You don't have to read my blog for long to uncover my passion for helping women maximize their leadership potential. One of the ways I do this in my own life is by surrounding myself with women leaders, including people like Anne-Marie Faiola and other amazing members of IBN.
Another way I do it is by being connected to women leaders through my weekly INDIE Business Podcast. I discovered Susan Bulkeley Butler, author of Women Count: A Guide to Changing the World
(affiliate link) while scouring the Internet for guests. As soon as I discovered Susan, I knew I wanted to introduce her to you. Susan was the first female professional to be hired by global consulting firm Arthur Anderson & Co., when people referred to her as “a man in a skirt.”Today, she leads the Susan Bulkeley Butler Institute for the Development of Women Leaders. Susan shares some valuable insights into how we can more fully embrace leadership roles, both in business and in others area of our lives. To listen to my 30-minute interview of Susan, and to put her insights to work in your life, scroll to the bottom of this page and click the arrow. If you don't feel like listening right now, here is a summary of what Susan shared with me.
- Counting women vs. making women count. Susan says she is tired of walking into groups and asking why there are so few women in the room? It's not a fair representation the more diversity we have around the decision-making table, the better the solutions will be better and the value delivered from those solutions will be better. Susan says that by 2020, “[W]e need to get at least 30% women on all leadership teams, wherever they are.”
- Leadership comes in different shapes and sizes. Susan says leadership is a way of life. “It's how you live every moment of every day, every day of every week, every week of every year to make things a better place because you were here.” Being a woman leader may mean being the CEO of your home. Susan says women are better listeners than men, so leading may be just listening to someone who needs to talk. it can be being a good role model, a contributing member of society. Everyone is a leader.
- Don't wait for an invitation. When Susan was the first woman professional at Arthur Anderson & Co., she ate a lot of lunches by herself because she was not invited to lunch with the men at the organization. She thought she needed to be invited. She eventually decided she didn't need an invitation. She finally began to invite herself. After she began to take some risks in this regard, her confidence began to rise.
Susan shares amazing learning experiences from decades of stepping outside of the box and making her voice heard. But don't take my word for it! Scroll to the bottom of this post and click the gray arrow to listen to the 30-minute show. And don't miss the part starting at 19:35 where Susan shares about mentoring, the importance of joining and participating in networking organizations, and how we can use technology to lead more effectively wherever we are online.
About Susan Bulkeley Butler
Susan is CEO of The Susan Bulkeley Butler Institute for the Development of Women Leaders. Prior to founding the Institute, Susan established herself as an accomplished business leader who shaped her career at Accenture, the world’s leading management consulting, technology services and outsourcing organization. She joined Arthur Andersen & Co. as its first professional female employee in 1965, and 14 years later, was named the first female partner of its consulting organization, Andersen Consulting, now known as Accenture. Follow Susan on Twitterhere.
How to Listen to the Show
This post contains my paraphrases of the information Susan shared. To hear it from the horse's mouth yourself, listen to the entire 30-minute show using one of these options:
- Download it on iTunes. (It usually takes a day or two for iTunes to feed the show there.)
- Click on the arrow at the bottom of this post to listen now!
- Because I have not had a chance to load all of my shows to this blog, you can listen to hundreds of interviews from 2005 to 2010, each one as relevant today as it was when I recorded it, at my Indie Business Radio site.
Question: What do you think of Susan's definition of leadership? Are you taking risks? Stepping outside the box? Leading where you are? Please share your experiences and ideas with us!