A Changemaker Chat with Barb Williams Hardy: You are beautifully and wonderfully you
With a little red in her hair, Barb showed us to stay true to ourselves, proving to the world that despite being a corporate powerhouse, she is fun-loving with a spicy kick as well. Here are just a few of the many powerful lessons we learned from Barb:
Life happens. The passing of Barb’s mom at an early age caused her to pause and begin her growth. Barb acknowledged that while life happens to all of us, we all hold resilience within us. Whatever happens that causes us to pause can sometimes become the catalyst of our growth. Barb urged us to learn, get curious, stay curious, and ultimately “die empty”.
Get comfortable being uncomfortable. That’s where we grow. If you’re starting to get comfortable, that’s a sign that it is time for a change. Do it afraid! Your purpose is in you and waiting to move you forward in your destiny.
Work smart, not hard. Not all decisions are made in the office, and relationships matter. It’s less about who you know, and more about who knows you. Build trust, advocate for yourself, and act with integrity– people do business with people they like.
Be a champion for other women. If it makes sense, have a pre-meeting meeting to discuss how you’ll support each other. For example, if you notice you’re being interrupted frequently in a meeting, find someone who will advocate for you and call it out. Additionally, if someone asks you to be the notetaker, politely decline by saying “Great idea, why don’t we take turns?” Delivery matters. Know how you show up.
Ask for what you want, and always have a Plan B. Know how to show up. Show up prepared, be scared, but do it. Advocate for yourself like you would for your best friend. If you want something, you already know you deserve it and are more than likely to get it. If you don’t happen to get it, be flexible and move to Plan B.
Expand your tribe. This is Barb’s key piece of advice to advance diversity in your personal and professional life. We learn best from others, so go to lunch with someone who doesn’t look or think like you. Become more self-aware and cognizant of your implicit biases. Not sure what they are yet? Take the Implicit Bias Test designed by Harvard University to understand these subconscious biases.
Be your own best friend. When deciding to lean in or hold back, be self-aware and good to yourself. Sometimes, you can’t do it all. At times, you’ll need to stop and be comfortable with saying no. Do your personal best and know that it’s okay for your best to change. Don’t tear yourself down if today’s 100% is different than yesterday.
We live in a land of abundance, and we can all win. Barb wrapped up our Chat with us all standing in a powerful pose and stating: “I am powerful. I am loving. I am confident. I am able.” Give this a try the next time you need a power-boost before an interview, negotiation, or big meeting.
Want to stay connected to Barb, her work, and her wisdom? Here are a few ways: