As we mark women's history month, we celebrate role models who paved the way for continued progress towards equality. We also lift up the mentors, advocates, teachers and leaders who encouraged us on our journey towards breakthrough achievement. Their leadership inspires our own.
Research shows that having, seeing and being role models is essential to success, particularly for individuals who are in the minority. According to the Small Business Administration, just 7.5% of working age women are business owners in the state of Minnesota.[i] This means there are far fewer role models for us to call upon than there are for women employed by others. It also means that we have an important opportunity and responsibility even, to become the best leaders we can in our quest to make a difference.
It wasn't until I was in my fifties that I met my first true role model -- Susan Waring. In the intensely male-dominated financial services industry, Susan broke through major barriers, rising to become President of the Life Company for State Farm. At last, I found someone who demonstrated the vision, servant-attitude, smarts, compassion, grit and most especially -- advocacy for other women, that I wanted to emulate. Susan's example and profound impact compels paying it forward.
What do compelling role models look like? In our upcoming Leadership Challenge workshops in partnership with St. Catherine's University, we focus on these proven essentials:
- Modeling the Way - Clarifying values and setting the example
- Inspiring a Shared Vision - Envisioning the future and enlisting others
- Challenging the Process - Searching for improvement opportunities, experimenting and taking risks
- Enabling Others to Act - Fostering collaboration and strengthening others
- Encouraging the Heart - Recognizing contributions, celebrating values and victories
We invite you and your team members to join us as we grow in becoming the very best role models we can be. The workshops begin on March 22nd and occur quarterly. If you cannot make it to one, don't worry. Sessions are modular and text materials are included in all packages. Pricing reflects significant discounts and value as comparable workshops are offered for more than $1200.
Last, save the date for the ultimate experience in role model inspiration: The Minnesota Women Business Owner Hall of Fame -- May 1st, Golden Valley Country Club, 5:30 - 9pm. Investment: $90 NAWBO Members // $100 NAWBO Member Guest //$115 General Admission. Tables: $880 NAWBO Members // $1,050 Non Members. Details to follow. Our inductees embody prevailing over long odds and entrepreneurial heroism!
In honor of women making history, see and be great role models. Together, we change the game!
Yours in service,
President, NAWBO MN