When I said day two was action-packed I was not kidding. Breaking it up into two sections was the only way to go. Now for the deets on day two part two.
Power Lunch | One-on-One Conversation featuring Mellody Hobson
All right, let’s eat. After an intense morning of activities, it was time for a recharge with the afternoon’s power lunch. Host of Women of Power TV, Caroline Clarke sat down with Melody Hobson, President of Ariel Investments L.L.C. and Chairman of the Board of Dreamworks Animation.
As Caroline probed Mellody about her career journey we discovered that she has had the same job for over 23 years. Obviously she’s moved up in her career since graduating from Princeton but she has worked for the same company for over 23 years. When she first joined Ariel she would follow her boss (John Rogers) around trying to squeeze any information out of him she could. She followed him on his regular McDonald’s trips and sat with him as he took in his morning reading. She would sit in silence reading the same magazines he was reading and waited for him to talk to her. When he would finally speak, he would ask her to do something and she would dutifully jot it down while he went right back to his reading.
She would take any bad assignment as long as she was given a shot, she recalled. Rogers warned her early on “ You’re going to be with people that make a lot of money and have big titles but it doesn’t mean they have better ideas than you.” She also remembered speaking with Tom Joyner, who in her words was “unapologetically black.” He told her “‘Don’t apologize for being who you are or your interests.” As far as one of the best pieces of advice she’d ever received, it was to simply to “smile a lot.”
My Favorite Mellody Hobson quotes
“Sometimes you have to give up on perfect for fast.”
“I’ve taught myself to get on the other side of it. What’s the worst that could happen?” (In regards to dealing with fear).
“I like things to be well done. I want to be great. I don’t want to be good. I want to be great.”
Leverage Your Power – Clifton Strengths Finder Powered by Gallup
This next session was all about self awareness and understanding how to leverage your strengths to solve complex issues and positively impact your professional performance. Facilitated by Paul Allen, Chief Evangelist for StrengthsFinder, and co-founder of Ancestry.com.
To really get full value out of this session one would have had to have already taken the StrengthFinder assessment. But for those of us who hadn’t, this session provided a good starting point for understanding why it’s so important to identify and understand your strengths and find the corresponding needs for each strength. For example where "Learner" is identified as strength, we know that the Learner needs exposure to new information and experiences in order to thrive.
The session helped put into perspective that even “negative” personality traits are positive in the right circumstances. This assessment enables us to focus on what’s right instead of accepting what is wrong because when you can’t do what you were designed to do, it’s very difficult to stay engaged. A great takeaway from this session was somewhat of a formula for identifying your strengths.
5 Clues To Talent
- Yearning – What did you yearn to do as a child?
- Rapid Learning – Things you pick naturally without much practice or instruction.
- Glimpses of Excellence – When someone else observes a skill or talent you posses that you may not have noticed yourself.
- Satisfaction – After your hard work is done and everything is complete out the feeling when you get when it’s over is that you can’t wait to do it again.
- Flow (Timelessness) – You get so caught up doing what you’re doing that you loose track of time.
10th Annual Legacy Awards Gala
Moving from the daytime events to the evening festivities, attendees gathered in the grand ballroom for an elegant evening honoring the inspiring women who were the recipients of the Legacy Award this year. Dinner was fabulous and wine flowed freely as we gathered to pay homage to an incredible group of women.
Legacy Award Recipients
Charlayne Hunter-Gault, American Journalist and former Foreign Correspondent, National Public Radio & Public Broadcasting Service - awarded for her contributions to the field of journalism.
Susan L. Taylor, Founder & CEO, National CARES Mentoring Movement and Editor-In-Chief Emeritus, Essence magazine - recognized for her role as editor in chief of essence magazine for years and now for creating the national cares organization.
Pam Grier, Actress and Activist - recognized for her work in film, the empowered women she portrayed and for her activism.
Barbara Graves Legacy Award
Beverly Daniel Tatum, PH.D., President, Spelman College - recognized for her accomplishments in her role as president of the illustrious Spellman College.
Oh what a spectacular night it was. The inspiring stories and the works of these accomplished women were all truly deserving of every bit of adulation they were showered with this evening. I was so appreciative to be in the room, loving each and every minute and still there was more to come. Stay tuned for my day 3 recap ladies. You won’t want to miss that either. In the meantime, check out some additional pictures from the day's events.
Thank you for reading. Now… Let the power moves continue.