Portrait of an InPower Leader


The cohort of leaders who will reclaim leadership to achieve great things in the world won’t succeed out of idealism, an extreme sense of perfection or personal heroism. We will succeed because we see ourselves and the world for what is and because we master the ability to motivate groups we lead to access their full power to create transformative outcomes.

InPower Leaders derive our power from within ourselves first and foremost, owning who we are and freeing ourselves to be at choice and at cause in the world, regardless of our external circumstances. We move through the world with intention and trust, taking what is and working with it productively. With such clarity and perspective we excel at group process and choose our own actions purposefully to manage relationships, energy and intention in ways that make our teams powerful too. With powerful and purpose-driven teams alongside us, InPower Leaders advocate and create organizations, movements and cultures that unfold amazing change in the world.

Recognizing InPower Leaders Among Us

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Activating The Woman Effect

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This last year blogging here on Reclaiming Leadership has been fun and fascinating. Along the way I found myself speaking to and with wonderful, powerful women. And I’ve also been having fun blogging on women’s web sites, like Blogher, The Glass Hammer, Success in the City and Owning Pink. But I wanted to have a place of my own to speak to women about the trends I see from reading the leadership research that many women – heads down in their career – don’t get a chance to see. So I’m starting a new leadership and professional development blog and website for powerful, high-achieving women.

Here’s my opening play: The Woman Effect (1:48 min video).

(Click here to embed video.)
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For those who like THIS blog, rest assured that my plan is to continue blogging here on the subjects of leadership, corporate culture, change management and teambuilding.

Thanks for all of you who have friended, followed, commented, discussed and debated with me over the last year. I’ve never had so much professional fun in my life and it’s only getting better!

An Open Letter To Bully Bosses: Steve Jobs’ Greatest Failure Should Be Your Greatest Success

Yes, Steve Jobs changed the world. He was brilliant, fearless, courageous and undeniably successful by all measures but one. See these HBR laudatory reviews? I agree with them all.

But, in his most blatant imperfection, I see great opportunity for you. Continue reading

The Girl Effect Is Everywhere

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If you haven’t seen this video, watch it. Go ahead. I’ll wait. It’s amazing and inspiring.

The Girl Effect is a philanthropic movement to value girls and women in developing countries. Why girls? Because the stats show that when girls are valued by their culture poverty, illness and low education levels begin to recede – naturally – to be replaced by relative prosperity, health and education. (Watch the original Girl Effect video that makes this point and is equally inspiring.) Why? Because women invest their time, energy and resources differently than men – putting more energy into their families and their community, and this kind of energy investment pays off tangibly. Everyone benefits when women are supported – communities are transformed. NOT because men are evil, but because the value of men and women is out of whack in the developing world and when the balance is more equal, a strong women’s influence creates a healthier culture and economy. You can read some fascinating stats about this here on the Girl Effect site.

And guess what? This isn’t just a philanthropic effort anymore. The Girl Effect and others began to raise awareness on the impact of women a few years ago, and it got people’s attention. Just this month, the World Bank validated this way of looking at the economic benefits of valuing women in developing economies. All I can say is, it’s about damn time and GO GIRL EFFECT! Continue reading

Why Is Speaking Truth To Power So Hard?

UPDATE: The survey is now closed. If you’d like to receive a free copy of the results when I publish them in September, please contact me or subscribe to my newsletter to be notified.

I have read several blogs of late that encourage aspiring leaders to speak their mind with some version of “CEOs say they want people to tell them the truth”.

When I read these statements, my own wounded corporate warrior laughed before I could even catch it. How many organizations have I worked in where truth really didn’t seem to be welcome at all? Plenty. And yet I know for a fact that learning to speak your truth to power is an essential arrow in a leader’s personal power quiver. Continue reading

Forget The Gender Debate – Let’s Transform The System

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Ladies, why are we waiting for The System to recognize the overwhelming evidence that companies with women in leadership outperform those without? Corporate America is rife with women’s leadership development programs and excellent ideas about how to help women advance, but it’s not happening. The System – by which I mean our prevailing corporate and political culture – doesn’t know how to adjust. I believe it’s up to us. Continue reading

Why You Need Women Leading In Your Organization – A Summary of the Data

The bottom line on women and the economy

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I’m a woman and I like to hear about women making it big in business, but I keep running across data that says that we still aren’t up there with the guys – despite “overwhelming evidence” that companies that have women in leadership roles outperform those who don’t. Curious and wary of my female ego puffing up the whole gender for my personal benefit, I decided to research this “overwhelming evidence.”

Here’s what I found out. It’s true. More women in leadership measurably helps companies succeed.

Here’s a little summary of some of the data out there on women in leadership and the benefits they bring to the organizations they serve, starting with the hard line performance and profitability numbers. Continue reading

Ladies, What Are We Waiting For?

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I am IN my power when I deal with WHAT IS

If business women aren’t broken, why does “the system” need to adjust?

I’ve been watching the statistics and conversations on gender pay inequality and women’s leadership development programs for a while. This week I noticed two thought provoking articles by Liz Bolshaw and Marcia Reynolds about equal pay and corporate training programs specifically. While I’m very thankful that people are tracking this information – and promoting the idea that women don’t need to be “fixed” – the more I read, the less inspired I am that the world will change as a result of this dialog. Continue reading

Announcing: The InPower Project

Be the change you wish to see in the world - gandhi

Power words. What do they mean to you?

What does it mean to stand IN your power, to lead and BE the cause of change and transformation in the world around you?

What does BEing the change look like?

I believe this enigmatic concept is the solution to “all our problems,” as individuals and as a species. And yet it’s an abstract concept – difficult to grasp fully. To many people I’ve talked to it means not waiting around for someone else to change something. But is it merely action? I think there’s a deeper dimension to it. It’s like a “know it when I see it” phenomenon that some people “get” and others don’t. I’d like to change that. I’d like this important concept and the power it brings to us to be accessible to everyone. I want everyone to be able to take back their power to be the cause of change and transformation in the world, effortlessly and meaningfully.

What does BEING change look like? What does it feel like? How do you know you’re doing it right? What kind of transformation in the world is even possible with this stance?

I have a perspective, taken from my InPower Manifesto. I believe that being IN Power looks like this: Continue reading

4 Reasons The Western Woman Can Save The World

The Western Woman will save the world - Dalai Lama

Vancouver Peace Summit - 9/09

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Never mind that Hilary Clinton didn’t get elected president of the United States. The trend she is a part of is well underway, and I’m not talking about feminism.

Just because no one I know got raptured last weekend doesn’t mean the apocalypse isn’t upon us; it just means we get to change the world before everything goes to hell. The world is in a pretty nasty state, based on the daily headlines, and it’s easy to feel powerless to save it. Yet I know so many people determined to do just that, many of them women. What I’d like to see is more people – men and women – stepping into their world-saving powers, more consciously, more assertively and more effectively.

Note to Men: Don’t stop reading now (if you got this far – kudos to you!) The stuff we ladies are naturally good at – and that the world needs – you’re pretty good at too. Mostly you just need to ALLOW yourself to be good at it!

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