We are full of possibility: What I learnt from my time at the International Women’s Forum World Leadership Conference

As the female CEO of a network of CEOs, I am deeply passionate about women in leadership. In late October I travelled to Boston, Massachusetts to attend the International Women’s Forum World Leadership Conference, to understand how women are changing tomorrow, today.

In a rare and inspiring opportunity, I was fortunate enough to meet, and listen, to the women who are re-drawing the map for how we’ll live, work, produce, and maintain healthy communities in the coming years.  

Typical conference buzzwords such as ‘disruption’, ‘skills’ and ‘selling’ couldn’t be heard as a diverse variety of inspiring, stimulating and energised women stood up and tackled big issues including education, health and even climate change.

As the speakers stood up to take their place on stage and introduce themselves, they spoke up about their vision and their accomplishments.

They positioned themselves as the expert; selling their stories, skills and experiences.

These women had clearly identified and articulated their personal narrative. They had a commanding, succinct and powerful way that captivated and engaged the audience.

From the moment they spoke their first words, it reminded me of the power of presence.

Personal branding is not a tagline or an ad campaign. It's a combination of interests, beliefs, values, talents and skills, among a number of other characteristics.

While it’s important to refine your story over time, we sometimes forget that our target audiences and goals change. Your own brand should reflect who you are, while encompassing what you’re aiming for, as well as your past accomplishments.

As CEO of the world’s largest network of CEOs, I’ve seen many CEOs and business owners spend much of their time developing the brand and story of their business to the point where their own personal one becomes less of a priority; forgetting that the two often go hand-in-hand.

A key learning I brought back with me was that at The Executive Connection, we’re in a great position to help successful business leaders refine and redefine their story, champion their presence and extend their influence to inspire others; putting both them, and their business in the spotlight. 

Stephanie Christopher

Stephanie Christopher is Chief Executive Officer of The Executive Connection, which has more than 20,000 members globally and 1,200 members in Australia and New Zealand.

Website: tec.com.au/
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