o celebrate Women Entrepreneurship Week, Quinnipiac’s People’s United Center for Women & Business and the Women’s Presidents’ Educational Organization joined forces to deliver a panel of two successful Connecticut women business leaders discussed authentic leadership and shared their experiences.
Diane Winston, founder and CEO of Winston Strategic Partners; and Beverlee Dacey, president of Amodex, encouraged members of the audience to stay true to themselves and become successful leaders.
Professor Kiku Jones, co-director of the People’s United Center for Women & Business, spoke about how women are still fighting the thought that men should be leaders.
“One thing that leaders can do to make women feel confident in being authentic is by being authentic themselves, and creating an open environment that is welcoming to everyone,” said Jones. “That’s why we are thankful to have these panelists here to help us navigate this challenging area.”
An engaging conversation followed the panel discussion.
“Being an authentic leader is really about owning who you are. Who are you representing? Are you representing yourself or are you representing someone else,” Winston asked. “Being authentic means being able to trust who you are.”
Women should never underestimate the power of soliciting ideas and working together, Dacey said.
“Collaboration. A real leader listens to people around them because we do not know it all. Collaboration is such a key to being a leader and really listening to those around you and getting their input,” she said. “The other piece of it that I think is so important is what I call graciousness. It means you are being empathic and reaching out.”
To Winston, effective leaders embody and recognize each employee while work differently in the environment they are in — but a leader will listen and respond to that to ensure their team can be successful.