Timeless Leadership: A WXN event recap

WXNOnce again, this past February 11th, the Women Executive Network’s Ottawa group of ladies met for conversation high above the city in the historic and beautiful Rideau Club. The topic for the day: Timeless leadership. In times that celebrate innovation and advancement, what aspects of leadership remain core values? What elements are timeless?

To answer those questions, we had the pleasure of engaging with Yaprak Baltacıoğlu, Secretary of the Treasury Board, Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat and 2014 Top 100 Award Winner; Nancy Peckford, executive director of Equal Voice: Electing More Women in Canada and 2014 Top 100 Award Winner; and the conversation was hosted by Karen Meades, President of Ottawa Health Services Network and a 2005, 2010, 2012 Top 100 Award Winner.

Listening to the panel conversation, we were truly thrilled to hear the conversation move towards honouring core values. Many of the elements of timeless leadership reflected several of our own SQ themes, including Standing up for what you believe, being courageous, authenticity and humility.

Here are some of the outstanding takeaways from the morning’s even around timeless leadership:

If you want to go forward, you need to bring your whole team.

  • Have clarity of direction. If you are confused at the top, then the whole organization gets confused.
  • Confidence is the little sister of courage.
  • Your confidence has to reside inside you, your humility has to surround you.
  • Be yourself, if you have empathy, have softer skills, those are amazing things in organizations. You can be glamorous and be caring, and still do well if that’s what you want.
  • There are moments when you can’t be the ‘good girl’ and you need to stand up for your core values.
  • The difference between getting from here to there in goals, is taking that risk and exiting our comfort zones.
  • In advocating for women’s leadership, don’t only focus on the barriers, be sure to highlight the opportunities.

And I will leave you with this quote from Yaprak Baltacıoğlu: “I never really think of myself as a ‘women’ leader; I am a leader.”


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