Incito Leadership and Executive Coaching


WXN Leadership Summit: Powerful Learning from Powerful Women


Last week, I had the opportunity to be inspired by a number of Canada’s Top 100 most powerful women leaders at the WXN Top 100 Leadership Summit in Calgary. I want to share some of the great wisdom from those leaders with you. Each of these inspirational leaders told their personal leadership stories that included insights about their lives at work and away from work. What they shared was awe-inspiring and yet the story of ordinary women making courageous choices. I invite you to learn more about each of their experiences and lessons, and be inspired.

I’m going to share with you many learnings from the Summit. The two key leadership takeaways for me are: Shine a light on someone and push yourself to say yes to things that scare you. These two messages showed up regularly as a theme through all of the speakers.

Andrea Robertson – CEO & President of Stars Air Ambulance

“Sometimes it is the people that no one thinks anything of that do the things that no one can imagine.” ~ Movie: The Imitation Game

  • Someone extraordinary has come up with each of the advances in the world. Did they come from those you expected? Maybe not.
  • Shine a light on someone and imagine what they could do, if given the opportunity. This is what others did for me over and over again.

Big lessons come from the most challenging moments in life and career

  • I received hard feedback that as a leader that was tough to hear. From this I got more curious and from that day forward I worked hard on developing the skills to show up in that area.

4 phrases courageous leaders say:

  • I was wrong
  • I’m sorry
  • I don’t know
  • I need help

3 things a leader needs to be:

  • Translator – Be clear and help others understand where we’re going and how to measure success
  • Hungry – Be curious, not just driven
  • Connector – Help people be courageous together

Sara Austin – Director, President’s Office, World Vision Canada

“If you are what you should be, you will set the world on fire.” ~ St. Catherine of Siena

Key Leadership Lessons:

  • Say YES more often
  • Be prepared for bad news, to forge unlikely alliances and for the long haul
  • Give it everything you got
  • Give yourself permission to enjoy the ride

Una Power – CFO Nexen Energy ULC

Boost your confidence not just competence

  • Talk about your achievements and explain why you should get the assignment or role
  • Be bold, look for the stretch to build new skills

Develop bench strength at work and at home.

  • Create your support team for all areas and a pool of diverse ideas

Stay in the game

  • Do what is important to you now, your career will always be there for you.
  • Don’t abandon your career. Your kids will leave you one day.

Nazanin Afshin-Jam MacKay – Founder The Nazanin Foundation & Co-Founder Stop Child Executions

  • Each and every one of use has the capacity to create great change and even save a life
  • Drown out the negative voices
  • Failures are transitions and learning experiences
  • Don’t underestimate your gut intuition

Each of these women are brave and inspiring. I encourage you to connect with them online and learn more about their stories.

My leadership call to you is this:

Find someone in life to shine a light on and commit to yourself to saying YES to the next opportunity that excites but scares you!

LeadershipJenn Lofgren