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3 Leadership Lessons from the Virtual Women in Leadership Institute 2020 | Glennon Doyle, Carla Harris & Molly Fletcher

December 1, 2020 Deana LaFauci

Last month, more than 1,400 women leaders came together online for Linkage’s Virtual Women in Leadership Institute.

It was an incredible week, jam-packed with insights from inspiring women leaders, including Molly Fletcher, Glennon Doyle and Carla Harris.

Inspiration abounds as we continue to unpack the leadership lessons these trailblazers and innovators shared with us.

Didn’t get a chance to join us for the live experience? Check out these takeaways from the Virtual Women in Leadership Institute 2020, then get your own WIL On-Demand pass, which gives you access to recordings through January 29, 2021.

1. Molly Fletcher: A good negotiator knows what they want out of a negotiation. A great negotiator knows who they are negotiating with and what matters most to them.

For trailblazing sports agent and author Molly Fletcher, negotiation represents an important opportunity to create and build strong relationships.

“We need to really get inside the head and the heart of the people we are negotiating with,” said Molly during her virtual keynote at WIL.

This advice is even more important as we operate in a largely virtual world. Priorities, schedules, our ideas about what we want and don’t want, have very drastically changed over the past year. Don’t assume the person you’re negotiating with is coming to the table with the same needs or desires they had a year ago!

Our best negotiating techniques may fall flat in a virtual world, so Molly shared additional tips with us for making the most of our Zoom meetings and phone calls.

2. Glennon Doyle: We can do hard things, but we can’t do impossible things.

When Glennon Doyle sat down for a virtual conversation with Kristen Howe, Chief Product Officer at Linkage, she gave us all permission to pause, take a breath, and acknowledge an important truth about life and leadership in 2020.

“The reason that it feels like too much right now is because it is too much,” said Glennon. The chat box, with 1,400 women leaders participating, lit up with comments and agreement.

This year has challenged all of us in intense and difficult ways. We’re doing more than ever before to achieve and succeed, both at work and at home, and yet, we can also feel that we’re simply treading water—or holding on for dear life. Glennon explains that our tendency to rely on “toxic positivity” can prevent us from calling out the very real challenges we face. We have to leave “perfection” behind so that we can live authentically.

3. Carla Harris: Keep your competitive edge by investing in yourself.

Women have been disproportionately impacted by an unprecedented public health and economic crisis, and as they strive to meet steep professional challenges and new responsibilities at home, including childcare and homeschooling, many women are being forced to opt out of the workforce. The pressure is real—and one of the extreme consequences of this crisis may be the loss of decades of progress toward gender parity in the workplace.

Carla Harris, who is Vice Chairman, Managing Director and Senior Client Advisor at Morgan Stanley, advised us to invest in ourselves to continue our learning and leadership journey at this critical time. “I keep my competitive edge by investing in myself,” said Carla. “I challenge all of you to do this!”

For Carla, investing in our own growth is about learning, reimagining our futures, and playing differently. In 2021, as we continue to adapt to a changed world and an ongoing crisis, our ability to reimagine what work and home life could look like will be more important than ever.


Didn’t get a chance to join us for the Virtual Women in Leadership Institute in November? On-Demand passes are now available, giving you on-demand access to the recorded conference through January 29, 2021. Learn more about On-Demand passes.

Dark haired woman watches from audience of conference event

Women in Leadership Institute

NOV. 13–16, 2023 | Orlando, Florida, or Virtual
A 4-day immersive learning experience designed to equip women leaders with actionable strategies to overcome the hurdles women often face in the workplace.

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