Blown Away.

Issue 114 — November 25, 2019

If you weren’t in this “room where it happened,” you’ll definitely want to be there next year. I’m talking about the World Woman Summit where I had the honor of being the opening keynote last week. But it almost didn’t happen, for me at least.

I received an email from Rupa Dash several months ago saying she wanted me to headline the conference and receive their Leader of the Year award. I’d never met Rupa nor had I heard of her Summit. There are so many “summits” these days. And so many women’s conferences.

Plus this one was to be in Little Rock, Arkansas, for heavens sakes. An unlikely location for a conference dubbed “World Woman.” Though the Clinton Presidential Library did strike me as an interesting venue. I’d never been there. Still, I limit my travel for speaking and furthermore it’s not easy to get to Little Rock.

At first I didn’t reply. Rupa contacted me again. I began to have a glimmer of what an intentional woman she is. I still didn’t reply. I asked Jennefer Witter, Take The Lead’s public relations consultant, to check her and the conference out. She gave me the thumbs up.

Still skeptical, I asked many questions and then followed my own advice in these situations: when in doubt about an opportunity, the right answer is usually yes. Unlike Warren Buffett, who advises people to say no to most things, I have generally found that saying yes to unexpected opportunities has resulted in most of my career advances and best personal experiences. (I admit Buffett has a lot more money than I do, so there’s that to consider.)

World Woman Foundation founder (and very intentional woman) Rupa Dash and me.

I’m writing this column on the plane returning from the World Woman Summit. “Be an Intentional Woman” turns out to be the title of the speech I gave. It fit right in with the conference theme: redefining the rules.

My opening keynote: ”Intentional Woman: Be Bold and Carry Out!” It’s good to be the first speaker because then I could relax and enjoy the rest of the conference fully.

I met many intentional women who are leaders in Arkansas and around the globe solving humanity’s biggest problems. They are redefining the rules on everything from nutrition and women’s healthcare to business and technology to leadership in all its permutations. They are definitely women you should know.

And I saw that Rupa has a very big vision. I love big visions. Vision is the first of the three essential powers of intention. It all starts there. As Steve Jobs said, “The people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world are the ones who do.”

Here are a few more highlights:

The Arkansas River from my hotel window in Little Rock — chosen as a location because it’s in the American heartland. My Southern drawl came right back to me. Yes ma’am.
L-R: Andrea Phua — Ambassador from Singapore, me, Rupa Dash, Nydia Han — 6ABC television host, Laura Elsey — President of Women’s Diplomatic Series.

In the spirit of Thanksgiving, I am exceedingly grateful for Rupa and the World Woman Summit. I wish you all the happiest Thanksgiving and the fruition of your biggest, boldest intention.

PS. As a Thanksgiving extra, take a listen to this week’s podcast episode 020, “Giving Back With Gratitude: Making a Difference.”

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 four books, most recently No Excuses: 9 Ways Women Can Change How We Think About Power. 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 and Tweet @GloriaFeldt.



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Gloria Feldt

Gloria Feldt


Gloria Feldt is a New York Times bestselling author and co-founder and president of Take The Lead, a nonprofit women’s leadership organization.