Volume 5, Issue 3 – July 2004
Institute for Women’s Leadership eNews
Welcome to IWL’s eNews, designed to inform and inspire you about the progress of our global leadership community and commitments.
1) Alumni Profile
Lorena Hegdal, Alyeska Pipeline Services
What are your name, title, organization and accountability?
I’m Lorena A. Hegdal, Pipeline Advisor for the Alyeska Pipeline Service Company (APSC). I provide advice, technical support and facilitation to the Pipeline Manager and all the Operations and Maintenance Supervisors at the seven operating pump stations along the 800-mile pipeline. When there are issues, I bring together all the parties involved and we create solutions that work for everyone.
When and why did you attend WLC (Women Leading Change)?
Two co-workers attended Women Leading Change in California and it had an enormous impact on them. They went forward to management (up to the CEO) and he approved their request to bring WLC to APSC. They arranged the program so that some non-profits in our area could send representatives too. In addition to having company employees from Anchorage, Fairbanks and Valdez, a person from the Girl Scouts, the Tanana Chiefs Conference, and the United Way attended. I became more connected to many new people within APSC and in the local community.
What skills have you used the most since the program(s)?
I’ve used the concepts of ‘trading up’ and also ‘leaving baggage’ (no preconceived ideas) for meetings. When I choose to ‘trade up’ I consciously look at replacing any automatic, limited assumptions and beliefs I have with ones that will be more beneficial and powerful for me (and those with whom I work). When I ‘leave baggage’ I replace preconceived ideas with being open to what might be possible in my work with others.
What results are you most proud of having produced at work? What did the results allow for?
I’m most proud of keeping a positive attitude and not engaging (getting trapped in) negative comments or discussions. In one case, I was able to turn a person’s perception from negative to at least neutral by explaining the reasoning for certain decisions and taking the time to really listen to and actively address the individual’s concerns. It was actually a big accomplishment to have the person move from negative to neutral on the topic at hand.
What results are you most proud of having produced anywhere else (optional).
I have two teenage sons. I now take the time to more carefully listen to them (and hear) what they’re saying. This allows me to better evaluate true needs and provide more positive responses. One of my sons recently wrote an essay for his college-prep class on who has most influenced him: me! Before WLC, I would ‘push’ him to move forward in certain ways. I hoped he would let me know if my ‘pushing’ didn’t work for him. After WLC, I became much more specific in communication with him. He now lets me know if I’ve gone too far in any way. The essay validated that he does understand I’m looking out for his best interest and he actually appreciates it.
What resources do you want from or do you have to offer the rest of the IWL community as you continue your leadership journey?
My resource support network, even within our own company, has greatly expanded just by attending WLC with other people in the company and community whom I did not previously know or know very well. A level of trust amongst the attendees definitely developed throughout the course.
The electronic newsletter is also informative. It keeps folks connected and reminds us to look back at what we learned during the training.
I also keep the WLC notebook on my desk and scan through it as a refresher. I’ve also shared information from the course to encourage others to take the opportunity to attend.
What I can offer is this: I’m a native Alaskan and have a passion for empowering Native Alaskan peoples. If any of you share this passion, I’d love to collaborate with you.
If anyone is interested in the APSC pipeline, Alaska, or the Alaskan native communities and cultures, I’d be happy to share what I know. I just returned from fishing the Copper River for King Salmon. I use a dip net, a native Alaskan way of catching fish by dragging it along the river bottom. It’s almost blueberry-picking time, too. In our native culture, it’s customary to share what we gather. I provide blueberries to some elderly neighbors who can no longer gather their own. Blueberries have wonderful medicinal properties.
I’d be happy to be a resource for IWL alumni who would like to know more. Lorena can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
2) Coach’s Column – Does Faster Really Make Better? by Victoria Castle
3) Coaching Success – Sandra Adams and IWL Coach, Loretta Love Huff
Sandra Adams, Visa’s vice president of Global Member Billing Solutions , initially attended Women Leading Change to clarify her career direction and to define her future goals. While attending WLC, Sandra met Loretta Love Huff, an IWL coach.
“My gut is usually right about things,” said, Sandra, regarding working with Huff . “If I’d just looked at the coaches’ resumes and backgrounds perhaps I would have chosen a different one. During WLC and later, ELSC, I worked with several coaches. I felt a particular rapport with Loretta. Loretta’s a very good coach with a broad range of skills. She approached coaching me in ways that worked for me. For instance, she recommended books, writing assignments, practices and provided research results on topics we discussed. I had not expected this in working with a coach.”
Sandra reported that during ELSC she realized she needed to shift her context. She had been feeling really trapped personally and professionally. She used the courses as launch pads and coaching as a way of sustaining momentum.
Of Sandra, Loretta says, “During the ELSC Somatics sessions Sandra looked constrained and said she felt ‘trapped.’ Sandra began focusing on taking up more physical space. As we worked together, she began to focus on taking up more conversational space and expanding and building more powerful relationships. None of us accomplish our results in a vacuum. I’m talking about developing the depth of relationships that allow us to achieve heroic results.”
“While working with Loretta, I found the confidence to stretch into new areas with my current role,” relayed Sandra. “One of things we’re committed to doing is creating breakthrough results in terms of time to implementation and being on budget. In order to do so, we needed to use our time wisely and efficiently. I took on a leadership role in challenging our team’s use of time. I took on the role of ‘monitor’ to shift team from consensus to presumptive close . Now we make proposals. If there are no objections, we move on. This has truly increased our productivity . Our meetings are much more efficient.
Loretta and I worked together about an hour every two weeks which was the perfect amount of time for me. She kindly challenged my assumptions and conclusions about my work world and me. One of the things we worked on was the ability to ask for what I really need. Previously, without knowing it, I’d been feeling like I was not entitled to ask or wondered why no one was giving me what I needed.
I received direct benefits from coaching in my work life and it spilled over into my personal life as well. I practiced asking for what I needed when I needed to care for my elderly mom. With an important part of the project in full swing, I asked for a month off to address my mom’s health issues. Spending time away from the office, knowing I was fully supported by my management and team increased my loyalty to the company. It strengthened my relationships with people I work with.”
“Visa is committed to growing leaders from within the company,” said, Sandra. “The company has to ask itself how to help future leaders become the most effective they can be. Programs, such as those offered by IWL, and coaching, are fairly small investments to make compared to the value received. With WLC, ELSC and coaching there are real and tangible returns. And certainly, it’s more cost effective than sending someone to Harvard Business School, for instance. Coaching allows you to learn in the context of your everyday work. This is truly powerful and a great use of time and money.”
Loretta relates, “One of the things I liked about working with Sandra was that she was very receptive and open to assessing how things were working for her. She was open to taking on new practices.We had a lot of mutual trust and understanding of our strengths and limitations. A benefit to me of working with Sandra was that it validated my love of coaching and making a difference with people.”
Loretta became a coach in 1998 as she was writing a financial industry business plan. She hated the experience and, through soul-searching, realized what she’d really loved about her career so far. She loved having people become freed up through conversations with her about things that had previously frustrated them. As a result, she attended New Ventures West (a coach training school). Afterwards, she shifted the focus of her consulting practice to work she more thoroughly enjoyed. Then, she was hired by a client as vice president of HR. Finally, she realized she could have more impact working with several organizations instead of one and she restarted her coaching and consulting practice.
“I believe that all of us have much more impact on the quality of our lives and the results we produce than we realize. That’s where I coach from,” said Loretta. “I work with people to expand their vision, their impact in the worlds they inhabit and support them to live lives that nourish and strengthen them.”
A. Take Action – The Breast Cancer Site
We invite you to make it a daily habit to go to the Breast Cancer Site and click on the ‘Fund Mammograms for Women in Need’ button. All it costs you is a little bit of time. The few seconds you spend doing this actually make a difference in the lives of women who could not otherwise afford mammograms. Please join us by adding the Breast Cancer Site to the Favorites section of your browser, putting a daily action item your PDA or calendar and going to the site now.
How it works
Every time you click on the pink “Fund Mammograms for Women in Need” button, or make a purchase in The Breast Cancer Site’s store, you generate funding for free mammograms for women in need.
The funding generated by your clicks is paid by site sponsors, whose banners appear after you click. In the store, The Breast Cancer Site gives a portion of the proceeds from each sale to the cause as well. All of this money goes to the nonprofit National Breast Cancer Foundation (NBCF), founded by 23-year breast cancer survivor, Janelle Hail.
NBCF uses the funding you help generate to provide free mammography screenings to low-income, homeless and inner-city women. Without your help, these women would not receive the gift of early detection – a key to survival and better treatment options.
While you’re on the site, check out the other organizations you can help in a similar way. Click on the Hunger, the Child Health, Rainforest and Animal Rescue sites as well.
This is a free and simple way to make a real difference every day.
P.S. If it’s time for you to get a mammogram yourself, please do it, now!
B. News You Can Use
From the Silicon Valley/San Jose Business Journal:
Experienced business leaders rank so-called “emotional intelligence” capabilities as critical to the success of today’s leaders, according to research conducted by Julie M. Brown and Associates, which provides management consulting services; Sharon Richmond, of Richmond & Associates Consulting; and Pam Fox Rollin, founder of IdeaShape Coaching & Consulting, of Palo Alto.
Emotional intelligence competencies such as vision, building relationships and developing people are more important to leadership success than typical leadership competencies , such as external/market orientation, financial acumen and planning, according to a study involving 265 corporate executives, directors, managers, business owners, and consultants into 20 core leadership attributes.
“This research goes a long way in explaining how leaders think about emotional intelligence and its development,” says Beth Benjamin, a director of the Center for Leadership Development & Research at Stanford Graduate School of Business. “Emotional intelligence is a fairly new field and we know relatively little about how best to develop the emotional intelligence of working adults.”
5) A Note from Rayona
As we enter my favorite time of year, the longest and warmest days, I am feeling a particularly deep sense of gratitude for the gifts of good health, great family and friends, and the privilege of doing meaningful heart-singing work with clients whom I adore. I can’t imagine it gets any better than this!
Since the last IWL eNews, we’ve had the great opportunity of completing an in-house Women Leading Change for the wonderful women who actually move the oil through the 800 miles of the Alaska oil pipeline. They are inspiring women who have an enormous commitment to the environment, the safety of each and every employee and the advancement of women and Native Alaskans as leaders in their organization. You can read more about one of them since Lorena Hegdal is this quarter’s profiled IWL alum. We hope to conduct another program before the end of the year. Jody daSilva did a masterful job of co-leading the program and will be ‘flying solo’ as the next WLC program leader within months.
Speaking of Jody, she and I are co-producing and leading a new seminar series called ‘Leading Through Influence’ beginning in October. We’ve partnered with the Alliance of Technology and Women to offer this exciting new program in the Bay Area. Once we complete the three Bay Area seminars we will look at rolling it out to other geographies. See the announcement earlier in this newsletter and please do come check it out.
I just presented a breakout session called ‘Leadership Being: The Last Frontier’ for the executive track at theWITI National Conference in San Jose in June. It was very well-received and I met a fantastic new colleague, authorBarbara Annis, whom we hope to do more work with in the near future. Barbara is an expert in gender differences and how those differences play out in organizational culture — the good, the bad, and the ugly aspects of it! Stay tuned for more about our future endeavors.
As I write this the ink is just drying on a book contract between Linkage Inc. and Jossey Bass Publishers. It is a wonderful anthology of women’s leadership articles edited by IWL alums Ellen Wingard and Lin Coughlin. My chapter was accepted and hopefully will be the catalyst for doing more writing for the infamous book that I keep trying to author! It is scheduled to hit the market in March 2005 and you will get plenty of advance
notice about its availability.
We completed the extraordinary Executives Leading Sustainable Change program in May which culminated in a wonderful celebration party at my home in Redwood City. I proudly showed off the award-winning memorial garden which honors my late mother. Every single participant declared the ELSC a breakthrough in their development and the creation of a lasting community of support. We are launching an advanced student curriculum as part of the next ELSC program in September. Our intention is to train executive women who choose to become masterful at transferring Contextual Leadership to others. Please contact me if you or any of your colleagues in senior management are interested in a training and development experience second to none in the industry.
Another exciting IWL milestone is the expanded consulting capability made possible by Heather Hinrichs andHelen Waters, who serve our larger client organizations. In addition to three years of exemplary account management, Heather has been getting her coaching certification through New Ventures West and is now providing excellent coaching and consulting for IWL clients. As of mid-July, Heather will be leaving IWL to expand her international consulting and coaching practice to include many new companies and organizations while continuing her association with IWL as a coach and consultant with IWL clients.
As you may remember from last newsletter Helen came on board as Director of Consulting Services and because she is so talented and trustworthy I have asked her to assume the role as IWL President.Helen’s leadership will allow me to focus more on the R&D and delivery of Contextual Leadership training and consulting. I will continue to lead our sales and marketing efforts for now. As we grow, I envision hiring someone to take over that accountability, too. This is a big change for me and after 14 years at the helm it feels very good to share the responsibility with someone of Helen’s competence.
Lastly, the next 14 months while daughter, Chelsea, is completing her high school senior year, I will be spending more time in the Bay Area so that I can be with her more before she flies off to college. I hope to see many of you who live locally or any of you who travel through the Bay Area. Please feel free to call. Every day is brighter when I hear from one of you. Take care and please make sure you are staying on top of your health check ups and general well-being.
Rayona Sharpnack, Founder and CEO, Institute for Women’s Leadershi