20 Motivating Thoughts from Women Business Executives

I recently had the good fortune to be the only guy at dinner with 78 dynamic women.  

I helped arrange pro bono PR support for Camp CEO, sponsored by the Girl Scouts of Greater Chicago and Northwest Indiana, so they invited me to the group’s reunion dinner where high school and college-age young women reunited with C-suite executives who went to camp with them over the past three summers.  It’s an amazing program, and the women PR volunteers were so inspired that they already have signed on again for next year.

Girl Scout Board Member and Camp CEO chair Mary Lee Montague, EVP for the executive recruiting firm DHR International, is so passionate about the program that she has agreed to chair the week-long camp for the fourth year in a row.  Camp CEO helps young women better understand and navigate the business world. 

Mary Lee closed the dinner by unsealing a list of top-of-mind “words of wisdom” that had been shared by the executive women while participating in this year’s camp program called “Dreaming Your Future”.  These short phrases are motivational for everyone, not just Girl Scouts:

  • You don’t always know what you want to be when you grow up until you get there.
  • Have the courage to make the change.
  • Move to new places…a wonderful world out there!
  • Be a good listener.
  • Have the courage to stand alone.
  • Whatever you do be the best at it you can be.
  • Leadership is…the ability to bring the best out of people.
  • Create the Unexpected.
  • Find your passion in life.
  • What will you do to bring hope to others?
  • You can have everything but not all at the same time.
  • Find your voice.
  • If you come to a bump in the road don’t make it a mountain.
  • Treat people with respect; Tell them the truth.
  • Consistently challenge yourself.
  • You may have to reinvent yourself.
  • Partnering is key.
  • Leading is not about being the boss…it’s about having people follow you.
  • Get away from people who don’t believe in you.
  • Show up on time!

3 comments on this post.
  1. Judy Gombita:

    Ron, I want to congratulate you on not only attending an event where you were the only male amongst 78 “dynamic” women, but also on appearing to enjoy and benefit from the experience. Thanks for turning it into a blog post, so the rest of us can receive the collective wisdrom.

    In Toronto we are blessed with a “mentoring, networking and building a personal community” phenomenonom, who goes by the name of Dennie Theodore. She’s also an inspiration to many women (and some lucky men) with her Similar Circles networking events.

    The most recent one was held last week, and was sponsored by the Rotman School of Management’s (University of Toronto) Initiative for Women in Business program, where a new group of women (Rotman MBA graduates or students) became introduced to (and in awe of) Dennie’s inspirational speaking and networking abilities.

    I’ve sent a link to your post to Dennie and some of the other attendees, as well as to many of my savvy female (and male) colleagues.

    Also, you may be interested in reading Dennie’s blog: http://similarcircles.blogspot.com/. It’s serving as a musing platform and whiteboard for her upcoming book.


  2. dennie:

    What an inspiring and terrific program. Does anyone know if there’s something similar in Canada?

    (I used to be a Girl Guide… maybe there was something redeeming about my teen years…)

  3. Culpwrit:

    Mary Lee Montague provided the following response to Dennie’s question:

    “The Camp CEO program is not a nationally driven initiative but a local, per council program. At this point I am aware of a handful of other Camp CEO programs including Arizona and Washington D.C. I would recommend you contact your local Girl Guides and volunteer to lead a committee to start your own Camp CEO! That is how the Chicago program started.”

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