05 Oct 17 Women on Self-Reliant Leadership

In preparation for a talk I was asked to give at the 17th Annual Women’s Success Forum in Denver, I had the opportunity to sit down with 17 amazing leaders to discuss self-reliant leadership.  The group was comprised of 17leaders18 Baby Boomers, 7 Gen X’ers, and 2 Millenials.  The leaders were from large companies, small companies, government, military, non-profits, and entrepreneurial ventures.  I asked them four primary questions:

1. Leadership Challenges – What is the biggest crucible (challenge) facing leaders today?
2. Self Reliance – What does self-reliance have to do with leadership?
3. Leadership Traits – What is the one characteristic you believe every leader should possess?

  • Humility – mentioned three times
  • Authenticity – mentioned twice
  • Emotional Intelligence – mentioned twice
  • Drive
  • Curiosity & Listening
  • Integrity & Compassion
  • Sense of Humor
  • Empathy
  • Establish Rapport
  • Self Awareness
  • Care
  • Grace (in my opinion – the most unique response)

4. Solitude & Introspection – How does solitude and the power of introspection inform your actions as a leader?

Click on the 4-minute video to hear the collective insight:

I am grateful to the leaders interviewed (with the help of Jill Lohmiller):

  1. Debra Fine, Speaker/Author, The Art of Small Talk
  2. Kathleen Quinn Votaw, CEO, TalenTrust, LLC
  3. Jill Terry, Director, CSU Executive MBA Program
  4. Lida Citroen, Personal Branding Expert, Lida 360
  5. Tasha Eurich, Author, “Bankable Leadership”
  6. Theresa Letman, VP of Marketing, VerusGlobal
  7. Colleen Stanley, Founder/CEO, Sales Leadership
  8. Angie MacPhee, CEO, RGL Forensics
  9. Sharon Knight, CEO, Warren Village
  10. Pam Jeffords, Partner, Mercer
  11. Emily Gehrmann, Account Management & Pricing Manager, Johns Manville
  12. Heather Haugen, Managing Director, Breakaway Group
  13. Colette Palmer, VP of Client Services, Breakaway Group
  14. Kim DeLashmit, Principal, ‘orange’ marketing – interactive
  15. LTG Flora Darpino, Judge Adjutant General, U.S. Army
  16. Regina Ellis, CEO, Children’s Cancer Association
  17. Colleen Abdoulah, Chairwoman, Wide Open West


  • Theresa Letman
    Posted at 19:42h, 06 October Reply

    The pleasure is ours, Jan. Thanks for the thought-provoking questions and the opportunity to be included with the brilliant leaders on the list above.

  • Jan Rutherford
    Posted at 20:03h, 06 October Reply

    As I often say, Theresa, great relationships are usually reciprocal in nature!

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