ULI Colorado Blog

A note from Women’s Leadership Initiative Co-Chair Cindy Harvey

Dear WLI Members,

What’s the best advice you ever got?  If you’ve been to any of our events, you know advice is something that comes up a lot—those precious nuggets of information and wisdom that spark an Aha! moment or shifts momentum in one’s career or personal life. The funny thing about advice is it isn’t always seen as such until action is taken, time passes, and we take time to reflect on how it all went.  And then there is the advice we never got—and that is the topic of Susan Colantuono’s TED Talk.

Beginning with the statistic that 50% of middle management and professional positions are held by women, she builds a “business” case why women stay mired in the middle and consequently represent less than a third of the leaders at the top of organizations.  Good leadership is a “given” skillset for career advancement.  So is being good at what you do.  It comes down to business, strategic, and financial acumen which is all too often left out of the equation.  In other words, to get to the next level, do you understand where the organization is going, what its strategy is, what the financial goals are, and what your role is in moving the organization forward?

We’ve seen the importance of these skills in the women who have been part of our recent WLI events. They are all great leaders in their organizations, setting an example for those around them.  They are all very good at managing the work and doing what they do.  But they also get down to business, whether that business is real estate, legislation, finance, or economic development. Our speaker line up included Donna Blair, Chief Operating Officer with Continuum Partners; Crisanta Duran, Speaker of the House of representatives; Heather Paduck, CFO of Northwood Investors; and Kelly Brough, President and CEO of Denver Metro Chamber of Commerce. These ladies have all risen to the tops of their field and are shaping the future of our community.  We really can’t thank them enough for the work they do and for sharing their stories, wisdom, and advice with us. Read on for more detailed recaps of these events.

And of course, the year is not over.  We have our next Leadership Connection with Becky Stone, managing partner of OZ Architecture on August 9th, a Women in the Industry happy hour event on September 6th, and our annual Tools for Transformation event in October.  Our best advice:  Make sure to get these dates in your calendars now and register early.

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