Thursday, April 14, 2011

The Women's Funding Network Conference and Women's Leadership Qualities

Helen Hunt and Melanie Harris with me at the book signing
At the recent Women's Funding Network Annual Conference in New York, it was difficult to say what was most special: Chile's former president, Michelle Bachelet keynote, the fantastic women I met, the great sessions and presenters, or our book selling out, including one to Sarah Mukasa, Director of Programmes at the African Women's Development Fund in Ghana.

But for me, one session stood out from all others, perhaps because I know I will be doing a session on philanthropic leadership in the fall at the University of Wisconsin's Women's Philanthropy Council.  The panelists were asked what one leadership quality they had and their answers were:

  1. The ability to listen
  2. Passion for the cause
  3. Collective action
  4. Bodacious and risk taking
  5. Ability to take constructive criticism and change
  6. Tenacity
  7. Sense of humor
  8. Physical energy
When considering women's philanthropic leadership, these qualities really got me thinking.  Would men have responded in the same ways? I really don't think so.  

In any case, I look forward to working with these eight leadership qualities in preparing for the November session and thank you to the following panelists for sharing their thoughts: Bisi Adeleye-Fayemi, The First Lady of Ekiti State, Nigeria; Jamie Allison-Hope, S.H. Cowell Foundation and Spark; Emilienne de Leon, International Network of Women's Funds; Tiffany Dufu, The White House Project; Sara Gould, Foundation Center; and Becky Sykes, Dallas Women's Foundation.

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