C-Suite Meet with Laura Maness Event Recap - She Runs It
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C-Suite Meet with Laura Maness Event Recap

By AlysonCarney

Written by: Courtney Cunningham, WarnerMedia

In the era of Lean In, there’s no shortage to the message of well, “lean in”, among the media landscape. Some would say however that there has been a disproportionate amount of tools and actionable insights available to match that encouraging message of lean in. Joan Kuhl, author of Dig Your Heels In, wants to change that. Committed to helping women advance in business by not only inspiring them but also arming them to successfully go after what they want professionally and personally, Joan outlines through three parts in her book ways that women and members of She Runs It can do just that. At She Runs It’s C-Suite breakfast on Thursday, August 8, Joan discussed the tenets of Dig Your Heels In by spotlighting a prime exemplary woman: Laura Maness, (first woman) CEO of Havas NY.

Two of the most important characteristics Laura discussed that she’s found imperative to tangibly digging her heels in: grit and endurance. There will constantly be things at work that stress you, and unfortunately, chances are, you will run into bias. So you must figure out what your inner fire is – determine what invigorates you, AND surround yourself with relationships that matter. Because there will be challenges, there will be failures, and there can be loss but it’s how you get up and face what’s next. It’s a continuous journey that we have professionally and personally; not one moment of make or break to decide to dig your heels in. And it’s turning to meaningful peer relationships, mentors and sponsors to remind us that ‘you got this,’ to keep going, and to make your voice impactful in the right way at your workplace to sooner reach the C-Suite.

So many of us often seek balance along these journeys, yet is it something we as women should really chase? Is seeking balance adding to the stress and day-to-day challenges we often face? I encourage each of you reading this to consider a fresh perspective that Laura brought to the forefront: work-life integration rather than work-life balance. As she stated at the C-Suite Breakfast, “I don’t chase balance, I chase presence. It’s not about work life balance, it’s about work life integration. Whatever you are doing – be totally there.” Choose to be whole-hearted.

At the end of the day, we’re all just people in buildings. The thing that sets us apart is culture. Laura and Joan encouraged all to think about that moving forward. Think about how to be more than just people in buildings: find ways to affect meaning & culture in your workplace, set your own conditions through small hacks, be present, be you by indulging in your own authenticity, and dig your heels in. Because as Laura highlighted, “to lead is how to be, not just how to do.”