Forget The Glass Ceiling: Leadership Lessons from the White House to the Corporate Board Room with Betsy Myers

Betsy Myers has served two Presidents.  As a senior adviser on women’s issues under President Bill Clinton and Chief Operating Officer for President Barack Obama’s campaign, Betsy has experienced leadership at the highest levels. In her latest book, Take The Lead Betsy says that her curiosity has framed her leadership efforts.  Questions such as: Why is it that some people challenge us and motivate us to rise to our best abilities, while others seem to drain our energy and spirit? What is that particular quality people have that causes others around them to fully engage and feel connected?


You can learn more from Betsy Myers by joining me at the Midwest Women’s Invent Your Future conference June 19. Until then, here are 5 leadership lessons from Betsy Myers:


1. The “Science” Of Leadership Is “Feeling.”: Most people don’t think about leadership as a feeling.  According to Myers, a successful leader creates a feeling among employees of being valued, appreciated and included. When people “feel” valued, supported, appreciated, included, and understood, they are inspired to do their best work. The job of any leader is to bring out the productive feelings of their people.

2.  Look Beyond The Board Room, The Battlefield Or The Ballot Box For Your Leadership Opportunity: You do not need to be a battlefield hero, a CEO or a President in a boardroom to have a profound impact on everyone around you. Each of us has opportunities to take the lead every day, says Betsy. Look for your opportunity and seize the moment.

3. “Forget The Glass Ceiling – What About The Sticky Floor That’s Holding Us Down?”. Betsy recommends that we change our view from the glass ceiling to the sticky floor as that  floor may be filled with sticky things that are holding us back. “Without understanding which behaviors are getting in the way of our success, we’ll have trouble figuring out the “pearl we’ll add to the world.”

4. Real Leaders Don’t Act Like They Have All The Answers.  The best leaders begin by asking questions and also admitting that they do not have all of the answers.

5. Diversity Of Perspectives Is The Winning Edge:  The research is in and its compelling: diversity matters not because it is the right thing to do (it is!) but because it also impacts the bottom line in positive ways.  “In this new century for both the public and private sector, organizations that are not diverse will find themselves lagging behind in both profits and ideas.”



  1. […] This post from IYF adviser Deborah Collins Stephens is part of our guest bloggers series. Cross-posted from Deborah’s blog. […]

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