boston to not only sign the petition, to also agree that they’re going to boycott any milliners that manufacture or sell any hats with birds on the hats or feathers of birds on the hats.
[00:03:42] Now, this is beautiful because not only do they get all these women in Boston, women of means, women who are the ones that buy the fancy hats, to agree to this, they also now start the Massachusetts Audubon Society, the purpose of which is to protect birds and eventually other wildlife. And they also are the first Audubon Society in the country. Now, every state has an Audubon society and all of this is because these gals got together with some other gals and had afternoon tea.
[00:04:27] Of course you can see the leadership of Harriet and Mina in this story, but what I want to let you know though is that before Harriet and Mina got together for tea with these ladies to make all this happen, they were suffragists.
[00:04:47] Now they’re not the names that you hear when you hear about suffragists. They were probably not the top suffragists because if they were, we would have heard their names along with Elizabeth Cady Stanton, and Lucy Stone, of course, Susan B. Anthony, don’t forget Sojourner Truth. Now, these are some of the names you know that were suffragists.
[00:05:14] I point out that Harriet and Mina were suffragists because they were not the big leaders. It is though, through their exposure, their participation, that they realized they could use their voices, they could use their skills for good and massive change.
[00:05:37] And I start our conversation today with my favorite story of Harriet and Mina changing the world over afternoon tea, because so many women, and I’m hoping this is not you my friend, so many women, and if it is then I’m glad we’re having this conversation, do not see how much leadership skills they already have. And today we’re going to talk about some of those.
[00:06:07] As we begin this, I want you to ask yourself, do you see yourself as a leader? I hope you do.
[00:06:14] Right now, I want you to answer some questions I’m going to ask you. Okay?
[00:06:20] Do you make sure everyone present in a situation is included in the conversation or discussion? Do you authentically acknowledge other people? Do you find ways to include anybody who’s interested in a project or a task? Guess what? If you answered yes to these you’re a leader.
[00:06:46] Do you see the best in people until they give you a reason to doubt them? Do you tell the truth? Do you keep your agreements and operate with integrity? If so, my friend, guess what? You’re a leader. When you see something needs to be done, do you make things happen? Do you get it done? Or do you wait for other people to step up and take care of it? If you make things happen and you get things done that you see need to be done, guess what sweetheart, you’re a leader.
[00:07:21] Do you have a large network of people and resources that think well of you that you could call on that you could even ask to help you out and they would be an insta-yes for you? That’s a leader. Do you speak in public or run meetings or host gatherings? Leaders do that. Do you offer help when people need help? That’s what leaders do. That’s what servant leaders do.
[00:07:49] Because leadership is about being of service. And if you feel the same way, then let’s amplify your leadership skills, and let’s amplify your voice, and let’s amplify your self-perception of you as a leader. Okay if you’re saying “okay, Caterina, this sounds good,” then we’re going to talk about some things that are going to help you do that.
[00:08:14] For some years now I’ve considered myself to be a leader. I lead a community. I lead my team in business. I’ve held leadership in a variety of roles. I was on the board of the San Francisco Chamber of Commerce for six years, four years on the executive committee, which was a wonderful experience. Most of the people on the board at the time were VPs of the big companies and the smaller companies and some of the CEOs of different companies. It was an amazing experience.
[00:08:53] And at the same time, I did a program called Leadership San Francisco. In your city, there’s probably a leadership program just like that for where you live. I know because I’ve spoken at some of the different leadership programs in different cities in California. That was a place where I definitely felt intimidated as a young gal, being with all these top business leaders.
[00:09:23] You know what though? The more I did it, the less intimidated I felt, the more I felt like I belonged to be at the big table. And I hope you do too. If there’s no room for you at the table, you know what? You pull up a chair and you tell people to squish more together to make room for you. You deserve a chair at any table of leaders that you want to associate with, where you know you can make a contribution.
[00:09:55] There’ve been certain times in my life where I didn’t necessarily feel like a leader when I was called on to be a leader. I remember Women’s Wire, which was one of the first sites for women on the internet. They asked me to moderate one of their groups. At the time it wasn’t like it is now, where it was so interactive with videos and live events, it was more like a chat and a feed. But you know, I hardly ever put my voice into this group that I was supposed to be in charge of, because I just didn’t know what to say. I didn’t know how to say it. I didn’t feel like I could say anything because I wasn’t sure what would be okay to say.
[00:10:44] I laugh now because now I don’t care. Now I put my voice out there because I know there’s a lifetime supply of people to serve. My people will resonate with me. Your people will resonate with you. Don’t worry about what every Mary, Jane, and Sheila thinks -it doesn’t matter. What matters is your people will find you when you amplify your voice.
[00:11:10] When the pandemic started, I didn’t think about what people might think of me when I was thinking of getting my client community together to host meetings for them to talk about thriving through a pandemic. Not that I had any expertise at that, but you know what? I stepped up. We had monthly community meetings. We had extra Zoom get-togethers. Why? Because it was a challenge we were all going through together, and we supported each other through that challenge, and that made it bearable, especially in the beginning during lockdown.
[00:11:50] I’m sharing this with you because you’ve probably heard me say perfection is not required or encouraged. It is very much true when it comes to stepping up for leadership. The pandemic is a perfect example of where people were looking for support, looking for leaders. You didn’t have to be polished or perfect or anything. You just had to step up to be of support.
[00:12:18] I’m so happy that I was able to do that at this time when it was very much needed. And because I couldn’t do it way back when, when the internet first started, I recognize how far I’ve come. And I hope that you are seeing that however far you’ve come, there’s more to come for you as a leader. Because leadership is something we start to do, and the more we do it, the better we get. And pretty soon we begin to feel like a leader, and we begin to amplify our voice more. And that’s what I want for you.
[00:12:55] Okay. So right now I’m going to talk with you about five things that you want to think about, put in place, cultivate, to support you to be a leader, a great leader, a leader that makes a difference in the lives of others.
[00:13:14] First thing, my friend, you need a mission. You need a clear mission. What is your mission? My mission, as example, is to uplift women economically around the world, through entrepreneurship. Now around the world, we do that with our philanthropy and our giving. Domestically, and in the U S and Canada, I do it with my programs, my trainings, my retreats, my workshops. People don’t have to be my client to be uplifted by me. That’s why I do free workshops every month. Because I’ve got massive value to bring, you’ve got massive value to bring. You want to bring it to people that can’t afford to hire you for your massive value you deliver through your business.
[00:14:00] Are there ways though, that you can uplift people that doesn’t cost you much, like doing a workshop, like helping speak in different places to inspire young lives and the lives of people that are older too? Women and girls need support., Everybody needs support. And be an inspirational leadership voice in different places, even when they can’t write you a check. Of course, you have to decide how much of that you’re going to do, because you can’t do it every day, all day long, without getting paid.
[00:14:38] Do, though, make a conscious choice that giving, meaning philanthropy where you’re making contribution, giving of your money, and giving of your time is part of what you do as a leader. And the other thing that you can do is you can use your leadership voice to support causes you care about, and your voice can help raise money for a variety of people.
[00:15:05] One of my clients today was telling me that she’s going to be doing a walk for Alzheimer’s. Well, of course, I’m going to write her a check, but I’m also going to make sure she has an opportunity to share in our community about what she’s doing so that other people can step up to support her as well.
[00:15:24] As a leader, you can facilitate more giving, more support, for the causes you care about, for the people you care about and their causes.
[00:15:36] Back to your mission. What is your mission? Be able to clearly articulate it, and be able to use it as your guiding principle in your decision-making for “is this on mission or is this off mission?” Because you will have a lifetime supply of opportunities that will be put in front of you. And every time you have to ask yourself “does this solidify my mission or does this dilute my mission?”
[00:16:07] Often we talk about as women, bright shiny object syndrome. Well, you don’t have bright shiny object syndrome, meaning you’re having so many opportunities and things coming at you you don’t know what to do. You don’t have that when you have clarity on your mission, because you just ask yourself “is this solidifying my mission, supporting my mission, moving my mission forward? Or is this diluting my mission, taking me off course?”
[00:16:38] Bing bing, okay. That’s the first thing: a mission.
[00:16:41] Second thing, sweetheart: a message. You want to have a message, a message that goes along with your mission.
[00:16:49] I’ll tell you mine. My message is: every woman matters, every woman has massive value to bring, and I want her to know it. That’s my message for my life.
[00:17:01] Message for my business: speak authentically, sell authentically, strategize, so you can use your business for good and uplift more lives. Now you can have a few messages, you can have a message that changes. Your message will evolve over time. Life is dynamic, business is dynamic, of course it will. And you know what? You could 360 and totally change what you want to focus on.
[00:17:30] Because your mission, your message, better make you bliss. And if it’s not, then it’s time to take a look at what matters to you, what you want to dedicate your life and your time to, and it’s okay to make a change.
[00:17:47] I remember many, many years ago, going way back, sitting in my therapist’s office, by the way, this is before I fired my therapist and hired my first coach, because I was sitting there listening to myself complain about my life and I thought “I shouldn’t be complaining about my life”. Or just felt like I wasn’t doing what was serving me. I wanted to be talking about my goals and how to get there and all of that, and that’s what I did when I hired my first coach, who was Laura Whitworth, who was the founder of the Coaches Training Institute. She’s the one who thought I would make a good coach.
[00:18:25] But before that, one day I’m sitting in my therapist’s office and I said to her “I love having my cafe. I want to have my cafe forever. I see running my cafe for the next 50 years”. Well, of course, at some point I changed my mission, I changed my message, I changed my life, because something else was more alluring than running a cafe. To me, it was uplifting the lives of women through business coaching and speaking and training.
[00:19:00] I’m sharing this with you because you can change at any point. It’s okay for you to do what brings you joy and makes you bliss in your life. And if your business or whatever, you’ve got your attention on these days, or even your marriage, or your volunteer position, or some commitment you have, if it’s not blissing you, you can make a change. I want you to hear that. I’m not sure if that message was for you personally. I know it’s for somebody that’s listening.
[00:19:34] You’ve got a mission. You’ve got a message. The next thing you need, is you need a platform. You need a place to amplify your voice, to get the word out, because if nobody knows how amazing you are, they can not be impacted by you. Did you hear that? If nobody knows how amazing you are, they cannot be impacted by you. Do not keep your massive value a secret, be loud and proud about it.
[00:20:03] Now, where are you going to be loud and proud? You could have a room on Clubhouse. You can have a club on Clubhouse. You can have a podcast. You can be a guest on other people’s podcasts. You can do reels. You can do Facebook live and LinkedIn live. You can host workshops. You can host live events. You can be like Harriet and Mina and get the gals together for afternoon tea and talk. You need a platform.
[00:20:29] And not only do you need a platform, I’m going to encourage you to have a consistent platform. Meaning if you put video on YouTube, don’t just do it once every blue moon, do it consistently. Because once people find you, they’re going to want more. This is why we want people to get on our email list so that we can touch them regularly. Now you might be anti-email, guess what though? It’s a great way to let people know what other platforms you’re on.
[00:20:59] Once you have your mission and your message and you figured out what platform you’re going to use, and that might be multiple platforms like many of us, next thing you need is a plan. A plan. A plan for when you’re sharing your message, what’s next? What else you got? Because people listening to you once is going to let them know you have massive value to bring. It’s not necessarily going to create massive change for the people that you’re touching.
[00:21:31] If you want to have real impact, you want to provide ongoing support for those people, ongoing guidance, a structure, like a community or a program or a regular meeting, could be even a regular clubhouse room once a week. Ongoing that has them be focused, that builds momentum, that supports them in being in action. And you know, what else? Encouragement.
[00:22:00] And the next thing that comes after plan, is a community. Those are the things that people need to create massive change or make a difference in their lives. For you to impact people, you want to provide these things, and you want to have a plan to do it.
[00:22:19] And of course, how are you going to monetize all of this? If we’re talking about doing something for raising money for causes you care about, what’s your plan to do that, if we’re talking outside of your business? Any mission, any plan, any platform that you’re going to work on a consistent basis, that’s going to require some revenue to keep things moving.
[00:22:45] Leader super-tip alert, leader super-tip alert: you can’t be doing everything. It’s your voice that you want to be focused on, getting your voice out there, having support with some of the behind the scene things so that you can keep bringing your voice… what’s your plan? By the way, if you want support with all of that, let’s have a conversation. This is what I do: I help women create their plans to have their massive impact. I do this individually with women, I do this with groups of women leaders, just like you.
[00:23:22] You’ve got a mission. You’ve got a message. You’ve got a platform. You’ve got a plan. The next thing I mentioned already, a community. We have done an episode here on this podcast on cultivating community. This is a skill. I want you to listen to that episode, want you to put attention on cultivating community because this is an important skill that will support you to not only thrive as a leader, thrive in your business, but here’s the best part. A community means that everybody is helping everybody.
[00:24:01] I talked to one of my clients today. She was telling me that another client is her client. And I talked to another client today and she said that somebody referred her for speaking engagement, another person in our community. I was talking to another client and she told me she just hired another one of my clients to help her with a project. Another client told me that another client referred her to her VA because she needs some VA support. When everybody in your community has a community to call on for whatever needs they have, for whatever resources they are looking for, for clients, for opinions, for access to some group, you say “Hey, does anybody know anybody who works over there?” Or “does anybody know anybody that has tried this and if it’s any good?” This is powerful. Make sure that cultivating a community of like-minded like-hearted people, just like you is part of your plan as a leader. Everybody needs more community.
[00:25:11] When I started my trainings that we do now, hosting my own group programs, hosting my own retreats, really I started because I wanted to do the teaching part. I wanted to have impact through teaching, and that was great. Well then after some of the ladies that were my clients had been to the speaker program and they’d been to the business program, they said to me “Caterina, what’s next?” And in that moment, I realized yes, they were getting value from the trainings, but what they really loved was to keep coming back and meeting more amazing women, and connecting, and getting uplifted through each other. This is what a community does.
[00:26:01] And I’m hoping that you’re a part of some communities that you think are absolutely fabulous, because they’re modeling what amazing community is. And if you’re not part of lots of amazing communities, you can start your own.
[00:26:16] Before you do that, come and hang out with me and my amazing community, because we are a good model, a great model, of what community looks like. Now, how do I know this? Because ladies tell me every day, all day long. Nothing warms my heart more than watching women thrive in community.
[00:26:38] My friend. I hope you’re taking our discussion today- you’re going to listen to it again. You’re going to get your mission, your message, your platform, your plan, and your community together.
[00:26:49] Now it’s not gonna all happen at once. It’s not going to happen overnight. I want you to be in action, though, around this. Because I want you to develop mastery as a leader. I want you to become masterful at cultivating community, because this is going to uplift lots of lives.
[00:27:06] And by the way, I’m here to support you. I’d love to be your guide. My community is here to support you. Please join us in our Thriving Women in Business group on Facebook. Please join us in our Thriving Women in Biz Club on Clubhouse. Join us for our weekly wrap-up, come and network there on Fridays. And join me for one of my free workshops. Let’s connect.
[00:27:31] Let me find out about you and your business, how myself and my community can support you to amplify your voice, amplify your leadership. Because you, my friend, have massive value to bring. There is absolutely a lifetime supply of people to be served by you.
[00:27:50] Amplify your voice, create your plan, get clarity on these things we’ve discussed. I want to watch you thrive, expand your Fempire and most importantly, uplift more lives.
[00:28:04] Can’t wait to be with you again on another episode of the Expand Your Fempire podcast. Bing bing bing. Until next time.
We hope you enjoyed this episode of Expand Your Fempire with Caterina Rando.