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A Life-Changing Experience Comes to a Close | #LinkageWIL Day 4

December 13, 2019 Kristen Howe

As we conclude yet another Women in Leadership Institute, I’m feeling an overwhelming sense of gratitude for our incredible faculty and the 1,100 women leaders who joined us in Phoenix this year. Your enthusiasm, openness, bravery, and willingness to be all in left us inspired. 

If you’ve been following our journey during #LinkageWIL through these daily blogposts, we hope that you’ve found yourself nodding along to some of the takeaways, and finding value in them that you can apply to your own leadership journey. If you haven’t already, share these highlights with colleagues and friends. Multiply the knowledge and spread the messages.

There is so much more to explore in the world of advancing women leaders in the coming months. Continue to follow us on TwitterInstagram and LinkedIn for the newest insights on leadership.

Let’s dive into Day 4 of #LinkageWIL:

Keynote: Carla Harris on Being Connected

Carla Harris was our final keynote speaker, and reminded us that, “Leadership is a journey from execution to empowerment.” You must engage with others in a way that empowers them.

And always—always—bring your authentic self to the table. Here’s how:

  • Know who you are. Who are you today? You are not the woman you were yesterday, and you’re not the woman who arrived in Phoenix four days ago.
  • Understand that we are all multifaceted. Own that.
  • Finally, relax. You are authentically you, so you can meet people where they are.

Carla encouraged us to give up the role of executing—you can’t get to second base when your foot is still on first.

She also discussed the importance of being intentional about cultivating mutually beneficial relationships and pushing ourselves to build relationships with others who can support our aspirations.

From there, she dove into the importance of networking.  She acknowledged that while it may feel uncomfortable, it is an intentional action we all need to take. Building a network that we can eventually leverage is a powerful tool every leader should have in their toolbox. 

Carla left us with a powerful message: “We all have a voice, which is powerful and influential if we use it.”

What we learned:

  • The real way to grow your power is to give it away.
  • The way you amplify your value in your organization isn’t to execute more—it’s to empower people. Just because you can, doesn’t mean you should. Resist the temptation to continue to execute. It’s not about who you used to be.
  • If you are invited to the room, you belong in the room. If you belong in the room, you have a seat at the table. If you have a seat at the table, you have a responsibility to use your voice.
  • Be authentically you. Know the environment you’re walking into. Own and embrace all of who you are, so you can relax and meet people where they are.
  • Your voice is at the heart of your power. You must be intentional about using your voice. To be a powerful, impactful leader, you must be able to call a thing, a thing. When you don’t speak up, you lose the authenticity you brought into the room. That will cost you, in terms of trust and retention.
  • We can all lead from any seat–and we must.

Looking for more from Carla? Visit her website or follow her on Twitter for more insights.


Since 1999, Linkage’s Women in Leadership Institute (WIL), a four-day immersive learning experience, has equipped more than 10,000 women with actionable strategies to overcome the seven hurdles women often face in the workplace.

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Advancing Women Leaders Academy

A 9-module, on-site learning experience that seeks to equip women with actionable steps and practices to address the barriers that impede their advancement in the workplace, including the Inner Critic.

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