Lead With Impact: How To Speak Up And Be Heard

Social media has given everyone a platform, but it also allows people to remain anonymous. The Washington Speakers Bureau has launched the #SpeechMoves movement as a reminder that what you say matters, regardless of where you say it. Thought leaders inside the Girls’ Lounge at SXSW 2018 reflect on the power of communication. In this unplugged discussion, thought leaders Platon, World-Renowned Photographer and Master Storyteller; Shelley Zalis, CEO, The Female Quotient; Kat Cole, COO and President North America, FOCUS Brands, Inc. and Joanna Coles, Chief Content Officer, Hearst Magazines use their voices to impact change—and inspire you to do the same.
What is leadership?
“Leadership means watching and asking, and then speaking up and believing that even if you don’t have all the answers, you can be a part of the answer.”
~Kat Cole
“Leadership to me is not about one who motivates, but it’s one who inspires others to join together.”
~Shelley Zalis
What does the feminine style of leadership look like?
“The feminine side of leadership is bringing forward the power of attributes such as care and heart and belonging and warmth. And sometimes that means radical candor and radical action, but through heart and care.”
~Kat Cole

#SpeechMoves panel discussion in the Girls' Lounge at SXSW 2018.

#SpeechMoves panel discussion in the Girls’ Lounge at SXSW 2018

What do you think makes a successful leader today?
“It’s about the golden rule: Treat others as you would like to be treated. And I think we need more of that in the world. I think that we need to treat one another like humans with respect, with compassion, with feminine qualities of leadership, which are empathy and compassion and nurturing and giving back with generosity.”
~Shelley Zalis
How do you think the digital age is impacting people?
“The Statue of Liberty is 302 feet tall and that’s the average amount of material that people scroll through on their screens every day. You can imagine how much material you’re going through, and how much you’re actually absorbing.”
~Joanna Coles
“You can communicate through mobile devices, but you can’t create compassion.  What we need is that human interaction and that experiential involvement. We can connect on social media, but never underestimate the power of being together and having that conversation human to human.”
~Shelley Zalis
How did you own your destiny?
“I always felt and thought differently. I was the only female CEO in the top 25 in market research my entire career. I did not get to where I am by being the same as everyone else. I got to where I am by being different. I wasn’t the popular voice necessarily, but I had no choice but to follow my heart and be who I am because I couldn’t be any other way. I created the uncorporate rules because the corporate rules didn’t work for me and I had to make new rules. But it did require being bold and being brave.”
~Shelley Zalis
Joanna Coles talking about the power of speech in the Girls' Lounge at SXSW 2018.

Joanna Coles talking about the power of speech in the Girls’ Lounge at SXSW 2018.

What advice would you give to the next generation?
“Own your strength, follow your heart, break some rules, create some magic, and make that the new norm.”
~Shelley Zalis
“You have permission to evolve. You have permission to change. You do not have to view your roots as your anchor. Just because you were one way yesterday or today does not mean you are bound by it and must be defined by it tomorrow. Give yourself permission to change and evolve.”
~Kat Cole
“Step forward and use your voice. Yes, there are risks involved and you are exposed. It takes courage, but dare to step out because you are strong enough to take those hits.”
How are you using your voice to create change? Let us know @wearetfq. Let’s stand up, stand out and stand together!