The Leader Within You - Rancho La Puerta
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The Leader Within You

Week of April 20, 2024

Women World Leaders – Lessons of Leadership Stories of Women Presidents and Prime Ministers
Laura Liswood presents her 30-minute PBS documentary which she wrote, created and produced.  Interviews include women leaders such as Margaret Thatcher, Benazir Bhutto, Mary Robinson, and Corazon Aquino.  A discussion of her journey to meet the 15 women presidents and prime ministers and what she learned from them will follow after the showing of the film.

Lessons and Myths of Leadership
What are the myths of leadership that some women (and men) believe, and how do these myths pose challenges for women in their leadership roles? What are the best practices of excellent leaders, and what additional lessons can we learn from women who have led their country? Offering a unique perspective on enhancing opportunities to successfully lead an organization and shape a career, Laura Liswood, former Senior Advisor to Goldman Sachs and Secretary General of the Council of Women World Leaders, shares insights based on her work which became a book and video documentary entitled Women World Leaders-15 Great Leaders Tell Their Story (Harper/Pandora).

Finding the Leader Within You
The session looks at great leaders and how to see yourself in them and their actions and traits. We all potentially have traits of leadership-courage, energy, emotional intelligence, communication styles, ability to listen, be curious, create trust and hope in others. This session allows the participants to look at their own life experiences and find the leadership behaviors in themselves. Women and men display their ambitions differently. Public recognition for performance is more likely to go to men, and women don’t get, or they give away, that recognition to their detriment. We will discuss how each of them deals with ambition and the challenges they face. Men and women are rated equally successfully when measured as effective leaders but women don’t make it to the top in equal numbers. What is happening? The pipeline is full but the number of men leaders still far exceeds the number of women. How can women claim their authority to lead and feel entitled to lead?

Cultivating a Growth Mindset in Your Life and Work
The growth mindset helps us live our lives fully with a belief that talents, abilities, and intelligence can be developed through hard work, willingness to learn and to expand ourselves through challenge, feedback and failure. It is the concept of “Not Yet” rather than “Not Ever”. We learn from our productive mistakes, and being open to continuous exploration and discovery. This is opposed to a fix mindset with the belief that intelligence is static and unchanging. In personal relationships the growth mindset overturns myths about how to have a successful personal life. This mindset believes that many problems can be solved through communication, curiosity and openness.  The growth mindset embraces diversity and differences and the value it brings to our lives.


Laura Liswood, JD/MBA is a passionate advocate for leadership, diversity and inclusion and is a sought-after speaker, author, and global thought leader on these topics.  She particularly enjoys highly interactive sessions with her audiences and uses humor and research to convey her message. She created a PBS documentary and book on her interviews with women presidents and prime ministers and was appointed Managing Director for Global Leadership and Diversity at Goldman Sachs.  After 9/11 Laura decided to become a first responder, and became a police officer in the Washington DC Metropolitan Police Department, retiring as a sergeant. She is the author of four books, including The Loudest Duck: Moving Beyond Diversity, and The Elephant and the Mouse: Moving Beyond the Illusion of Inclusion