Are You Ready to Answer the Most Important Question for the Rest of Your Life?
Issue 178 — September 20, 2021
On a spectacular Arizona day in late January, 2020, a day when you can be lulled into thinking all’s right with the world, I was hiking with a friend. Then boom! I tripped on an unseen pebble, put my hand out to catch myself and knew immediately from the snap and the pain that I had broken my wrist. The first broken bone I’d ever had.
It’s never the mountains that trip you up. It’s the pebbles on the path.
Within 6 weeks, I realized I should have seen it as an omen. The year of broken bones I called it. Broken almost everything. More like two years now. And when will it stop?
You’ve been through a difficult time of so much loss and grief. We all have.
A tiny coronavirus tripped us up. Ground us to a halt. Changed so much about how we see the world and each other. Maybe it changed how you envision your career and life from now on.
So there’s no better time to answer a question that prompted me to write my new book, Intentioning: Sex, Power, Pandemics, and How Women Will Take The Lead for (Everyone’s) Good.
[Spoiler alert! Intentioning will hit online and brick and mortar bookstores September 28. I am Intentioning — asking you straight out to help me get its benefits to yourself and all women by preordering it today.]
This is without question the #1 question you need to answer to be in the driver’s seat for the rest of your life, not the backseat wondering where life is going to take you next.
Your power TO WHAT?
What does that mean? Here’s the backstory.
I started writing Intentioning well before Covid-19 reared its ugly head. I interviewed over a dozen women whose stories form the basis for a new set of leadership tools to build on the 9 I shared in my last book, No Excuses: 9 Ways Women Can Change How We Think About Power.
In No Excuses, I explored women’s culturally learned relationships with power. I realized it’s why women hadn’t reached parity in leadership of any sector despite all we’d done to open doors and change laws. So much female potential was not being realized.
So I offered women a different idea about power than the oppressive narrative of history that’s all about fighting and wars and the assumption of scarce resources. I shifted the paradigm to the expansive, creative, generative, abundant idea of power TO. And over and over women would say, “I want that kind of power.”
I then cofounded Take The Lead with a comprehensive program of training, coaching, role models, and thought leadership in order to move the dial, so long stuck at under 20%, to gender parity in leadership. I saw results women most often call “life changing.”
Then I realized the necessary next step is to ask, “power TO WHAT?”
How am I going to use my power now that I know I have it?
And that’s the question I wrote Intentioning to help you answer for yourself.
The #1 question that will enable you to clarify your intentions and have the skills and tools to reach them.
I made “intentioning” an active verb from the noun intention to signal action not mere ambition, or wishing or thinking about it.
Identifying and getting what you want out of life can seem like a daunting task, even more now, when you’re uncertain about how long you’ll be working from home, whether your children will be safe, and if your job will exist at all. And I’ve learned it isn’t automatic that you’ll want to walk through an open door or even see it as a possibility. You may feel ignored or not respected. You may fear you’ll be passed over for a promotion at work, worry that it’s too late to start over when your profession or company changes, or that for whatever reason you’re not good enough.
This doesn’t have to be how you live your life and I don’t want it to be that way for you.
Yes, the COVID-19 pandemic and another pandemic of racial injustice created huge disruptions in every part of our economy and social structures.
And I tell you, that is a good thing.
We are in a season of disruption. We are in a season of rebirth. The two have much in common.
Disruptions of this magnitude are the best opportunity we will ever have to make long needed structural changes. Because when the world is in chaos, people have to think differently to survive. Ideas that wouldn’t have been considered become solutions.
So I wrote this book to help you answer that #1 question for yourself: the power TO What?
— to help you and all women of all diversities and intersectionalities aim higher and succeed by embracing their power to clarify then elevate intentions for leadership in a disrupted world
— to show how racism and sexism are tied together, and how to make DEI actually work in your company
— how and why it’s beneficial to lead like a woman
— to provide 9 Leadership Intentioning Tools — your step by step guide and coach to help you thrive in the world as it is while changing it for good — your good, the good of everyone, and forever
— to alert you to 81 power demons, those pebbles in the road that can trip you up, so you can avoid stumbling over them
— to engage men as partners for parity
— and together to create a movement for racial and gender parity in leadership by 2025.
Preorder Intentioning today, then hop over to my website and get my free workbook that accompanies the book and will help you answer your #1 question and then make a plan to achieve your highest and best intentions.
GLORIA FELDT is the Cofounder and President of Take The Lead, a motivational speaker and expert women’s leadership developer for companies that want to build gender balance, and a bestselling author of five books, most recently Intentioning: Sex, Power, Pandemics, and How Women Will Take The Lead for (Everyone’s) Good. Former President of Planned Parenthood Federation of America, she teaches “Women, Power, and Leadership” at Arizona State University and is a frequent media commentator. Learn more at www.gloriafeldt.com and www.taketheleadwomen.com. Tweet Gloria Feldt.