Inspiration abounds at #LinkageWIL | Day 2

By Kerry Seitz on November 14, 2018

Simon T. Bailey, Linkage Women in Leadership Institute

What inspires you–to be more thoughtful, courageous, bold? What inspires you be a more effective, more purposeful leader?  

It’s Day 2 here at Linkage’s Women in Leadership Institute™ in Phoenix, AZ, and we’re feeling inspired. We are energized by the women leaders (900+ of them!) who have come together for a journey of self-discovery and growth.  

Yesterday, we heard from some truly inspiring thinkers and thought leaders, including Susan MacKenty Brady, who introduced us to the seven hurdles facing women in the workplace (check out her new book on this topic!)–and helped us to begin to think about how to overcome them. And today, we dove into gaining clarity and seizing the moment with Christine Whelan, PhD and Simon T. Bailey 

You can dive into the “live” experience from home or work by checking out #LinkageWIL on Twitter or Instagram, where we’re sharing in-the-moment insights from our faculty on the main stage.  

Missed our Day 1 coverage? Check out highlights 

Here’s a glimpse of Day 2: 

Keynote: Christine Whelan on Being Clear 

Christine Whelan kicked off this morning by sharing her own personal journey of self-reflection. We all have two stories to tell. A story of our success and accomplishment and a story of our fears and anxieties–both of which got us to where we are today. Christine shared her story of finding clarity in her purposeful leadership journey and provided insight on how we can bring our authentic selves to the table. She emphasized the importance of identifying our strengths and defining our values in order to find clarity–and lead with purpose. 

What we learned: 

  • Clarity itself is the first step in becoming the leader you want to be. 
  • With clarity, we can spend a lot less time running (from our demons) and a lot more time leading—on purpose. 
  • Our most beautiful visions of leadership can be utterly hijacked if we can’t tell both stories. 
  • Don’t let your fears and anxieties take the wheel of your life. If we aren’t clear who’s driving the bus, identifying our values is very difficult. 
  • When you do something not because you want to do it, but because you think you should do it, everyone suffers. 
  • When the goals you set come from the real you, they will be goals that you actually want to make happen. 

Competency-Based Learning: Do I know what I want? Leading Life on Purpose 

Our most important visions of leadership and success can be profoundly hijacked if we aren’t asking ourselves three basic questions. What matters most? (It’s not simply “happiness”.) Why does it matter? (It’s about values!) And, how do I make it happen? (It’s about making purpose-based commitments.) 

In this session, we explored these critical questions in a quest to write our own Purpose-Based Commitment. This commitment allows us to live life on purpose 

What we learned:  

  • Your purpose is your “why”–but your goals are the how. Set action-oriented goals that are specific, measurable, and time-bound. 
  • As we age, living with purpose becomes much more about saying “no” to things. And that can be hard! 
  • Ask yourself: What are your top 3 anxieties, fears, and “yeah-but’s”, that are holding you back? 

Competency-Based Learning: Mastering Your Inner Critic  

The purpose of this session is to dive deeper into the best practices for coaching our Inner Critic—that voice inside our head that is critical of ourselves and others. We need to understand why intrinsic worthiness is essential and furthermore, that confidence and worthiness are not the same thing. After a few exercises discussing our Inner Critic (Bumper Sticker Mottos: “Better Than” vs. “Less Than” & Speed Rounds: “Proactive Triggers”)—we dove into how to coach our Inner Critic by unpacking the Four Practices: 1. Become Aware, 2. Push Pause, 3. Be Compassionate, 4. Get Curious. 

What we learned: 

  • As a leader, the people who work with you and for you will react differently than you assume. Be aware that everybody has different triggers and different reactions. It starts with you. 
  • The challenge with the Inner Critic is its solitude. The subtlety is where the practice comes in.  
  • Pushing pause is difficult, because it forces you to stop reacting. 
  • Getting curious is the key to getting out of “One-Up” or “One-Down” and getting back to Compassionate Center. 

Keynote: Simon T. Bailey on Being Inspiring 

Simon Bailey had an “ah-ha moment” early in his time with Walt Disney World Resort, when he was asked to take on a role in the park he had never done before–a role he wasn’t thrilled about. Then, he met a family and connected with them in a truly meaningful way. Simon was able to unleash his authentic brilliance and seize the moment, an ability he says every leader should cultivate.   

What we learned: 

  • Every single person has brilliance and genius. Then… they show up to work. As a leader, it’s up to you to empower every member of your team to be their most brilliant self. 
  • Culture is not the mission statement on your company’s website. Culture happens when no one is looking.  
  • Do you know who your replacement is? You should. When you come from a place of abundance, you’re not worried about your “spot”. You say, “how will I begin to help those who come behind me?” 
  • Pay attention to your soul intelligence, because it will allow you to seize the moment.  

For more from Simon T. Bailey, dive into his blog and follow him on Twitter.


Since 1999, Linkage’s Women in Leadership Institute™ (WIL), a four-day immersive learning experience, has equipped more than 10,000 women with actionable strategies to overcome the seven hurdles women often face in the workplace.

Posted in Coaching, Inclusive Leadership, Leadership Development, Women in Leadership Tagged with: , ,

About Kerry Seitz

Kerry Brady Seitz is the Executive Director of Linkage’s Women in Leadership Institute™, where she oversees the design, development and execution of this global signature program for high-performing women leaders. She also guides the design, development and delivery of Linkage's Advancing Women Leaders & Inclusive Leadership Solutions.

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