Stories of others’ successes — and failures — can educate and inspire.
And when they come from some of the top CEOs in the city, well, you really want to lean in and listen.
Several hundred women did just that Thursday night as Evolve Women hosted a panel of executives who shared their “Lean In” stories on “Achieving Success: Inside and Outside the Corporate Walls.”
Founded by former health care executive Connie McGee and Consensus Point CEO Linda Rebrovick, Evolve Women offers programs and resources to aid the development of women in the workplace. Operated out of the Entrepreneur Center, it supports women starting their own business and those innovating within established company walls.
Thursday’s panel featured Claire Tucker, CEO of CapStar Bank, Stella Parton, singer-songwriter and founder of Red Tent women’s conference, Laura Hollingsworth, president of tnMedia and publisher of The Tennessean, Liza Graves, co-founder of StyleBlueprint, and Rebrovick. The talk was moderated by Stacey Garrett, founding member and chairperson of Bone McAllester Norton PLLC.
Here are some words of wisdom curated from the two-hour event.
• Leaders do the grunt work, Graves said.
“As a leader, you need to have everyone who works for you know you are willing to clean the toilet.”
• Motivation of others does not come through dictatorship, Rebrovick said.
“Stop being a boss, and start being a coach.”
• Moving ahead in business means action not reaction, Tucker said.
“Don’t wait on somebody to give you permission to do it, just do it.”
Added Graves: “When the burning desire inside you is all you can think about, you have to go do it — and you have to be OK with failure.”
• Embrace your role, Graves said.
“You should be proud to be part of a company not because of your position within it, but because of the position of the company in the community.”
• Be yourself, Hollingsworth said.
“We’re not trying to be men in the workplace or trying to be more like men in the workplace, we’re trying to be women. … You don’t have to make choices (between family and career) … you just blend your life, and you bring it.”
• Don’t try to do it all, Graves said. Surround yourself with good people and give them opportunity.
“Without delegating you don’t give that other person the chance to spread their wings.”
• When the plan blows up, be nimble, Hollingsworth said.
“You start working from your gut.”
• Believe, Parton said.
“Dreams are not by accident. I feel like inspiration is what we live for.”