Every year the Texas Women’s Conference turns out to be one of my favorite networking events because it’s where women in Texas (and from across the country) gather to get stuff done and empower each other. Attendees are always moved by the leaders when share their stories about success and failures. What moves me each time is when women in leadership share their truths.
Here are some key takeaways from three speakers that I heard at the 2016 Texas Women’s Conference:
Abby Wambach, the number one all-time leading scorer in international soccer history, shared her personal story about how she ended up on the team with Mia Hamm. Part of her story is about how women have to stick together as a team. Abby was looking for guidance and she found it in Mia. She just listened to her and it changed her life which led to the winning World Cup. And, more importantly led to the change for equal pay for women athletes.
“We have all these times in our lives when people give you advice and you can either take it or leave it. I chose to open-armed accept anything Mia had to say.”
As women, we get advice from people all the time about what we should do, how we should act and who we should be. It’s hard to decifer between who has our best interest at heart and who doesn’t. When we listen like Abby did to Mia, we can change the world – together.
Kristen Nolte, Vice President at HomeAway, had some great advice in the panel The Art of Branding: Positioning Yourself for YOUR Future. One of the reasons that I chose to attend this session is because despite having the same blog for six years, I still feel like I struggle on knowing exactly what I do best. I wanted to hear from the pros on how they brand themselves around their strengths.
Here’s what Kristen offered, “Put one foot in something you’re great at and one foot in something that will stretch you.”
This spoke to me because often times I feel that I can only focus on one thing in order to be successful. While focusing on one thing has it’s place, I get that I can do what I’m good at and at the same time do something that will help me grow.
One of my women in leadership idols is Diane von Furstenburg (DVF), Fashion . Her keynote may have been my favorite part of the conference (next to meeting Glennon Doyle Melton in the hallway). Buy her book The Woman I wanted To Be to read her story in full. At the conference, DVF said that it was in making the wrap dress and understanding that she was able to make women feel confident that led her to begin an open dialogue with women everywhere. She added that her book is written with so much honesty because if not, what’s the point?
My favorite quote from DVF is:
“If you only practice your power, you fail. If you only practice your energy, you stagnate. But if you practice on intention and spend time on why, how, purpose, then you will get the energy and power.”
A great example of this is when I attend excellent conferences like this one, I don’t just show up for myself. I show up open to both give to others and to receive what others are needing to teach. I’m there to empower myself AND the women around me. In that space and with that intention, I do believe we get our energy and power – together.