Guttural Confidence

There are over 550 women in my immediate network who have raised money taking their businesses to the next level. Of course, we meet and speak on many topics, the most interesting to me is the topic of SUCCESS.

This week I attended the We Own It Summit surrounded by 200 of some of my most prized friends – women who had developed high scale businesses. Again the topic of success came up. But more importantly, the CONFIDENCE to garner that Success.

Don’t you have to pause when a group of people who have raised over $5B in capital, hired thousands of employees, and covered the globe with their products transition a conversation to confidence. The authors of “The Confidence Gap”, Claire Shipman and Katty Kay after interviewing some of the most influential women in the nation were also surprised to discover the extent to which even these women suffered from self-doubt.

A study in 2011 by the Institute of Leadership and Management in the United Kingdom, surveyed British managers about how confident they feel in their professions. Half the female respondents reported self-doubt about their job performance and careers, compared with fewer than a third of male respondents.

Even Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg said a year before her book, Lean In, was published: “There are still days I wake up feeling like a fraud, not sure I should be where I am.”


Confidence is more significant than competence in reaching your success.

The more self-assured you are, the more you will uplevel your success. How can you do that? By developing a Strategic Life Plan and gaining clarity on your 5 Human Equities. This process removes tendencies that crush self-doubt such as second guessing yourself, ruminating, perfectionism, and difficulty with decision-making. It gives you Guttural Confidence.

Image by SweetOnVeg (CC BY 2.0) via flickr

Women, Leadership, and Neuroscience

I choose the quote “Speak up even when your voice shakes” because it seemed applicable on many levels. First, this is my first “official” newsletter – yes, there have been many blogs and posts and articles, but this is me pulling it all together. Secondly, the speaking gigs are extremely diverse from radio interviews to YoUnique Intensives to open air venues in NYC. And third, I’ve finally gotten to “enjoy” allergy season in the NE and my voice seems to be shaky a lot – and low – and gone another day.

Wall Street JournalAround the beginning of the year, Yao Huang called and said, “I’m going to do something really, really awesome for and about women!” She shared her vision of women as leaders and giving that vision a voice called the “Women Leadership Forum”. Yao, like many of the Wonder Women I get to hang out with, makes things happen, and she hit this one out of the park with sponsorships including the Wall Street Journal and The Happiness Association developed by The Hatchery.

Happiness AssemblyAgreeing to head the “Women, Leadership, Health” panel, I began to research leadership. Fortunately, the Harvard Business Review came out with a primer in the September issue – how apropos! There was a diverse set of articles and I began thinking about how all roads to leadership lead to the Brain. Because there is the “leader” and the other people supporting the leader, there’s actually 2 Brains to consider: Yours and the Other People’s collective brains.

There are 2 main components of Leadership:

  • Skill Component – Complex set of Skills that are usually a combination of Innate individual skills and technically trained skills
  • Perception Component – this is more complicated because it is modulated by YOU and by OTHERS and is highly influenced by the brain, expectations, perceptions, and filters (this is what the focus was of the keynote speech)

So, I pulled out my personal toolbox from “The Manual of Your Brain” (I really should get this published, what do you think?) and thought about what tools applied to Leadership. Stay tuned because I understand they made a video and live-streaming of the event.

Share your thoughts on what Brain Tools you suggest to improve Leadership capabilities… especially for Women.