Black Enterprise Women of Power Summit 2015 – Day 2 (Part 1)

Black Enterprise Women of Power Summit Day 2

After day one’s inspiring Purpose & Pearls Beach Party, I knew I would have a lot to look forward to on day two. For the early risers the day began at 6:00 a.m. with the Power Cardio Sculpt and Yoga on the Beach sessions. For the majority of the attendees including myself the day began a little later with a continental breakfast feast from 7:30 a.m. to 8:00 am

We’ve Got the Power!

6445 Lisa Nichols BE Women of Power Summit 2015

Immediately following breakfast, we officially began the day with the "We’ve Got the Power" session featuring speaker Lisa Nichols, CEO of Motivating the Masses, Inc.  Lisa is a successful entrepreneur and best selling author of 6 books. She was featured in the self-help movie The Secret and has appeared on Oprah, Larry King Live and Extra.  From the moment she walked out on stage you could see that Ms. Nichols was a firecracker (read: commercial grade firework). She got the crowd fired up in a manner that I have only ever seen from the likes of Tony Robbins or Oprah herself.

My favorite quotes from Lisa’s session:

“Power is in the surrender to your assignment.”

“Power is in living your life in seasons and recognizing when some seasons are over.”

“Allow your greatness to show up even if people don’t like it.”

“Comparison is the thief of all joy.”

“Power is in your down moment. That’s when you remember who you were born to be. This circumstance does not define me.”

Lisa told her story, letting us in on some of her hardships.  As she told a particular story she recalled a moment where she was on public assistance and had run out of diapers for her baby.  It was the weekend and she’d gone to the ATM to pull money out but only had eleven dollars and change available. With the ATM only dispensing cash in increments of $20, she would be forced to wait until Monday morning to retrieve the remaining cash from her account. For two days she wrapped her baby in a towel as a substitute for the diapers. It was then that she held her baby and told him not to worry because they would never have to go through this again.  After years of building her business she stated that her company was now near the launch of their IPO. What was the sassy statement she made to punctuate this accomplishment? “From Public Assistance to going public.” To that statement the crowd leapt to their feet with roaring shouts and applause.  Was I at church or the first leadership session of the day? I couldn’t tell.

 

Zero to Breakthrough

6454 Vernice FlyGirl Armour BE Women of Power Summit 2015

The second session of the day featured Vernice “FlyGirl” Armour, President, VAI Consulting & Training L.L.C. Vernice was the first African American female combat pilot in the U.S. armed forces and is author of Zero to Breakthrough; 7-Step, Battle-Tested Methods for Accomplishing Goals that Matter. Vernice took the stage in what appeared to be an official combat pilot uniform.  She discussed seizing opportunities and acknowledging obstacles.  She spoke of the moment were she decided she wanted to attend a conference but was short on funds. She made a decision to make a “gutsy move“ embarking on a road trip to the conference. As she told this story, Vernice began removing her flight suit. She revealed the tailored shirt and dress slacks she was sporting underneath. She switched out the boots for heels and put on a red jacket. Continuing her story, she told us how she drove for hours not knowing what the outcome would be or how she would pay for anything. Upon her arrival she met an event organizer who told her a speaker had just dropped out and asked her to speak in that persons place.  He also informed her that all of her expenses would be fully taken care of.

My favorite quotes from Vernice’s session:

“Opportunities don’t go away other people take advantage of them.”

“Acknowledge the obstacles. Don’t give them power!”

“A breakthrough mentality creates your reality.”

“Make your gutsy move.”

At the end of her segment FlyGirl held up a copy of her book. Lisa Nichols who had just taken the stage before her had given a gift to the entire audience but FlyGirl had something else in mind. She stated that she didn’t have enough books to give away to the entire audience but still wanted to giveaway her book to attendees. “Who wants this book?” she asked. The audience roared and clapped some raised their hands. “Who wants this book?” she asked again. More shouting and clapping. I believe it was on the 4th instance of her asking that same question that one woman got out of her seat and approached Ms. Armour with her hand held out. FlyGirl happily handed her the book. “Make your gutsy move.” She reiterated.  You could feel the entire crowd experience an aha! moment.

Building Real leadership in Real Time

6458 Building Real Leadership

Next up was an executive leadership panel and probably my favorite panel of the summit.

Moderator:

Elizabeth R. Thornton, Author and Professor of Management Practice, Babson Executive Education, Babson College 

Panelists:

  • Adrienne Lofton - SVP, Global Brand Marketing, Under Armor
  • Ramona Rogers-Windsor - Managing Director, Northwestern Mutual Investment Management Co. LLC.
  • Katrina Adams - Chairman, CEO & President, USTA (United States Tennis Association)

The session covered a myriad of subjects pertaining to leadership timelines and plotting a realistic trajectory that fits your life and career objectives. I questioned the panel about the setbacks of race and gender and my own personality trait of introversion and the responses were enlightening.  The overwhelming sentiment was that I should derive power from being black and female as apposed to viewing those things as crutches. Ramona revealed that she doesn’t think about race or gender while Katrina directed me to replace Black, Woman, Introvert with Courage Grace, Dignity.

These women exhibited a certain level of poise and confidence that I completely admire and by the end of the session it felt like some of that aura had been transferred over to me.  I was thinking about possessing the ability to walk into a room or situation with confidence because I not only have a strong sense of self I also have the knowledge and know the details. As Adrienne put it, “When you’re maniacal about knowing the business it’s easy to feel confident in having a point of view.”

Some other standout quotes from the session.

Adrienne

“Stand up. Stand out. Have a point of view. Stay measured”

“Lead through where you are most passionate.”

“Always think about what’s next.”

“Go slow to go fast.”

Ramona

“I care very little about what people think.”

“Ask for what you want.”

“Find people who want you to succeed.”

Katrina

“Mental models drive our perceptions about the way things are supposed to be.”

“Embrace the path that you lead and enjoy the battle.

“Start with a dream and be disciplined.”

 

Day two was so action packed I had to split it up into two posts. Stay tuned for Day 2- Part two.

Thank you for reading. Now… Let the power moves continue.

 

In case you missed the recap of day one, check it out here.

Leave a Reply