"People are communicating more, but not a lot of people are connecting." -- Lisa Marie Platske
"Culture makes people understand each other better. And if they understand each other better in their soul, it is easier to overcome the economic and political barriers."
-- Paulo Coelho
Today I attended the inaugural luncheon of the Central NJ chapter of eWomenNetwork, organized by Gloria Cirulli. The keynote speaker was Lisa Marie Platske, author of the great book Connection. She shared her insights into the state of women in business today, and some of the unique challenges we face.
Challenges which resonate with me; a speaker, a collaborator, and a self-professed maverick. Challenges I've been thinking about again, since we commemorated 9/11 last Thursday. Challenges we all face, when creating a pervasive culture, one sustained by values and an innovator's mindset.
The present startup culture needs to be about purpose, not just profit. I think that's why I'm a huge advocate of creating a digital avatar with meaning, with heart, and one that shares a positive message about the success and happiness today's entrepreneur can achieve and share.
If you ask me what are the two current hallmarks of female entrepreneurship, seen in countless women I've come across since I started my company, Socially Speaking LLC, in 2010, I would have to say:
1. Collaboration is second nature
2. Happiness that's almost tangible; resulting from being in the "driver's seat"....resulting from a genuine love for what they do.
I believe that women are hardwired to see teamwork as byproduct of change. I also believe that women make a real effort to present their authentic selves when trying to balance work/life, humanity/technology, and Me/We. I fully believe it when I hear other women, like Lisa Marie, tell us that today's female entrepreneur is truly interested in furthering our collective:
The result? More women are creating networks, not just networking. More women are becoming rainmakers and unstoppable forces to be reckoned with; at work, in their communities, and in their personal odysseys. Those intended to craft a self-sustaining legacy that goes beyond leaving behind children.
I am in no way implying that family isn't important. I fully believe that motherhood is still the bedrock of a civilized and humane society. But for today's professional woman who juggles so many balls in the air, the idea behind "united we stand" takes on new meaning.
Especially in light of those of us who are trying to get ahead by emulating and playing by the same rules as men, instead of teaching them a thing or two. Especially in light of those of us of the Otherhood, who can teach our gender a thing or two about unity and empathy. The world needs more mavericks and women leaders who can alter history.
It's time to birth and foster more philanthropy, social entrepreneurship, and empathy; all of which need to be interwoven and embedded into one's thought leadership; one of the most meaningful legacies a person can leave behind.
That's why I'm so impressed with the women I met today, and the nascent potential of the Central NJ Chapter of eWomenNetwork. "It takes a village" has never been more true. Especially in this Digital Age where being an "island" unto oneself is not only professionally counterproductive, but ethically questionable.
The women I met today took time out from their very busy lives and schedules to collaborate, commiserate, and curate resources and knowledge that can effectively change lives. I stand in admiration. I stand in awe. I stand united with the Sisterhood of women who are trying to make a difference; one luncheon at a time.