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Valuing Exceptional Women

This edition’s featured article, When Women Leaders Leave, the Losses Multiply, urges “….organizations [to] promote principles and practices that: promote gender equity, develop compassionate leadership, and increase learning through intentional peer coaching and advisory circles for men and women.”

Why? (besides being the right thing to do, period). The impact of the events of the last two years for women are staggering. Unprecedented numbers left the workforce, profoundly and negatively increasing gaps in gender parity, stalling career progression and decreasing their representation in leadership positions.

This loss is compounded by the significant collateral damage to teams and organizations due to the loss of the wise and compassionate leadership that the best women leaders routinely espouse and role model. Research demonstrates that women in positions of leadership facilitate higher rates of job performance, team engagement and accrue significant financial benefits for their organizations. “…On the crucial leadership qualities of wisdom and compassion, women leaders rank substantially higher than their male counterparts and this translates to business and financial results.”

There are additional perspectives re: the powerful role of women leaders, as well as a medley of other topics that have caught my attention over the last couple of weeks.

We are off to see a future strong woman leader in Ohio next week for Kenyon’s annual Parent’s Weekend festivities. We are looking forward to our time with her (albeit brief, and shrinking if she has her way :)). I will have updates later in the month!

As always, happy reading and listening!


Harvard Business Review: Stop Undervaluing Exceptional Women. “…[S]tandout women employees can be taken for granted by companies because of gendered beliefs about who is and who isn’t a flight risk. Moreover, such gendered dynamics likely contribute to the glass ceiling and gender gaps in earnings. If companies assume women will place loyalty to the firm over advancing in their careers through outside opportunities, they won’t engage in preemptive retention efforts like bonuses, raises, promotions, or increased responsibility like they will for men. To stop taking talented women for granted and to avoid losing them to other firms, companies need to do more to recognize and address these biases.”

Harvard Business Review: Men, Stop Calling Yourselves Allies. Act Like One. “Creating an equitable workplace that values and supports a diverse workforce demands authentic leadership and an abiding humility. To move beyond performance and self-interest, commit to action-oriented, results-driven, and outcomes-based allyship — no matter how uncomfortable it is. As leaders and colleagues, we owe this to the women in our organization, so let’s show up as allies by listening, learning, and doing the work.”

Harvard Business Review: Dig, Bridge, Collectively Act. “Only by digging into our identities and the power structures that surround them can we begin to build bridges with people from different backgrounds and then work with those people to act together. This often happens on an interpersonal level, but it’s critical that companies also take institutional steps to ensure healthy and productive environments for all employees. Companies are frequently bold in their innovations for products, services, and strategies. Being bold in the service of equity is a necessity as well.”

LinkedIn Strategic CHRO: The Workforce Is Demanding A Very Different Relationship With Employers. “There’s a change in the psychology of work (emphasis added)…People have reimagined what’s important to them and they have different demands and expectations for the role that jobs play in their lives. You have to create an authentic relationship with people that they can value deeply. Organizations have to differentiate themselves through deeper connections in the areas that people value most…so that [relationships] move well beyond transactional ones.”

Strategy + Business: Mastering the Connection Between Strategy and Culture. “Business leaders often are tempted to focus on strategy over culture. But the strongest companies take four key actions that deliver the best of both.”

Forbes: How To Create Your Legacy And Sell Yourself Through Your Personal Brand. “If we aren’t consistently reinforcing the narrative we want about ourselves, then we leave that narrative up to chance. The truth is that most people aren’t paying as much attention to us as we would like to believe, for better or for worse. It’s very possible that they are basing their entire impression of you on one mistake or faux pas, and an inconsistent brand can reinforce that impression. You must proactively promote yourself with a clear idea of who you are so you can keep the narrative consistent. Part of the value of deliberately crafting your personal brand is to help you stay true to yourself.”

Blog Posts & Opinions

Seth’s Blog: A Reallocation of Respect. “The most direct way forward is to default to more respect, simply because that’s what people deserve.”

David Brooks: What Is It About Friendships That Is So Powerful? “It’s interesting to me that one of the most powerful tools for improving a person’s life prospects is something that is not intentionally about improving life prospects. We don’t enter friendships with the goal of getting more successful (at least if it’s a true friendship). We don’t enter into friendships to improve each other. We enter friendships because we delight in each other’s company. We enjoy the same activities and interests.”


TEDWomen 2021: “A seat at the table” Isn’t the Solution For Gender Equity. “Women and girls are conditioned to believe success is ‘a seat at the table.’ Creator, actress and author Lilly Singh thinks we need to build a better table. In this hilarious, incisive talk, Singh traces the arc of her career from up-and-coming YouTuber to history-making late-night talk show host, offering four ways to build a more inclusive society where girls are encouraged and empowered to do great things.”

TED: The Workplace, Redefined by Women of Color.“Corporate inclusion visionary Deepa Purushothaman shares how women of color can advocate for themselves in workplace settings where they are undervalued, discriminated against and overlooked — and how companies can foster working cultures that empower everyone to achieve success.”

Re: Thinking with Adam Grant: Indra Nooyi Says It’s Time for Leaders to Care. “PepsiCo’s trailblazing former CEO drove record profits—but did so while investing in employee well-being, consumer health, and environmental sustainability. In their second conversation, she and Adam…talk about striking a balance between fitting in and standing out, winning support for major change up and down the org chart, and rethinking business education.”

Arts, Music, Culture, Literature & Humor Corner

Matador Network: The Best Art From This Year’s Burning Man. “…With a pandemic-induced hiatus after the 2019 event, artists had three years to produce some truly inspired works. This is some of the best art from Burning Man 2022.”

Paste: Walking the Asphalt Meadows with Ben Gibbard.“It’s not enough to simply accept a piece of art on its obvious surface level, reckons ace tunesmith Ben Gibbard of Death Cab for Cutie. For 10 band albums now, plus solo sets and efforts with his old combo The Postal Service, the sonic muralist has sketched gorgeous pneumatic panoramas that contain more truth in their tiny brushstroke details than is initially apparent on first inspection.”

The New Yorker: Is Selling Shares in Yourself the Way of the Future? “Two tech-minded brothers are testing the market on themselves.”

The New Yorker: Once Removed. “All this running around trying to please people. Why? What about what she wanted for herself?”

McSweeney’s: “If Kazuo Ishiguro’s Never Let Me Go Was About Leornardo DiCaprio’s Girlfriends.”


“I belong to no race nor time. I am the eternal feminine with its string of beads.”-Zora Neale Hurston

Missing The Boat
by Naomi Shihab Nye

It is not so much that the boat passed
and you failed to notice it.
It is more like the boat stopped
directly outside your bedroom window,
the captain blowing the signal-horn,
the band playing a rousing march.

The boat shouted, waving bright flags,
its silver hull blinding in the sunlight.

But you had this idea you were going by train.
You kept checking the time-table,
digging for tracks.And the boat got tired of you,
so tired it pulled up the anchor
and raised the ramp.

The boat bobbed into the distance,
shrinking like a toy—
at which point you probably realized
you had always loved the sea.


This article was originally published here.

Kevin Jordan

Kevin Jordan is an International Coach Federation-certified executive coach who serves as a strategic advisor, mentor and facilitator to executive leadership teams and private clients to achieve peak performance and agility resulting in sustained engagement and value. Drawing upon a career as a leader and consultant, Kevin is able to work with clients on personal and professional development, relationship optimization and team and leader dynamics. He has deep expertise and experience developing and realizing strategic vision through a relentless focus on optimized business operations. He is also skilled at building sustainable culture and workforce engagement through the power of people and organizational partnership, as well as delivering results and value with high performing teams during periods of intense change.

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