Tag Archives: women

And the Purpose is . . .?

My purpose here at Illinois State University is to spread entrepreneurship across campus. I’ve struggled to engage young women students and women business leaders in the community in the classes and programs. The more I talked to colleagues and looked into research regarding entrepreneurship, startups, and innovation, the more glaring became the gender gap. This always bothered me, but around the holidays, I decided to do something about it.

Purpose is Central

Since the holidays, I’ve been a networking tornado – blasting through LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter and any other outlets possible to connect with women who have experience with entrepreneurship and innovation and wouldn’t be shy about sharing their honest feedback. It has been extremely easy to get hundreds of women to spend 20 or 30 minutes chatting with me. My secret? I let them know I want to empower young women through education, and that since I’m a dude I am clueless about how to do that effectively, so I need their guidance. That vulnerability and humility and transparently sharing my purpose seals the deal. These women have all sorts of perspectives, from different industries, roles, generations, geographies, and any number of other differentiating factors. A few things are common to most of the feedback I have received.

The one thing every single woman has urged me to do is to focus on purpose

They urge me to get young women to think about their purpose (generally and specifically to any number of slices of life’s pie)

They urge me to encourage young women to own that purpose, and to share that purpose with anyone and everyone.

They urge me to facilitate young women connecting with others around their purpose.

Purpose has been on my mind lately, and I couldn’t be more excited about the possibilities that presents me.

The Purpose of Education

Education needs a purpose. Administrators could be so much more effective if they focused on purpose first and outcomes second (and less on quantitative results and more on qualitative results). We as educators need to re-examine our purpose.

Why are we in this career? Research? Teaching? Service? A paycheck? Seriously think about it. I’m here to impact young people and help them uncover and get started down their desired career path.

Students could improve their experience if they explored their purpose for continuing their education. They choose to be in college, they choose which college. They make daily choices to engage with their educational experience. To what purpose? Owning that purpose would create much more impactful moments. I’ll bet that would leak into the educators’ experience and the administrators’ experience, and would begin to infect these stakeholders’ purpose.

What About You?

What’s your purpose? Think about it. I mean really think about it. Think beyond specific roles in your life (as a parent, spouse, employee, boss, leader, whatever). Think holistically. Why are you here? What, really, is your existence about? Think beyond the “what do you want you epitaph to be” sort of exercises. Dig deep. Get uncomfortable with yourself; be vulnerable. Own your purpose, whatever it is. Then live it. The world will be better for it. Your world will be brighter for it. The impact will be awesome!

I’d love to hear what your purpose is, and to help you accomplish your purpose. Share by commenting here, or by emailing me at dwinkel@ilstu.edu.

Women: Prepare, Develop, Inspire, Propel

Take The Lead Challenge: The Time Is Now For Women Leadership Parity

What has been the most meaningful, transformative change you’ve made, not just experienced from outside forces, in your life?

Was it when you applied for a job? Asked for a substantial raise? Ran for office or started a business? Decided to have a child?

Was it when you began writing your book or just picked up the phone and called someone you knew would have an impact on you personally or professionally?

Whatever your story, how much did timing have to do with it?

At Take The Lead, we are launching the Take The Lead Challenge on February 19th to prepare and inspire women to turn their career and leadership intentions into reality.

This is a unique moment in history. When it comes to women’s leadership, both the need and conditions for change are present. The momentum is palpable. If we see our moment and seize it, we will achieve Take The Lead’s goal of leadership gender parity by 2025.  If we don’t, leadership parity won’t happen until 2083 http://www.taketheleadwomen.com/about/#why

 The need to Take The Lead Challenge:

Women are stuck at under 20% of top leadership positions across all sectors, on corporate boards , and in Congress.

Women earn an average of 77 cents for every dollar earned by a man. For African-American women, it’s 64 cents and Hispanic women, 54 cents.

  • Governments need leadership parity because those with more women have less corruption and more aptly reflect the populations they represent .

We know now that when you support women the entire community benefits. American women went from holding 37% of all jobs 40 years ago to nearly 48% in 2013. Productivity gains attributable to this increase account for more than $3.5 trillion in GDP growth in those four decades.


The momentum to Take The Lead Challenge :

There is a national conversation happening now about women’s challenges in the workplace and transforming role in society and business (thank you Melissa Harris-Perry, Sheryl Sandberg, Marianne Schnall, Anne-Marie Slaughter, and many more…)

Our business, financial, and organizational models are undergoing profound change and we’re beginning to figure out that the new systems we create will require all of our intelligence.

Men are beginning to join the movement and call for women’s leadership in service of stronger organizations and communities.

I know in my bones how important timing is in my own life and career. Whenever I’ve had to make a big decision or a bold move, I’ve acted from my trust in timing. My own readiness and conviction in something as well as the readiness of the moment.

 Are You Ready to Seize This Moment?

We hope so, because the need for women’s leadership at this time in history is bigger than you and me. The time is now to take the women’s leadership conversation to the next level.

How can you be a part of this movement?

Join Take The Lead co-founders Gloria Feldt and Amy Litzenberger, Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg, and many more inspiring change agents the Take The Lead Challenge Launch Event on February 19th.

You can inspire and propel women to step into their own power to close the pay and leadership gaps in two ways:

1. Host your own event via our free livestream opportunity from anywhere in the country.

2. Join us in person at Arizona State University in Tempe.

The Take The Lead Challenge is expected to draw one million attendees across the nation including our fantastic list of partners.

Join the conversation on Twitter by using the hashtag #TakeLeadLaunch.

Take The Lead prepares, develops, inspires, and propels women to take their fair share of leadership positions across the board by 2025.

Be part of the movement for this moment.

Because it’s time.