Inspiring stories of success, joy and refusing retirement from renegades rocking life after 50.

Featuring Gloria Feldt

Episode 002 Take the Lead

Can you fail your way to inspiration? Today’s guest, Gloria Feldt says YES! In fact she says “failing retirement” opened the door for her to create an inspired movement empowering women to take the lead in their lives! We discuss how you can be the creator of your best life and embrace your 2nd Chapter on YOUR terms instead of dancing to the tune of others.

WATCH THE EPISODE BELOW:

SHOW NOTES:

Favorite Quotes

“Define your own terms first, before someone else defines them for you.” Gloria Feldt

Favorite Moments from the Interview

Gloria is a true powerhouse, who has blazed a trail for so many. But she also has a great sense of humor!

One of my favorite moments was when we laughed together about learning how to use an air fryer. You are going to love her energy!

Why the Renegade Boomer Community will love it

While Gloria’s program is geared to women, the foundation of our conversation applies to both men and women–because we are all part of the greater whole, and we are all growing older.

The question is, HOW we do that.

So if you’re wondering how we can ALL step into our power and have more control of how we live, work, and yes, show up in all our glory at ANY age…listen for the nuggets of wisdom Gloria shares.

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View Transcript

[00:00:00] Tina: Hey, this is Tina Lorenz at the Renegade Boomer Podcast, and I’m so excited about my guest today, Gloria Feldt, and thank you for joining me today, Flor- Gloria, I’m gonna call you Floria.

[00:00:11] Gloria: Well, people have called me worse. So anyway, thank you very much, Tina. I’m delighted to be with you.

[00:00:17] Tina: Well, I’d like to introduce you a little more to the audience because Gloria is a nationally acclaimed expert on women power and leadership.

And that’s near and dear to my heart for sure. And she’s a bestselling author, an in-demand keynote speaker. I’m so honored that she’s here with us today. She was just recently selected for Forbes 50 Over 50. Gotta love that as well. And she’s the co-founder and president of Take The Lead, whose mission reflects her life’s passion, which is to prepare, develop, and inspire and propel women of all diversities for fair and equal share of leadership in positions all the way. She wants to move all the way to 2025 with this and I’m sure beyond as well. So she has a breakthrough training. She has mentoring. She has programs. She does coaching.

She has a ton of energy, obviously , and she’s the best selling author of five books. And her latest is “Intentioning: Sex, Power, Pandemics, and How Women Will Take The Lead.” And so, welcome, welcome, Gloria. And you know, the other part of your story that really just hit me is, because you kind of just mentioned it briefly in some of your stuff, is you were a teen mom in Texas, right?

[00:01:17] Gloria: That’s correct. Yes. Yes.

[00:01:19] Tina: I’m thinking, probably kind of a rough place to be a teen mom, you know? And so, I was wondering, one of the things I wanted to ask you about that was early on, I don’t know how your family was or friends or relatives about the teen mom journey, but did you have the thoughts of what am I gonna be able to do beyond this at that point? Or did it just feel like, what in the heck am I gonna do? Or how was that for you?

[00:01:42] Gloria: Well, it was sort of a little bit of all of that and at different times as my life went on. So initially, I was basically drinking the Kool-Aid of the culture that said this is the future for women, right? You know, you weren’t given aspirations for. If you went to college, they said it was to get your MRS.

[00:02:02] Tina: Yeah.

[00:02:02] Gloria: And you weren’t having aspirations to have a career beyond that. Although my family always assumed I would become educated, but really we didn’t talk much about careers or anything like that.

And your life was designed to be a support system for everybody else but not really to think about what you wanted for yourself with what your own intentions would be.

So I wanted to be the best mom. I wanted to be the best wife. I wanted to be the best cook. Never particularly wanted to be the best housekeeper. I kind of failed on that score, but all those other things, you know, I really drank the cultural Kool-Aid of the time.

So I married my high school sweetheart. This is not an unusual story. I had three kids by just after my 20th birthday, and, Tina, for some reason, I woke up.

Don’t know what it was. Actually, I have a couple of ideas, but I don’t know. I mean, my son-

[00:02:54] Tina: Maybe that Divine flick to the head.

[00:02:56] Gloria: Yeah, right. My son, who is my youngest, has heard this story so much. He calls himself mom’s light bulb when I would say a light bulb went on in my head. So David is mom’s light bulb and somehow having that third child, I’m- A couple of things. Number one, I realized, wait a minute, if I ever had to support these children on my own, I had no employable skills whatsoever.

Secondly, I actually was a really good student. I liked to learn. And so I decided I wanted to start to college at that time with three little kids, which was a bit of a challenge. And also with no money really, and no senior level university in Odessa, Texas, where I was living at the time.

So, I started to the community college, and I will say the other thing that happened was, and I think many women our age will relate to this, is that that was about the time the birth control pill came out.

And so all of a sudden, I realized, “Wait a minute, you know, I can actually have a life. I can actually plan my own life,” you know. I love my children very much, but another three would’ve put me over the edge. So, that was also a part of it. It was like there were all these things that were happening in society by then, to tell you the truth.

I mean, it was a civil rights movement. It was a women’s movement. Things were happening in the society. So it was a big collage of things.

[00:04:20] Tina: And that led to another very important part of your journey that I hadn’t had a chance to actually include yet, that you rose to be the president and CEO of the world’s largest reproductive health and advocacy agency, organization, Planned Parenthood.

[00:04:34] Gloria: Yeah, there’s a good symmetry, good symmetry about that, I think. You know, that’s a good symmetry, actually, who would’ve thought? But yes, it’s true. I was somewhat serendipitously offered a position of the executive director in West Texas.

And I was planning on being a high school social studies teacher because, you know, that’s what women did, right?

You could be a nurse, a teacher, or a secretary. And I practically failed typing. I still don’t know how to type very well. I don’t like the sight of blood. So nursing was, like, out and that left teaching. But I actually love to teach. I actually love teaching and I still do, which is one of the reasons why I love what I’m doing now with Take The Lead because again, I get to be teaching women things that I believe in and that I know are important for them to actually have a better life.

[00:05:21] Tina: Well, and that brings in the whole part of your mission is that relationship to power for women. And I think sometimes people think, oh, you know, those uppity women, you know, but tell me some of your thoughts about women and power because I have one little story just to interject here because one of the things I do is teach people that I work with and there’s many women in my programs on how to think differently.

And I know that’s one of the things you talk about is thinking differently. And I put together kind of like little mantras called 60-Second Sprints™, and one of the people in my program was a woman who had a real problem, she shared with me, of working with men in powerful positions because she had old stories, old traumas that were still influencing her at this point of her life as a mature woman.

And so we went through just the shifting of how she thought about her place in that power triangle, really, because it was two men that were multimillionaire partnership in a business, and they were interested in working with her and as far as copywriting marketing strategy. And she felt like she didn’t think she could do it because of those old stories.

So we unraveled those. We undid those, and she started thinking differently. And she closed a really very generous four-figure a month retainer working with those men, and they became very good clients for her.

So, what kind of things do you think about with women thinking differently when it comes to their power in the relationships in business especially?

[00:06:37] Gloria: Well, Tina, to the point of that story, there are several reasons why women, I found in my research have often an ambivalent relationship with power.

Now, let’s face it, you really can’t get anything done in this world if you are unwilling to use the power that you have. And also, we now know that companies that have more women in their leadership are more profitable by a significant amount. We know that women have been earning like 57%, I think, of the college degrees for several decades.

So we are the prepared workforce in an economy that’s based on brains, not brawn. We are the purchasers or the decision-makers for about 85% of the sales.

So we’re the economic engine, basically, of our whole economy. And then there’s the, you know, it’s just simple justice for people to have equality and to be able to achieve whatever they want to use their gifts for in this world.

So all of those things is backdrop, but what I found was that, nevertheless, women would say, “I don’t really like the idea of power.”

It has negative connotations and it’s exactly for reasons that you just described. They have borne the brunt of so many of the negative aspects of power. They have been the ones who have been harassed, perhaps sexually assaulted. They are the ones who in war get the worst of the stick, basically.

You know, they get displaced, they and their children. They may be brutalized in all kinds of different ways. And the narrative of history that has mostly been written by men has been about wars and fighting and the assumption that resources are scarce, which scares you.

Yes. It scares them. It makes them more, you know, wanting to hold onto what little piece of the pie they can get.

Well, the fact is that, again, in our current economy, there is no finite pie. There’s no finite pie of human ingenuity or intelligence or the ability to love and have empathy and to make life better, that sort of thing.

So when I would suggest to women that we have to change how we’re thinking about power from the old, no longer functional idea of power as being the power over you to an innovative, creative, generative idea of power as being the power to, the power to make life better for yourself, your family, your community, the world, I would see women just go- it was like masks would fall off of their faces.

[00:09:30] Tina: The lightbulb.

[00:09:31] Gloria: Yeah. I mean, they had been trying so hard to fit into a world they hadn’t created, and all of a sudden they could see, “Oh, you know, first of all, I do have this power. I do have this ability. I also have this ambition. I want to do these things and now I understand I can use power in that sort of a creative and innovative way.”

So that’s what led me to start Take the Lead. Because what I found when I started talking to women about power in that way, it just opened up a whole new world for them. And all of a sudden, the barriers fell aside. And they were willing and able to try doing all kinds of things. So that’s where we are.

[00:10:11] Tina: I think that what’s really exciting about that to me is it’s more of an, it really is an inner journey as well. It’s not like a competitive us versus them or something like that. It’s really your own internal power coming to light. And stepping into that and embracing that is kind of how I see that as well for men and women, actually.

[00:10:29] Gloria: Exactly.

[00:10:30] Tina: I’m sure there’s plenty of men that have felt like, “Well, I just have never had a voice.” Or they’ve assumed an identity in their corporate structures or what they may have been doing. Cuz you know one of my passions is anti-retirement, right? You and I are kind of embodying that. When I read your goals for 2023, I was reading one of your blog posts about just embracing your own power, but also the multiple projects that you have underway, there’s no sign of Gloria slowing down, right?

[00:10:56] Gloria: That is true. That is very true. Yes.

[00:10:59] Tina: What your plans are, it’s not like, “Well, you know, it’s time for me to slow down,” and you know, that’s not happening.

Yeah.

And so that internal power, it’s actually an emotional aspect too, of what we are capable of doing and not putting those pre kind of subscribed, “Well, you know, you’re 65, so therefore you’re supposed to retire.” I was reading a statistic the other day that the whole thing with social security was designed because our lifespan was at 61, something like that.

[00:11:26] Gloria: Right, right.

[00:11:26] Tina: They don’t actually expect people to make it to 65. And so just the whole structure of retirement, how do you feel about that? Because I don’t see, like, traditional retirement on your to-do list anywhere.

[00:11:38] Gloria: No. No. I often say I failed retirement. I will tell you that when I left the role of National President of Planned Parenthood, I was exhausted, and I really thought I didn’t want to really fully retire. But I thought I want to have a quieter life.

[00:11:55] Tina: Mm-hmm.

[00:11:56] Gloria: I want to sit behind my computer by myself and write books, and I don’t wanna have to deal with a whole lot of people and, you know. So all of the things that I had been really- You know, I was working in such a huge organization in a very large movement, you know, interacting with sometimes hundreds of people in the course of a day, and I was just tired.

And so I thought that I wanted to have that quieter life. And I guess, I have often joked that I failed retirement because it just turns out that once I realized that what I had been writing about could give women these kinds of breakthroughs that I saw them having, I was totally energized again to do that and to teach it.

And then I realized that I could do this as one individual, but it wouldn’t necessarily change the world. If I really wanted to have an impact, it needed to have an organization that was essentially a movement behind it, so therefore, starting Take The Lead.

And I’ll tell you my deep, dark secret here, which is, I really, for somebody who’s been running organizations her whole career, I don’t actually love running organizations. I love the mission, you know, I love the mission. I love the movement. And so I do have a desire to build Take The Lead into a large enough and sustainable enough organization that someone else can come in and run the daily operations of it because that is not my sweet spot, and it’s not my passion. My passion is for doing what we’re doing right here, talking about it, getting the word out, getting the message out, speaking, writing.

I can deal with anything that’s in that nature. So, I do want to have more, I would say, control, which is something you can have as you get older and have the capability, both financial and otherwise, to structure your life the way you want it. So, I’m looking to structure things a little differently as I go forward, and by 2025 to be able to step back on the daily operations but to continue being the spokesperson and visionary and-

[00:14:14] Tina: Absolutely.

[00:14:15] Gloria: That kinda thing. That’s what I love.

[00:14:16] Tina: You know, Gloria, my chillometer’s going off. That’s when I get chills all over because of, “Yes!” This just resonates with me so much because this is the whole aspect when you say you’ve failed retirement. But this is like a new way to look at the transitions of our lives, right?

And so instead of applying the word retirement to it, just change, transcendence, transition.

[00:14:34] Gloria: Yes. Right. Yeah!

[00:14:36] Tina: Overturn. So if you wanna put your toes in the sand with your family at some gorgeous beach somewhere in the world and still have the impact and have this movement, you get to do both, right?

[00:14:46] Gloria: Yes. True.

[00:14:49] Tina: It’s really creating that on your terms. And I saw that you actually wrote- I can’t remember exactly the quote, but it was something along the lines of you choose what energy you bring into and release for that future you. And that’s not marginalized to when you’re, oh, when you’re in your 20s or oh, when you’re in your 30s.

And you said something to me when we had a conversation before this that each decade gives you another opportunity to say yes. And I would expand that to say, Gloria says to say yes and to whatever it is that calls to you that you wish to achieve, creating that future for yourself, right?

[00:15:21] Gloria: Yes, yes. That’s right. Yeah.

[00:15:23] Tina: I mean, look at the contribution you’re bringing now, right? And so that’s what I feel like especially for people over 50, you know, there’s kind of this line that starts to happen it seems with, you know, the last acceptable “ism”, the ageism aspect of that, right?

[00:15:37] Gloria: Absolutely.

[00:15:38] Tina: When we were talking about your book, Intentioning- And by the way, it’s such a funny thing because my husband and I coined the term intentioning, but just between ourselves for kind of that kind of setting really the vision of what we wanted to achieve in our life or have bring into our life and intention it, so we called it intentioning. And you have a book called Intentioning. So I love that. And you told me that you had stories in there from different- mostly women, I believe, that had gone into like C-Suite, that kind of stuff. But then you realized, especially since the pandemic, I think, a lot of them were entrepreneurial.

And so, I’d love to discuss that for a minute of, you know, for me, I don’t think of people past 50 going and applying for a new job somewhere, right? I mean, there’s so many reasons to do it differently, and I think entrepreneurship is really the way to bring that brilliance to light on your terms, what do you think about that?

[00:16:25] Gloria: We are seeing more and more of that, especially with women. And the thing is with entrepreneurship, you can be more in control of the culture of your organization. You can be more in control of just how you live, how you work. And also you may have a particular passion for whatever it is that you build that business around.

I mean, in my case, Take The Lead is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization. It’s a charitable contribution to it or tax deductible and all that, so we don’t have investors and some of the things that, you know, that entrepreneurs of for-profit organizations have. We have funders, donors, sponsors, and so forth.

But nevertheless, it’s the same thing. This all requires the same business skills, essentially. There’s nothing really that different between running a nonprofit and running a for-profit.

But I think that the idea of entrepreneurship as you get older is that you have such an opportunity to apply all this learning that you’ve had your whole life. And you have some credibility. You have probably built up an ability to raise money if you need to raise investment money or maybe you’ve put money in the bank that enables you to do it.

So it’s all great. And I think during the pandemic, we particularly saw that, you know, they kept talking about the great resignation and the great rethinking and all of that, and yeah. But if you look at it, it’s not that women were resigning from work, it’s that they were deciding, “Hey, I’m going to start my own business instead of working for someone else.” So it’s not that they’re not working, it’s that they are working in a different way. And I think the statistics really belie what’s going on with women, frankly. I just don’t think they’re that accurate in their interpretation.

Can I step back to something else that you were saying a moment ago about men? I think a lot of this applies to men too. And, you know, men have been put into boxes in our society, just like women have. So, it’s like men have been told they have to be these providers. They have to be the strong man. They can’t cry. They can’t express emotion. They have to like, you know, they have to be this John Wayne character. And that has not been healthy for men, either.

And that’s why there’s a little postscript on the title of my book, which is that, this change that Women Will Take The Lead For (Everyone’s) Good, as a little postscript on that. And I really mean that sincerely. I believe that things will be healthier. Families will be healthier, companies will be healthier, society will be healthier for both men and women when there is more fundamental equality and less of this super-macho leadership style.

[00:19:16] Tina: Yeah, and I think that’s such an excellent point and it just, also, I think, goes back to that identity issue. And so I was speaking to someone the other day that I’m working with, that was in law enforcement, a man in law enforcement for three decades, right? And they talked about how isolating it actually was in certain ways.

And I feel like there’s so many people, both men and women, that have been in, like I mentioned, the corporate kind of structures. And maybe now they have “retired” from that traditional job they had and they wanna do something different. And it’s almost like they don’t know where they are in the mix anymore.

And so giving permission to themselves to peel back those layers, and sometimes with help with a coach or a mentor, to be able to determine, “What is it you truly desire to do at this point?”

[00:19:59] Gloria: Right.

[00:19:59] Tina: What is that long-held dream? And maybe they were an architect and now they’re gonna design shoes, you know. Or maybe they were law enforcement and now they wanna work with children in a volunteer capacity or something.

You know, something that’s very different from what they did before, but the point you made about we have- You know, I often tell my clients, you’re so close to your own stories or your own product or your own programs, you don’t see certain aspects of that brilliance because it’s just kind of woven into your DNA, you’re just like so used to it every day, where sometimes they need to be guided to see what that underlying story really is or what those old stories were. When you talk about men having to be the macho leader all the time, never let down, don’t shed a tear, you know, maybe that’s how the culture trained them, you know?

[00:20:43] Gloria: Right.

[00:20:43] Tina: And if they were allowed to just release that and shift that identity for themselves and know that it was, you know, really driven by love and compassion and caring, that is how we change the world, really.

[00:20:54] Gloria: That’s right. That’s right. Yeah. Yeah. And I think we also benefit from the fact that we have a generation of men now who, first of all, have been raised by women like us, number one. And number two, they are much more inclined to want to be part of their children’s lives.

[00:21:09] Tina: Yes.

[00:21:09] Gloria: So they want the kind of flexibility that women have always said organizations should provide. So there are all these things working in our favor right now. I hope we take advantage of that.

[00:21:21] Tina: I do too. And you know, I was just very recently, I mean, I think it was today actually New York Times about the economy and about inflation, and what I found so interesting is they had the statistics of the baby boomer generation is the biggest, you know, it’s something like 76 million.

Now we have the silent generation. It was like 50 some million. And we have the gen, let’s see, what is it X? It’s still easy to get confused with these. It’s like-

[00:21:44] Gloria: X, Y, Z

[00:21:45] Tina: 47 million, right? But what-

[00:21:47] Gloria: Millennials, yeah.

[00:21:48] Tina: When we talk about the retirement aspect of this, that the marginalization sometimes that happens as people are getting older also, that the workforce is actually shrinking while the demand is actually increasing. And so that means for the competition for the workers, the price, they have to pay more in a company or they might have to raise the price of their products to be able to get the labor pool they need. And so the baby boomer generation is having huge impact actually on the economy.

And so by creating their own jobs even, becoming more entrepreneurial, we’re actually, at least here in the US helping the economy by joining the workforce in that way. And I think that’s just another really interesting angle that I hadn’t thought of fully and, let’s see, I think I wrote down the quote. Jerome Powell, a Federal Reserve Chair, said, “We have a structural labor shortage.”

And so, that means when you’re talking about the opportunities, there’s many layers to the opportunities for those of us of a certain age to be able to-

[00:22:44] Gloria: Yes. Yes.

[00:22:45] Tina: -create and not necessarily like go apply for the job, like I said, or be marginalized into some weird little job that you didn’t really even want in the first place but to create those opportunities that also support the economy, right?

[00:22:58] Gloria: Absolutely, absolutely. I mean, you know, of course, the baby boomers since their birth have been the- There’s always been some big issue with the baby boomers that have been like, what did they say, the pig in the python. As it goes through the python, it’s like there’s this big bulge. And the baby boomers were bound to have a big impact on the whole retirement era as well as on the workforce era.

And the thing about the baby boomers also is that, you know, it’s a generation that was so activists. It’s a generation that was so engaged in the world and in the community, and I think that’s fantastic. I mean, I think, it’s a great role modeling and I think we’re seeing in the grandchildren of baby boomers now, we are seeing a whole new wave of a generation that is engaged in activism, engaged in the community, and cares about issues, social issues and justice issues and things like that.

So, we’re good grandparents. Well, actually, okay, so I have to confess, I’m actually too old to be a baby boomer. I’m that silent generation, but I always, I always wanted to be a baby boomer cuz my sister was a baby boomer and I saw her life and it was way different from mine.

[00:24:06] Tina: Look at the transitions you’ve been through with that and the adaptability of change. You know, your identity shifted. You said to me, like, “Well, in my twenties, what happened? How did I get that call?” And it would be interesting to hear a little more about how you thought you got that call cuz I feel like, and it’s not a religious thing or a specific church thing or anything like that, but I personally believe we each have a divine calling, a divine assignment.

And we, at some point in life will be, are you accepting it or are gonna just kind of let it go by and someone else is gonna pick up that role if you don’t, you know, it’s gonna be assigned to somebody else. And so what do you think about your divine assignment at this point, Gloria?

[00:24:41] Gloria: Well, you know, I never thought about it as a divine assignment, but I will say that I started my path as a volunteer, a community volunteer. Because there was no senior level university in Odessa, Texas, it took me 12 years to finish my degree. And during the course of doing that, I got involved in a lot of community service work and some of the things that I did were involving civil rights organizations, which surprises people that, yes, even in West Texas, there were some. We were few, but we were mighty. And what I learned was this was this huge epiphany for me, what I learned was it doesn’t really matter if you don’t have wealth and formal power, but people working together for a just cause can make anything happen. That informed pretty much everything I have done since then in my life, and I will always be grateful for that opportunity.

Of course, the other thing I observed was that the women were doing all the work and the men were in all the leadership positions and getting all the credit. So I also took off from that, that wait a minute, if there are civil rights, women must have them too. So I believe I’ll spend my life working for women’s rights and that, that really propelled me to what I have done since then.

[00:26:07] Tina: And what an amazing legacy. And I don’t say that in the past tense because you’re still creating it. So tell me a little bit more about, you have a program that, is it 9 steps that you have as far as what you teach as-

[00:26:19] Gloria: It’s 9 Leadership Power Tools.

[00:26:21] Tina: That’s it.

[00:26:22] Gloria: 9 Leadership Power Tools. Now, that’s the original core curriculum that has been the basis for all that we have done with Take the Lead. And we have external validation that in fact it is a program that does give women not only the intentions, but actually the skills and ultimately, within six months after going through the course, 40% of them have achieved a higher level of responsibility in leadership, advancement, pay raises, the things that are so unequal in our society.

So we have the programs and we have the proof. And now, I’m building out a new course based on my book, Intentioning. And I do love that you had thought of that name. And I think we both, we’re both very action-oriented.

[00:27:11] Tina: Yeah.

[00:27:11] Gloria: That’s really the thing. It’s like, I couldn’t find the right word. I looked-

[00:27:14] Tina: That’s a good one.

[00:27:15] Gloria: Intention is a great word, but it’s a noun, so I wanted to turn it into an active verb as I believe you must have as well. So I’m building out a new course based on the Intentioning book in the 9 Leadership Intentioning Tools that are in that book, and that is going to be launched in February. So I’m really excited about that. So we’ll have sort of some building blocks for women. The 9 Leadership Power Tools are, I mean basically, they’re skills and tools that I learned on the job because, you know, being the teen mom in West Texas, I didn’t go to Harvard Business School.

[00:27:51] Tina: Right.

[00:27:52] Gloria: You know, all these high-powered guys that do those kinds of things. I had to learn this literally by doing it. So a lot of what I do is a bit home-spun in some ways. It just makes sense. It’s not just, you know, some theory. I learned it on the front lines. I learned it on the job. I saw it happen. I learned from other people who I admired, who were doing this kind of work.

And so the 9 Leadership Power Tools- First, we start with the transformation of how we think about power. And then the 9 Leadership Power Tools are specific skills and tools that are actionable. You can use right away in your daily life and your work.

And then the third piece of the course is always creating a strategic leadership action plan so that you’re not just learning something, you’re not just being inspired by something. You’re actually gonna have to commit to something. You’re gonna have to commit to doing something.

Right now, literally, as we speak, I’m in the process of reviewing the strategic leadership action plans from a cohort of women in a big tech company, Insight, that has licensed the program.

And I am blown away by these women. I’m blown away by what they declare as their are leadership intentions, their career journey intention that they have to state in measurable, accountable, time-framed terms. And I’m just like, “Oh my goodness, the world is gonna be in such good hands with these women.”

[00:29:14] Tina: Absolutely. And what a relief that is. And the thing you said about the taking action, that’s the most important thing. We can learn and learn and learn and layers, you know, sometimes, especially in the online world, you know, we buy more programs, we invest in these things. But somehow, we think it’s gonna happen by osmosis, you know, sitting back in the La-Z-Boy with your Pringles and watching Netflix or whatever. You have to take the action steps. So putting that together to help people actually do that.

And I love what you said about, you know, it’s kind of home-spun because I’ve been very open about the fact that I didn’t even go to college, right?

I was on my own at 17 in Seattle, Washington, went to court and got emancipated so I can make my own decisions and spent a lot of time thinking I couldn’t do much, right, except work, you know, in typical jobs like clerical and childcare and you know, all of these things. And so it’s been a huge journey for myself.

And so that’s the perspective I take is kind of, if I can do it, you can do it. Cuz I didn’t start doing what I’m doing now until I was past 50.

[00:30:09] Gloria: And the thing is, I mean, I don’t know about you, but I personally get really tired of telling my teen mom story. I’m sick of telling that whole story, but what I’ve found is that it’s important for people to hear it because we all make bad choices at some point in life, and we have to understand that it doesn’t matter where you start.

[00:30:30] Tina: Exactly.

[00:30:31] Gloria: Just start.

[00:30:32] Tina: Yeah.

[00:30:32] Gloria: Just start.

[00:30:33] Tina: I don’t even think I’d say where we finish because that’s, just keep going. Just keep going.

[00:30:38] Gloria: That’s right. Yeah. Keep going. Yeah.

[00:30:40] Tina: You were talking about the power tools that there are things you could use right away. And I’m just really would love to ask you, could you give us at least just a couple of them? That the people watching this could say, “Hey, I’m gonna take that Power Tool of Gloria’s, and I’m gonna, I’m gonna implement today with one of them.”

[00:30:52] Gloria: Absolutely. Absolutely. So they break down into three buckets. And actually both the 9 Leadership Power Tools and the 9 Leadership Intentioning Tools serendipitously break down into these same three buckets.

The first bucket is the self-definitional tools. I find that great leaders know themselves and they show themselves. And so those self-definitional tools are the ones that get you to know your history. Where did you come from? What did you learn from your family? What influenced you to become the person that you are? That sort of thing.

The second one is to understand, and I think that this is one that if I could give women one power tool-

[00:31:38] Tina: Here it comes.

[00:31:38] Gloria: The one that I think they should have, which is define your own terms first before someone else defines you because we will all be defined. How much better is it that we define ourselves? What do we want the world to think about us? What do we want to be known for? What are the words we want people to use when they describe us? We are the ones who get to decide that, but we don’t get socialized to know that.

So I think that’s a power tool that we can all implement today. And that is simply thinking about it, okay, as I think about what I say, what I say to people, what I write in my emails-

I am always editing my emails, I gotta tell you because I am like I can see in my language that I give away my power by how I speak very often and how I write. So I literally go back over my emails and attempt to make sure that I am speaking in simple declarative sentences. I am being clear, I’m, you know, being specific and I’m not being passive aggressive as I think I know my mother was socialized to be.

You gotta tell people what you want. You gotta tell people what you want them to think about you, or they are going to define you. And if you were a lawyer, you would know that she who sets the agenda is the person who’s gonna win that case, right?

So, I think that power tool, if I were to give one to women and say, use this starting today, cuz you don’t need any fancy training for it. It’s just about thinking about how you want to be presented to the world. And then use that, say those words.

You know, if you look at our website, I don’t know if you, I mean, Carla Harris is one of my heroes in this world. She is an executive with Morgan Stanley, and she’s probably the best speaker I’ve ever heard in my life.

But she tells this story about how as a black woman on Wall Street, she had many different biases she had to overcome and that when she first started in her career, she heard that people were saying they didn’t think that she had the necessary toughness to be successful in a really tough career. And she said, “For one month, I walked around. I talked tough. I walked tough. I said tough.” And she said, “You know, after that one month, everybody was saying, ‘You know that Carla? She is one tough lady.'”

Yeah.

[00:34:08] Tina: That’s so funny. I love what you’re saying about words because, you know, my career started as a freelance copywriter, marketing strategist, and I still have copywriting programs. But I always say it’s so much more than headlines and bullet points. You know, it’s the power of the words, the intentionality of the words we say to ourselves, the words we say to our clients, the words we put out there into the world. And I talk about three levels of power with your words, right?

And so what you’re saying just resonates. It just hits my heart directly because we spend so much time saying words to ourselves that build in limitation. We argue for our limitations in our own heads, right?

[00:34:45] Gloria: Right. Right.

[00:34:46] Tina: So when you talk about we have to think differently, that’s one of the- What do you think about thinking differently that way? Because I feel like it’s such an essential aspect.

[00:34:53] Gloria: Well, it’s just a matter of being aware, you know, being aware, being aware of it, and being aware of the fact that we, women, tend to apologize a lot and we’ll often start off a sentence with, I’m sorry or I didn’t really mean-

Well, men wouldn’t do that. He’d just say, “Yeah.” You know, if he made a mistake, he would just move on. This is, you know, this is fine. And so, these are little things that you can be aware of.

I use the word probably and the word just too much. And I’m always trying to leach those words out of my sentences because they give away your power. They are limiting.

And then I started off by telling you the three buckets, but I only told you one of the buckets. So the second bucket is the counterintuitive power tools.

[00:35:40] Tina: Oh, okay.

[00:35:40] Gloria: Now these are totally ones that you will understand that I learned from leading arguably one of the most controversial organizations in the world.

And what I learned was that these things we have been told not to do actually are, if you do them, they are phenomenal leadership skills. One of them is, for example, learning to embrace conflict and controversy as opportunities for teaching, opportunities to actually get to a better idea. If you can get all of your differences out on the table, very often, the result is a better idea than either one of you had.

So you can’t get to innovation if you’re not willing to have to embrace controversy and a little chaos. And so, that’s the second bucket.

And then the third bucket is the change leadership, the change leadership tools. And these are the tools that enable you to really take those leadership skills and use them for yourself to be sure, but also to understand it’s not just about you. And each of us is part of a community, city, whatever it might be. We’re part of a group that we have an obligation to. And whether it’s your family or whether it’s, you know, in my case, it’s been women’s equality, I believe that as women, we have a responsibility to bring along the next woman so she doesn’t have to go through all the stuff we had to go through.

And so, those are three different buckets of the power tools and the leadership intentioning tools that taken together then form a cohesive leadership strategy.

[00:37:20] Tina: Wow. It sounds super powerful and especially, I mean, I find my little trepidation starting over the second bucket because I think it’s so easy to shy away from anything that’s polarizing, not wanting to be controversial, having to deal with, you know, now on social media. I mean, you know, you can just be assaulted from a million different directions with people’s opinions, you know? And so developing that second bucket, the muscle to lift that second bucket might be one of the heavier buckets for some of us.

[00:37:47] Gloria: It is.

[00:37:47] Tina: I would say probably, could be, just. I’m gonna hear myself when you said that of how many times do I say that?

You know, so that becoming aware, and it’s not like you’re instantly gonna change every way you’ve ever thought of a thought, right? But if you are aware and even taking a few minutes to rethink it in a more productive, positive, empowering way for yourself, I think that’s a good place for people to start as well with that, right?

[00:38:12] Gloria: Yeah. Absolutely. Absolutely.

[00:38:13] Tina: Well, I just love the work you’re doing. I love the energy you bring to it. I love the limitless potential that isn’t like, “Well, because of this date on the calendar, therefore I can no longer.” It’s more, “I choose this. I make a decision for this. This is what I embrace as my future.” And that’s what I see you doing in absolute 3D technicolor, full blast. I mean, just all of it.

So I’m so honored to have you here today, and I’ve just really enjoyed this conversation. And could you tell people how they can find you and where they can find out more about your program?

[00:38:41] Gloria: Yes, absolutely. Thank you for that opportunity. So my personal website is gloriafeldt.com. So that’s easy to remember. You have to remember that there’s a D in Feldt and you don’t hear it. So that is the one thing, F-E-L-D-T. I use my name on all my social media because otherwise, I’d forget what cute handle I’d created, you know. I’m just who I am. And so that’s me. Take the Lead is taketheleadwomen.com. Taketheleadwomen.com and we are either TakeTheLeadWomen on social media, or we are, depending upon how many characters they give you, like on Twitter and Instagram, we are TakeLeadWomen, otherwise we couldn’t have it any way. So they only give you that many characters.

So I really encourage people to connect with us. We have a great newsletter, an award-winning newsletter, I might say, as ranked as one of the top business newsletters in blogs for women.

And so you can sign up for that. It’s perfectly free. We also have a lot of free downloadable materials on our website taketheleadwomen.com that we encourage people to access, and we just wanna stay in touch.

[00:39:52] Tina: Absolutely. And you’re such a good writer. Your blog posts are really interesting. So I really encourage everyone, take the lead for yourself and find Gloria Feldt with a D on social media.

If nothing else, they’ll find you that way, and that’ll lead to everything else. All roads lead to Gloria Feldt.

[00:40:07] Gloria: That’s right.

[00:40:09] Tina: Thanks so much for being here today, Gloria. I look forward to having another conversation with you one day soon.

[00:40:14] Gloria: Tina, it’s been a great pleasure. We obviously are very well aligned, so it’s been fun. Thank you.

[00:40:19] Tina: I have one last thing though. Have you figured out how to use that-

[00:40:23] Gloria: The air fryer? Well, so the good news is I didn’t blow up the house-

[00:40:29] Tina: Okay.

[00:40:31] Gloria: -when I used it because it kept looking like it was using the microwave, but I finally figured out that it warms the thing up with the microwave and then it flips over into air fryer.

[00:40:42] Tina: So you’ll probably get air fryer recipes along with other requests.

[00:40:46] Gloria: Well, it’s like, you know, these are- This is where I guess our age does begin to show. That’s right. Like these gadgets that you have to learn, but you know what? We’re old dogs, but we can learn new tricks, right?

[00:40:56] Tina: Totally.

[00:40:57] Gloria: Okay. All right. Okay. You take care, Tina.

Copyright 2023 Tina Lorenz

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