Last week I had the pleasure of attending the annual conference for the Women Presidentsâ Organization (WPO), held in Atlanta. Every year I learn valuable lessons and gain tremendous insight from this dynamic group of successful women. Here are the take-away lessons from this year.
- Women are fearless and powerful in numbers!Â This is something I notice every time Iâm at this conference and this event was no disappointment.Â The ladies who work at the WPO, including Dr. Marsha Firestone, work tirelessly to make each year special. And they did so again this year.
- Laurel Richie, President of WNBA: Transcend your product features. Focus on the hopes and dreams of your customers and you canât go wrong. The work sheâs done on the Girl Scouts rebranding has been fascinating. Studies have shown that many successful women entrepreneurs started out selling Girl Scout cookies.
- Geena Davis is much more than a pretty face. Her work on the Geena Davis Institute helps brings awareness to the inequality of the way women and girls are portrayed in the media — still! Only 17% of all roles go to woman and there is still work to be done to make the roles more realistic and inspiring.
âThe U.S. ranks 90th for female representation in government globally. Try NAMING 89 countries!” – Geena Davis
- Jim Collins, whose book Great by Choice, has identified a commonality that makes great leaders truly great: fanatic discipline, empirical creativity and productive paranoia.
- Big idea: what would be missed if we werenât here? That should be the golden rule of your business.
- Also: Great companies need to be great without you!
- When filling key positions in your company, make sure the candidates fit with your values when they walk in the door, that they have a passion for what you do and donât need to be tightly managed, and that they donât feel they have a job, but that they have responsibilities.
- Jim Horan talked about the one page business plan: what behavior needs to change in order to achieve your 3 to 5 year vision?
- Marylin Molbley of Edelman Public Relations: when crafting your story, think coverage and conversation. Reverberation often trumps circulation. Think about how to make your story reverberate.
- If youâre not on LinkedIn, you donât exist!
- Only been 20 Beluga whales have given birth in captivity. We watched one about ready to give birth at the American Express Fastest Growing Women-owned Companies event at the Atlanta Aquarium. They gestate between 14 and 16 months, and divers need to take turns getting into the water to help because the baby whale has only two minutes to get to the surface or it will die.Â The staff at the Aquarium has been on 24 hour around-the-clock watch for a month. I hope we hear about it in NYC!
The WPO conference never fails to inspire greatness!