Snappy attends St. Kate's Leadership Challenge: A Business Conference for Women

The Leadership Institute helps women manage their career and take their leadership to the next level by providing the skills necessary to be successful. http://stkate.edu/leadership

The Leadership Institute at St. Catherine's in St. Paul, MN held it's 16th Annual Leadership Challenge on Thursday, January 24, 2013. Snappy attended as a guest of the morning keynote speaker, Jill J. Johnson, President and Founder of Johnson Consulting Services. I (snappy) got there early with Jill's motivational cards I designed to distribute quickly to all the tables before the day began and got my camera warmed up. It was a full room of successful women. I had the pleasure of meeting many wonderful women from companies such as 3M, Target, Cargill, General Mills, United Way, KSTP, Star Tribune, and many more!

In this blog I am going to simply touch on some key points that resonated with me, and I believe, with many of the women there to give you a taste of what the Leadership Conference was all about starting off with Jill's keynote in the morning. Her presentation was titled, "Confidence Compounds: The Power of Seizing Bold Opportunities." First of all, Jill is an engaging and spirited presenter, which makes listening and learning from her that more fun. One of her key points was that "when you find your value, that is when confidence will come, and it will compound." This is the basis of building your career, your business, yourself into a place of leadership. You work on how what you do will transform others. In the process, you may get stuck, but Jill asserts, "in some spaces and places you will feel like you can conquer anything and in others you will feel like you should have just stayed in bed. This is the time to sit back and reflect. Know that "confidence fluctuates." Confidence is something that you work on your whole life. She says, try new things, stay resiliant, even when you think you cannot. Remember the compounded impact of taking small bold actions that don't take a lot of time can morph into amazing opportunities with the potential to transform your future."

The day had two breakout sessions. In the morning I attended the seminar titled, "A Journalists Perspective: Asking Powerful Questions, Listening for Understanding." There were four panelists and a workshop facilitator. The facilitator was Amy Gage from St. Catherine's and the four panelists were: Joel Hoekstra, former Editor of MN Monthly, Roshini Rajkumar of Roshini Performance Group; Gail Rosenblum, Columnist with the Mpls Star and Tribune; Joy Lim Nakrin, Anchor at 5 Eyewitness News. I will just give you a little "sound bite" or nugget of wisdom from each of the panelists that I took away.

1) Joel Hoekstra (former MN Monthly Editor): "Find it and frame it" with your audience in mind. "Let silence speak." Ask questions then wait... suspend your judgement while you listen. He says, "connect with your subject through curiousity to offer something unique to your readers." His new contact email is: joel@refresh-content.com

2) Gail Rosenblum, Columnist with MPLS STRIB: The thing that really spoke to me about Gail was her obvious kindness towards people. She says, "Everybody wants to be heard." One of her biggest tips was to ask your subject at the end of interview if there was something I forgot to ask. A couple other little nuggets from Gail are, "Think of yourself as powerful" in terms of being a journalist and telling the stories people will read. Her email is: gail.rosenblum@startribune.com

3) Roshini Rajkumar, Roshini Performance Group: Roshini offered us her Communications Formula: "IAP" Intent, Audience Analysis, and Powerful Performance. Intent is the goal of the endeavor, general or specific; Audience Analysis is the background, what do you know about your audience? Powerful Performance is delivered based on audience type. Some nuggets from Roshini include, "Don't apologize for your expertise, OWN IT!" Along those same lines, she said, "Own what you know," and "Play to your strengths." You can also hear Roshini on WCCO radio and see her in the charity Dancing Twin Cities Celebrities on Feb. 22nd at the Marriott Mpls City Center. www.DancingTCCelebs.com. Her email is: roshini@roshinigroup.com

4) Joy Lim Nakrin, Anchor for 5 Eyewitness News: Joy spoke about reporting from a personal perspective. She says, why should I care? Because everybody is human. I need to keep an emotional center. The stories I share impact real people. It's a moral dilhemma. Human beings are not perfect. More than one person on the panel referred to this in the term "grayness" after time, that in humanity become gray after all the events we see and hear about in the media.

Overall, I think everyone on that panel concured and lives out the 2 things Gail Rosenblum stated are needed to tell stories in media: Honesty and Kindness. This kind of reporting leads to authenticity. I felt honored to hear and get to know the panelsists through this discussion.

I attended the afternoon session with Mia Sodeyama Mulrennan, Senior Consultant with MDA Leadership Consulting. She talked about accelerating Team Performance. She said a successful team has "Clarity, Challenge, and Committment." The whole is greater than the sum of it's parts. She recommended the book, "The Speed of Trust" by Covey and in closing, encouraged participants to "be the courageous team leader!"

For the closing keynote of the afternoon (while eating a decadant piece of chocolate torte and coffee), we heard the closing keynote speaker, MayKao Y. Hang - President and CEO of Amherst. H. Wilder Foundation. Her talk was titled, "Unimagined Courage: Leadership from Within." As the first woman President of the Wilder Fdtn, she was told a captivating story and through her humble delivery, engaged the audience through her life story.

There is a set of 5 "Confidence Cards" available to go with this presenation. Please contact Jill directly if you are interested in obtaining your own set of motivational "Confidence Cards." She can be contacted at: jill@jcs-usa.com. her website is: http://www.jcs-usa.com/

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