I was recently invited by Lyn St. James to be the opening key note speaker at the Women with Drive II conference held at Charlotte Motor Speedway. Lyn, the first woman selected as Indianapolis 500 Rookie of the Year, and I met 23 years ago at a Women’s Sports Foundation dinner in NYC. Although Lyn didn’t know anything about sailing and I didn’t know anything about racing cars, we had mutual respect for the excellence we each pursued in our respective sports. This is where our conversation started about creating pathways to advancement for women to reach the highest echelons of competition in each of our sports.
As a coach, mentor and speaker, Lyn has worked tirelessly for more than 30 years to create opportunities for and develop women drivers. Through the Lyn St. James Foundation— setting up clinics, raising sponsorships and promoting young drivers– she has changed the way decision-makers value women behind the wheel and in all areas of the motorsport industry. In 2021 she founded WIMNA (Women in Motorsports North America) with Beth Paretta, CEO/ Team Owner Paretta Autosport to foster mentorship, advocacy, education and growth for women in the motorsport industry.
Lyn St. James at Women with Drive II
You Can’t Be What You Can’t See…
One of the most resonate topics with this audience was the “3-legged stool” concept that I call SEA, necessary for girls and women to excel at anything.
SEE: Possibility and inspiration in others that look like you.
EQUIP/EXPERIENCE: Consistent development and pursuit of excellence
ACCESS/ ALLIES: Enablers for inclusion, participation and competition.
By building bridges at events like WWDII, we create opportunities to learn from one another. The exuberant energy in the room validated for me the power of seeing women excel at the highest level. As we work together to increase women behind the wheel, on the water and in the boardroom, it’s encouraging to see how much we have in common.– LLB
On the 85th anniversary of Martin Luther King’s birthday, Fast Company looks behind the legend to the man, to highlight four attributes that profoundly contributed to his effectiveness as a transformative leader. MLK was extremely intentional about everything he did and said. In order to be effective in our intentionality – we must commit ourselves to constant self examination so that we can choose the best path as a leader.
1) Emotional Agility
Being aware enough of your emotions, and then choosing a response rather than reacting. What level of emotional agility do you possess – especially with the emotions of anger, confusion or fear? We will write on this more here at Courageous Thinking
2) Systems Thinking
We often focus too much on winning the battle, and lose sight of the war. No one thing creates sustainable change. It must occur within a system. What is the change we want to make? What is the larger system we need to effect, and work in, in order to make that change?
3) Occupy DC
To change a system, it takes a combination of critical mass and changing policy. MLK knew that DC was the platform he needed in order to cast his ‘Dream’. What platform do you need in order to create the change you are committed to?
It is scientifically proven that laughter creates positive physiological effects in addition to relational healing and fostering increased creative thinking. Where can you add appropriate humor to a situation?
Leadership does not require us to rise above our humanity, but to be aware of who we are, and to CHOOSE the best path to create healing and wholeness. Whether our change objective is within the spheres of civic, corporate, mission or social success – we must be intimately aware of who we are, and choose our response and strategy.
In November 2011 I went on a tour of the DMZ – the 4 mile wide demilitarized zone which divides North and South Korea. This is the most heavily fortified border in the world. It was a surreal and powerful experience to be so close to this repressive regime.
And this past Monday I had a tremendous opportunity to eat and dialogue with Blaine Harden – author of the highly acclaimed book ‘Escape from Camp 14’. This book is about Shin Dong-hyuk, believed to be the only person who was born in the brutal Camp 14 gulag – to escape and tell his story.
An important and necessary read. Blaine Harden does an amazing job taking a very complicated brutal story and making it understandably and digestible to the masses. He also provides key resources and background data for people that want to learn more.
There truly are few things in existence as brutal and horrific as the gulag / camp system of nK. Modeled after Stalin’s prison camps in Russia – the 3 generations of ‘Great Leaders’ in nK have taken the oppression of people to a new level. With the guiding principle that ‘three generations must pay for the sins against the country’ – entire families are imprisioned for generations.