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Key Insights from Liz Wiseman and Laila Ali, Plus the Legend in Leadership Award with Anne Chow | Day 3 of the Women in Leadership Institute

November 3, 2022 Kristen Howe

It’s the third day of the 23rd annual Women in Leadership Institute and energy is electric here in Orlando, Florida—and on our virtual platform. Thousands of women leaders are coming together to share their experiences, build their networks, and gain the freshest insights on the topics most impacting women in the workplace.

This week’s theme is ReCHARGE, ReIMAGINE, ReIGNITE. We are recharging our batteries through a week of dedicated time focused on us. We are reimagining a new leadership future for ourselves. And, we are reigniting the passion and the focus that has empowered us on this journey so far.

Here on the Linkage Leadership Insights blog, we’re giving you a behind-the-scenes look at the Institute and sharing some of our favorite, must-know insights from the main stage.

Today, we heard from two incredibly inspiring women at the Women in Leadership Institute—Liz Wiseman and Laila Ali. We also heard from Anne Chow, the 2022 recipient of Linkage’s Legend in Leadership Award.

Missed our Day 2 highlights, featuring Maryam Banikarim and Caroline A. Wanga? Check out the recap of insights here and be sure to follow along on social media for in-the-moment coverage.


Do you positively impact organizational decisions? Do you ask for what you want and need, and expect to receive it?

The “Influential” competency is all about delivering a message—an ask—in a way that leads others to listen and act. Influential leaders have an impact on important decisions made within their organizations, and they skillfully complement formal authority with effective personal influence. Influential leaders aren’t transactional—they are relational, and they use their ability to influence to move the needle and make progress.

Liz Wiseman’s latest research focuses on impact players: indispensable colleagues who can be counted on in critical situations and who consistently receive high-profile assignments and new opportunities. Liz talks about how to be an impact player, and how to foster impact players within your team.

It’s time to use our influence to inspire those around us to move forward—empowering ourselves to progress in our careers and our personal lives.

Liz Wiseman is a researcher and executive advisor who teaches leadership to executives around the world. She is the author of the New York Times bestseller Multipliers: How the Best Leaders Make Everyone Smarter, The Multiplier Effect: Tapping the Genius Inside Our Schools, and the Wall Street Journal bestseller Rookie Smarts: Why Learning Beats Knowing in the New Game of Work. During her keynote today, she shared research from her latest book, Impact Players: How to Take the Lead, Play Bigger, and Multiply Your Impact and discussed how we can create impact to maximize our influence.

Key Takeaways from Liz:
  • People crave impact—they want their work to matter. When people are overworked but underutilized, they experience burnout and exhaustion. As leaders, we need to ensure we are letting people shine in ways that mean something to them and tap into their unique strengths.
  • Impact players—those who excel when it comes to messy problems, unclear roles, unexpected or changing circumstances, and unrelenting demands—deliver 3.5 times the impact of other high-performing employees.
  • Impact players react to situations differently from other people. Here are some of the behaviors that separate impact players from everyone else:
    • They don’t escalate issues to get them off their plate—they finish the job, and they encourage everyone around them to pull together and finish stronger.
    • They don’t add to the burden of a difficult situation—they remain flexible and make the work feel lighter.
    • They’re not waiting for someone to step up and appoint them—they appoint themselves. They know when to step up and when to step back.
    • They don’t see difficult situations as threats—instead, they view them through the lens of opportunity. They ask: How do we learn and grow from this experience?
  • As leaders, we want to build a team of impact players. The two conditions necessary for creating impact players are safety—making it okay to take risks and do courageous things—and stretch—creating opportunities for people to shine. Give your people permission to step in and take charge, and you will create ripples of influence throughout your organization.



Do you assert yourself courageously and professionally? Do you speak assertively and are you willing to promote yourself and your ideas?

The “Bold” competency is all about how you present yourself to the world—and when you unlock bold leadership, you can ascend to new leadership heights.

Bold leaders project and actively manage a professional image. They volunteer to take on high-profile projects, empowering themselves to do what they do best in a public setting. They always show a willingness to take calculated risks to accomplish results, and they “seize the moment” to make decisions to move things forward—even when they are not in a formalized leadership role.

It’s time to unlock the power of the Bold competency to move our goals forward—and achieve our dreams.

Laila Ali is a world-class athlete, fitness and wellness advocate, TV host, home chef, founder of the Laila Ali Lifestyle Brand, and mother of two. The daughter of late, beloved global icon and humanitarian Muhammad Ali, Laila is a four-time undefeated boxing world champion, whose stellar record includes 24 wins (21 of which were “knockouts”) and zero losses. She is heralded as the most successful female in the history of women’s boxing.

In 2012, when women’s boxing was included in the Olympics, Laila was the first woman in history to provide expert commentary for NBC Sports. She is a past president of the Women’s Sports Foundation, a nonprofit organization that is supported by some of the biggest athletes in the world. Through WSF, Laila promotes equality for women in the world of professional sports.

During her keynote, Laila Ali shared her journey from world-class boxer to media personality and successful businesswoman, and the bold moves she had to make along the way.

Key Takeaways from Laila:
  • Don’t let yourself get boxed in—if you want to pursue a new avenue and reinvent yourself, craft a plan and make bold, strategic moves to influence how you are perceived.
  • Know your worth, and let your confidence shine in all that you do. Truly believing in yourself is the boldest action you can take.
  • If you don’t feel confident, remember that confidence comes from preparation—there is always room for improvement, so put in the work and your effort will show.
  • Have a clear goal in mind, and measure yourself against that standard—not others’ perceptions of you and your worth. Laila knew that she wanted to be a world champion, undefeated in her sport, and worked consistently toward that goal. Do you have a clear goal in mind that requires Bold action?
McKinsey’s 2022 Women in the Workplace Report 

McKinsey’s Women in the Workplace report is the largest study on the state of women in corporate America. Today on the main stage, we were joined by Maria Valdivieso de Uster to unpack the report.

Based on data from more than 333 companies employing more than 12 million people, this year’s report features a detailed look at the impact of flexibility and remote and hybrid work on women’s experiences and insights on the distinct biases and barriers faced by Black women, Latinas, Asian women, LGBTQ+ women, and women with disabilities.

In this video, Nicole Robinson, Associate Partner at McKinsey and one of the coauthors of the report, breaks down some of the most recent findings. 


Linkage’s 2022 Legend in Leadership: Anne Chow

Anne Chow most recently was the CEO of AT&T Business, a $35 billion unit with more than 30,000 employees. She was the first woman and woman person of color to hold CEO title in AT&T’s 140-year history. Anne is a LinkedIn Top Voices in Gender Equity, Fortune’s #44 Most Powerful Women in Business, author of The Leader’s Guide to Unconscious Bias, and is publishing a new book for Simon & Schuster titled The Inclusive Leader. During this session, Linkage CEO Jennifer McCollum presented Anne with the Legend in Leadership award and sat down with her to discuss Anne’s journey to purposeful leadership, inclusion and allyship.

Key Takeaways from Anne:
  • Being uncomfortable leads to growth. Lean into these experiences to evolve and defy the expectations of those who didn’t believe in you.
  • There are only two outcomes of any situation—success and learning. Failure is simply a learning opportunity.
  • Leverage the business case for diversity to increase development opportunities for underrepresented groups at your organization. Remember that diversity is simply good business.
  • You are your greatest superpower—know and embrace this fact!


What’s next at the Women in Leadership Institute? There’s more to come! Tomorrow, Carla Harris takes to the main stage to share her insights on the “Connected” competency and will help bring the 23rd annual Women in Leadership Institute to a close. Be sure to continue to follow along here on the Linkage Leadership Insights blog and on social media for in-the-moment insights.

The Women in Leadership Institute is taking place November 1–4, 2022. Didn’t get a chance to join us for the live experience? On-Demand passes are now available, giving you on-demand access to the recorded conference from November 14, 2022, through January 31, 2023. 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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