Category Archives: Leadership

Sheryl Sandberg and the Value of Sharing Your Story

Sheryl Sandberg‘s book Option B gives us some great insight on the value of sharing and listening to each other‘s stories as a way to learn from one another Today’s post was written by Amy Fenollosa, Director of Learning at The Latimer Group.

The media maelstrom around Sheryl Sandberg’s latest book, Option B: Facing Adversity, Building Resilience, and Finding Joy stirred up almost as much public attention as it did emotion for me. First a friend sent me the link to a television interview, and then I heard a story on NPR, next it popped up in my Facebook feed. I ordered it immediately.

I’ve followed Sheryl Sandberg’s career since Lean In was published in 2013. When I heard the news that she suddenly lost her husband in 2015, I felt her agony. My connection to Sheryl Sandberg was instant and intense. I too, lost my husband when he was in his 40s. My children, like hers, lost their father when they were in 2nd and 4th grades.

Sheryl bravely described her loss and grief publicly, first on Facebook and then in Option B. She called attention to something so universal that it affects everyone in some way, at some time in their lives. Sandberg’s sage, practical guide offers help for those who are grieving and those whose lives touch them. Which means, of course, everyone.

Sandberg weaves her own narrative and the stories of other people who have had extraordinary life experiences to show the myriad of losses that human beings endure and can overcome. We learn of other people’s experiences, their struggles and their victories. We learn the ways that they find light and hope in times of unbearable sadness. We learn resilience.

By sharing her story in Option B Sandberg has started a dialogue around resilience and loss. I’m hopeful that she’s also starting a movement for storytelling. Storytelling allows us to be empathetic, to slow down and listen to one another. In an interview published in the New York Times, she was asked: “Is there hope in sharing our deepest stories?”

I’ve thought about this a lot… we need to create areas to come together, where we can be there for each other.”

Since my husband passed away after a long battle with cancer, I’ve committed myself to creating a community for other families. I founded a non-profit that helps children who are living with a critically ill parent learn to share their stories. We empower kids to express themselves through creative arts. Families come together as part of a community of others who are living similar experiences.  My goal is to help families find solace in communities and help one another through listening to each other.

I’m grateful to Sheryl Sandberg for sharing her story and exposing her grief. She’s a leader modeling the power of storytelling to help build human connections, even in business environments. One of my favorite classes to teach at The Latimer Group involves storytelling. We all have a story — those stories are poignant, captivating and inspiring. We each have something to share. Learn by sharing stories. Learn by listening. You’ll be a better leader because of it.

At The Latimer Group, our individual Coaching services are highly customized and designed to help you achieve your specific goals. Typical engagements focus on developing skill sets in Leadership Communications, Public Speaking, and Executive-Level Business Presentations. To learn more, e-mail us at info@TheLatimerGroup.com
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Kathrine Switzer and the Boston Marathon: A Lesson in Empowerment

Today’s post was written by Amy Fenollosa, Director of Learning at The Latimer Group. This week was the 121st running of the Boston Marathon. Boston is unlike any other marathon; the course, the crowds, and its history make it unique. This year was especially significant– it was the 50th anniversary of the first woman to… Continue Reading

4 Communication Missteps Men Make in the Workplace

Earlier today, I had a LinkedIn conversation with a good friend named Bryan, who also happens to be a member of Latimer’s Board of Advisors. Bryan had read a recent blog post of ours about the language mistakes some women make in the workplace. And Bryan’s request and challenge to me was now to write… Continue Reading

Be the Fearless Girl. Stare Down the Bull!

Today’s post was written by Amy Fenollosa, Director of Learning at The Latimer Group. State Street Global Advisors pulled off a brilliant coup with its surprise installation of the “Fearless Girl” on Wednesday morning to acknowledge International Women’s Day. State Street has been advocating to increase the number of women in leadership roles and sitting on… Continue Reading

Petulance, Parenting, and the President

Earlier this morning, I was thinking about the way I coach clients. My colleagues and I always preach the important of message AND delivery. Message matters, first and foremost. But the way in which the message is delivered has a huge impact on the way the message is received. And then on my drive into… Continue Reading

Leadership Tips: When to Debate, When to Dictate

I’m working with an executive right now who has an interesting and engaging leadership style. He likes to collaborate, he likes dialogue, he wants to hear what people have to say. He allows lots of input, and seems to detest strict hierarchy. I like this style, actually, because it is similar to my own. But… Continue Reading

Parenting, Professionalism, Principles, and Personal Accountability

(Note: This post was originally published in June of 2016, but as many people are setting new goals for a new year, we thought it was worth revisiting. Enjoy!) My wife and I were recently organizing a box of keepsakes we have been collecting over the last few years. Birth announcements, first report cards, self… Continue Reading

How to Gain Mindshare in 2017

It’s hard to get people to pay attention any more. A lot of people believe that attention spans are shrinking. But regardless whether they are or not, here is an undeniable fact: there is exponentially more competition for mindshare and attention than ever before. So the net effect is the same — because there is… Continue Reading

Election Commentary: Our Most Toxic Issue

My colleagues and I have a long-standing policy with this blog… no politics. We have clients and friends who sit on both sides of the political divide, and this blog is about business, not politics. Given the current state of US politics, it is almost impossible to address issues without offending SOMEONE. But our business… Continue Reading

What Is Your Superpower?

I have written here on many other occasions that leadership and team lessons can come from anywhere. It is always great to find some little nugget of wisdom and apply it to other facets of your life. And it is especially profound when that little nugget comes in the most innocent of ways… a passing… Continue Reading

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