In The Spirit of Love and Goodness

Author, Consultant, Speaker

Kristin Andress

Gifted storyteller and Leading Women co-author Kristin Andress invites you to enter an allegorical world to discover yourself in the characters that she portrays in her new book, Be Good for Goodness Sake. She and Dr. Nancy reminisce about childhood and small town neighborhoods that still exist today – where people’s kindness and support for one another ripples through the community in the spirit of love and goodness.
The core of Kristin’s message in her book and in this conversation is that how we show up in our world is a choice. We can choose to be judgmental and critical or we can lift each other up. Part of being good is really looking at other people and seeing beyond the physical appearances and superficial behavior to the story inside that makes us who we are.

We Can All Love One Another

be-good-bookcoverKristin says that humanity does have the ability to love one another. Even our differences show how similar we are.  She told a story about when she went to Bangladesh and how happy and welcoming they were to her and her friend. Dr. Nancy talked about her experience in Africa, when one person experienced success, everyone in the village reveled in their triumph. The cultural differences and kind, loving behavior amidst the relative abject poverty impressed both women, showing them how people can honor their humanity. Even though our messages in the United States seem to be the opposite of these, Kristin said that when she returns home, she kisses the earth. She loves America and the freedoms it allows, but wants to do her part to help us understand how different it would be if we would remember the old adage, “be good for goodness sake.”

Good Begets Good

Whatever you’re feeling, you create it in others. An important part of Kristin’s message is that a large portion of who you become and what you create in this world results from how you pursue your passion. If you pursue it from a place of love, you create more of the same. This does not have to be something big, your mission in life, it can be how you respond to the people you meet. A small smile or just really looking at and complimenting someone can transform their day, and yours.
Kristin mentions the irony of her writing a book about goodness when she was actually a naughty child. But she also explains that goodness starts with you. You have to behave with goodness toward yourself and believe you are a good and loving person. Then when you encounter someone who is misbehaving, you are unlikely to spread that negativity along.
Listen to this interview for more inspirational ideas and to learn more about this little book of self-discovery, and what Kristin hopes you will experience by the end of reading Be Good for Goodness Sake. Check out her website to find out more about how Kristin helps people leave a legacy through her business, Andress Consulting.

Building Trust Is Key to Successful Business

Principal at HCS

Summer Anderson

Summer Anderson founded the California-based Human Capital Solutions (HCS) to help companies build executive teams to support innovation and profitability. Her 15 years of global executive recruitment for Fortune 500 technology and fast growth e-commerce equipped her with the expertise to understand what her clients need to move their business to the next level and beyond.
The most important trend today is getting the relationships right. Summer says when you have trusting relationships with top management it eliminates fear, which frees everyone to be their most creative and take risks necessary to propel growth.

Transformational Verses Transactional Leadership

Summer has seen a lot of top-down transactional leadership, but her goal is to provide transformational leaders who complement the company culture and existing management. To do that, she must learn the company from the ground up, have access to all the principals involved and talking with the entire team to learn what’s working and what needs tuning up. Once the existing team understands that HCS only wants to help, they buy into the process and lose any fear they have of being replaced. It’s this kind of approach that helps her attract quality candidates who can add value and synergy to the team.

Women Leaders in Executive Management

Although Summer’s mentors were mostly men, she mentions several women role models in executive leadership who influenced her.  She talks about women she admires and how they lead with strength, but humility. She would like to see more women in the executive ranks, but comments that the movement of women leadership is exponential. There are more women in the workforce today, but management is only now supporting them in ways that helps them creatively drive the companies forward. Those that employ more women have more varied approaches and outcomes and increased profitability.

Women Need to Support Women

Both Dr. Nancy and Summer talk about what can be accomplished when women support one another. Summer urges women to call out and debunk the “girl games” that start in the third grade. If we shine a light on them for what they are, then we can end them. We’ll never get anywhere fighting one another. Dr. Nancy agrees and comments on how much more fun it is to work and play with like-minded women and men.
Listen to this interview for more stories about Summer’s experiences and views on team-building in the tech industries. Then check out HCS website’s mission to find the impossible and how being human can ensure the best success.

Momentum Increasing for Women Leaders

Women's Economic ForumWomen are making history every day, raising the bar and heading toward parity across the globe. It was never more evident than at the recent Women’s Economic Forum (WEC) I recently attended in India. I had been invited to present the goals of the Statue of Responsibility and put women’s roles in the forefront of that initiative. There, I joined thousands of women, men too, who came  to share their messages, learn about others and create a union among like-minded individuals who together can change the world. It’s this union of diverse people from around the world that has me convinced that the once-slow evolution of women leaders is becoming a movement that is placing strong, resourceful, resilient women in charge of the private sector and at the helm of ships of state worldwide.
I felt a similar wave at the Diversity Women’s Conference in Orlando last fall. The welcoming inclusion among all the women in attendance felt like a homecoming for me of women reaching out to support other women. In talking with Dr. Sheila Robinson about the upcoming conference in 2016, she said, “It’s about US.” That’s the point of the conference. It provides an event for individual women with their individual talents and strengths to come together and join their abilities to make, not just a difference, but an enormous positive impact in our world today.
An African proverb says, “If you want to go fast, go alone, but if you want to go far, go together.” I would be nowhere at all if it weren’t for my sisters. In these larger groups, I began to understand that when a significant group of people also know and understand the power of the greater whole, it strengthens all of us: I am far better with you. I’m much stronger and have multiplied my resources. When I’m together with all these people in a room, I can do anything. That is truly empowerment.
All women are leaders in some capacity.  Our goal now is to educate them to perceive themselves as leaders. Collaboration, cooperation, inclusion and vulnerability have only recently been valued as valuable leadership traits. As more people are willing to combine their resources and develop working relationships, we will be astounded at the ease with which transformations will take place.
When times were tough, my women friends have been there for me. That’s one of the most important things I learned from those times: to value the gift of mentorship. When we give it, we receive far more. It is genuinely a two-way street. The more freely we share, the more bountiful are our gifts.
I want to urge all women to embrace this idea: reach out to others and ask them without any reservation, “How can I help you?” I have been doing this for years and have heard the astonishment in women’s voices at the idea, “You want to help ME?” These recent conferences I attended put me in touch with hundreds of people who had the same idea, to freely help one another. Ideas, praise, celebration and inspiring stories flowed so freely, I experienced some of my most cherished moments.
Are you reaching out to help others or are you attempting to hold them back from success? When I started to get my doctorate, people (often other women) asked me, “Who do you think you are? Who will raise your kids, take care of your family?” It made me work harder to prove that I could do it, to show my daughters what they could do in life and to provide a good role model. It’s time to stop trying to hold other women back. It’s time to encourage one another and support success for everyone. This is how we can increase the momentum so that women seeking and achieving leadership truly becomes a worldwide movement for positive change.
~Dr. Nancy

Propelling Women to Leadership Parity by 2025


Felicia Davis


Jaclyn Libowitz

Two expert trainers have supercharged their efforts to propel women to leadership parity by 2025. They did this by enrolling in Take The Lead’s Leadership Ambassador program, so they can integrate Gloria Feldt’s “9 Power Tools” into their own training and coaching.
In this interview, they tell Dr. Nancy their personal stories about impacting change by getting personally involved in this new women’s movement. They are both committed to the goal and to using the concrete tools to achieve parity for women in leadership 65 years sooner than it has been predicted to occur at the current pace.
Felicia Davis is CEO of Joyful Transformations, an award-winning leadership consultant, speaker and author of The Leadership Mastery Formula: Create an Authentic Brand that Gets You Noticed, Known & Called Upon! Former Chief of Staff and CAO of Girl Scouts of the USA, Jaclyn Libowitz is now a consultant helping executive teams to develop positive working environments. In October, 2015, Felicia and Jaclyn both became Leadership Ambassadors and graduated from Take The Lead’s “Leadership Power Tools Train-the-Trainer Program.

What Are the Power Tools?

Gloria Feldt wrote the book, No Excuses! Nine Ways Women Can Change How We Think about Power, to remove the last remaining obstacle to leadership parity–women’s learned resistance to embracing their own power. She developed a speaking platform and co-founded Take The Lead Foundation to persuade women to get unstuck and take their rightful place as women leaders. In 2015–realizing she wanted to multiply her efforts and spread the message further and faster than she could alone–she developed this Train the Trainer Program to offer her platform to other women leaders.
As Jaclyn says in this interview, women learn to use Gloria’s 9 Power Tools to help themselves. They release their old ideas of “power over” and welcome their “power to” reach their goals. Felicia says that women don’t feel confident enough about their power to really spark change. They get caught up in comparing themselves to others and can’t find their voice, so they remain stuck. The Power Tools give them something accessible to use to get unstuck and move forward.

Different from Other Workshops

Both Ambassadors talk about how easy it is to internalize The Power Tools. Unlike a workshop that you enjoy with a nice coffee break, they returned to their busy lives after the Train the Trainer Workshop with a set of skills that had become part of a new perspective. The tools gave them the green light to pursue a different way of leading and interacting with others. They were already successful women with decades of leadership experience, but they felt an added confidence and ability to step out in front, gain the support of others and become stronger leaders in all aspects of their lives.

Benefits of Santa Barbara Training

Jaclyn’s goal after leaving Girl Scouts was to work on her own personal development and help other women do the same. She sees the training as a chance to help more women know and embrace their own strengths and at the same time strengthen other women to reach gender parity. Felicia sees the training as an amazing opportunity for women to understand that they can make their voice heard and impact change on themselves and others.
Listen to this interview in which two recently graduated Leadership Ambassadors talk about how learning to incorporate Power Tools into their messages and missions has changed them. Then check out more information about Take The Lead and the upcoming workshop in Santa Barbara hosted by WomenConnect4Good, Inc. and Dr. Nancy April 20-21.

Listen to Podcast wit Two Amazing Women

Open Yourself to Healthy Relationships

Relationship2015FlyerFrontMont-2-370x283Do you struggle with relationships? With others and with yourself? You don’t have to suffer anymore. On April 1-3 in Santa Barbara, California, a groundbreaking workshop will teach you how to discover your true self and find relationships that work for you. Relationship N’ You is a seminar designed especially for exceptional women who are looking to create positive and healthy relationships—all kinds of relationships—whether you have a current relationship, would like to create one with a new partner, or want to build new connections with a friend, neighbor, coworker, or an employee.
By identifying the blocks to forming healthy relationships, this seminar will help attendees step away from situations that could be based in doubt, fear, lack and insecurity. One way to remove these blocks is by parenting one’s inner child, which has repeatedly sabotaged past relationships. There are many men and women who appear to be adults when, in truth, there is a young child within them still looking to be heard, seen, loved, and given attention – a situation that must be addressed so it can be healed.  Healing the inner child leads to a fully functioning, mature adult ready for a new healthy relationship. This seminar will also shed light on the different types of soul mates so that you can discover what you are truly looking for and if the one you are with is actually the one!
Attendees will leave with powerful processes to clear away the energies of the unconscious that get in the way of having healthy relationships, as well as various tools to help you move forward – including three different benchmarks that are very beneficial when entering into any new relationship. The final result is great progress towards further deepening in your discovery of your true self!
The workshop will feature Dale Haloway, Master Teacher and Transformational Expert. For more information, go to or call Alex Thomson at 805-893-7401.

Making Humbug Holidays Happy

Screen Shot 2015-12-29 at 10.20.44 AMThe media sets us up for disappointment during the holidays. If we don’t find ourselves in the midst of today’s version of Norman Rockwell images of a happy family and friends enjoying the festivities, we have somehow failed in our pursuit of successful living. Yet often there just isn’t enough family to go around. When our children have children of their own and in-laws and extended families, our expectations for a full house on Christmas day fall short.
I have been the champion of creating new traditions after divorce, developing new memories and the resilience that came along with it. And here I was feeling like the Grinch had really stolen Christmas. Why in the world couldn’t we get together just one day out of the year to share our love and just be together as a family? I felt really sad until I began to think about some of that family I really didn’t want to be with.
The holidays are definitely not the same for everyone and making up this story of how happy we’re supposed to be only increases possible situational depression. So after I allowed myself to be sad for awhile, I turned my thoughts to doing good for others. I took a gift to a neighbor who I hadn’t seen for awhile. I wrote Christmas cards, sent gifts and thanked everyone who had been generous with me this year. I shared my love from afar and made plans of my own.
The holiday season is so poignant with memories that if we experience a loss during this time of year, it seems to mark every holiday season for years to come. A friend of mine called and told me about all of the issues in her family: one had cancer, another had lost his wife, and it made me see my own life more clearly. Then we started talking about all of the people we didn’t want to see and the funny things going on in our families and out of our laughter I realized that no one has that ideal family. The season is about sharing love with one another, and no matter who you have to share yours with, share it with yourself. Be kind to you; give yourself the gift of time and balance and do things that you really love doing throughout the holidays and the new year.

Genie James Age Well – Feel Better Inside Out

Genie James, M.M.Sc.

Genie James, M.M.Sc.

Award-winning author and health advocate, Genie James says aging well and feeling better is an inside-out game. Her seventh book, THE FOUNTAIN OF TRUTH! Outsmart Hype, False Hope and Heredity to Recalibrate Your Age, focuses on keeping us healthy for life. Genie wonders why live 15 years longer if you’re fat, sad, sick and broke? She wrote this book for two reasons: First, a close friend who battled cancer for 25 years begged her to finish the book. Second, she saw a magazine cover showing three pubescent women under a headline, “The Future of Aging.” Her mission became focused on combating chronic disease, today’s byproduct of living longer, and the fiction promoted by our youth-obsessed culture that sets women up for shame and failure.
Genie had her own wake-up call when she landed in the hospital with transmittal angina, which is a stress-related heart attack. Her mother had died at 64 of a heart attack, so she understood her risk. She also understood how she had to field-test her most recent book and use the toolkit she wrote to survive and be well and healthy again.

 Fountain of Truth Tool Kit

Fountain-of-Truth-bookWhen Genie wrote the book, she was CEO of a 7.3 million dollar company with over 30 employees and running on a rabbit wheel. She thought she had it all together, but got lost trying to fix everyone else without paying attention to herself. So after she got released from the hospital, she dipped into her toolkit.
Tool #1: Faith in a higher power. There is incontrovertible evidence that people who have faith in something/someone more powerful than themselves, live longer, happier, healthier lives. Genie gets quiet a few times every day to pray or meditate and get in touch with her faith.
Tool #2: The Girlfriend Factor. Being with supportive, optimistic women in a social network of friends produces the oxytocin factor. This is a hormone that, for women, is released when you’re around other women and it’s sustained for a long period of time. When this hormone is released, we’re able to make better decisions about relationships, finances and goals.
Tool #3: Exercise. Genie likes to exercise outside, but recommends that we have a toy box of exercise options. An important point is that when our bodies get used to doing one kind of exercise, they start to conserve fat instead of working it off. So mix it up, join your girlfriends and have plenty of options to make it fun and rewarding.
Tool #4: The Money Factor. Women need to have their own money. Genie talks about how her mother had no choice. A man was her plan, but not for Genie. She wanted to make a difference. However, she didn’t bank on a nasty divorce liquidating her 7.93 million dollar net worth. She gave up everything to get out of her toxic marriage. Now she is starting over with her own money and she urges all women to protect their finances.

 Beauty and Youth Is Not An Age.

Women who came into Genie’s health center asked for help losing weight or looking younger, but what they really wanted was to be more comfortable with their lives. Throughout this interview, Genie stresses caring for yourself as the best treatment for healthy longevity. Listen to more great stories and advice in this podcast and check out Genie’s other books and her blog to learn about lifestyle choices that can help you stay healthy and age well from the inside out.

Danna Beal Heals the Workplace Culture

Danna Beal

Danna Beal

Workplace culture expert and business consultant Danna Beal is working to transform the work environment from the top down, replacing fear-based, ego-driven management with enlightened management that recognizes and honors the talents of the employees. This alternative management style creates cooperation and collaboration that encourages and allows employees to work at their highest potential, resulting in greater productivity and increased company profits.

70% of over 100 million employees in America are disengaged in the workplace. Gallup Report

Danna says this enormous problem caused by the “artificial power” that governs the fear-based workplace, caused by the “boss from hell” who was elevated to that position without regard for relationship and people skills. In fact, many people receive the reward of management simply for keeping their heads down for the longest number of years. Having arrived at the top, they stay there by surrounding themselves with “yes” people and create so much fear and pain that employees don’t talk about it for fear of recrimination and retaliation.

Gallup reports that the bottom one-fifth of those who are disengaged actively sabotage the company, gossiping, blaming and doing things to create disharmony and drama in the workplace. Danna has spoken to over 300 companies to help them heal the workplace. She says that the good news is people are more receptive than ever before. The cutthroat, competitive workplace is not sustainable. They are seeing how the toxic workplace cannot only make it an unpleasant, unhealthy place to work, it costs the company directly in their bottom line.

 Ego-driven Leader Verses Enlightened Leader

The-Extraordinary-Workplace-BookjpgIn her book, Extraordinary Workplace: Replacing Fear with Trust and Compassion, Danna discusses the ego and how the ego-driven leader exhibits qualities of cockiness, having all the answers and not being accessible or allowing mistakes. By contrast, the enlightened leader puts energy, time and care into the people they work with. They understand that employees don’t come to work fully formed. Each of us has our own issues. Truly great leaders have wisdom and the qualities of humility and integrity. They find value in their employees and lead with compassion. Their leadership is genuine and produces a spirit of trust, through which employees can do their best.

Optimistic Predictions for the Future

Change is coming. Companies like Google actually teach courses on emotional intelligence and more articles are appearing about meditation and mindfulness. Danna urges us to slow down and work from our deepest selves. When we work with more clarity and relationships ability, it empowers all of us. We rise together when everybody works at their highest level.
Listen to this interview for more about enlightened leadership and perspectives about women leadership. Then check out Danna’s blog and free webinar, “How to Deal with The Boss from Hell and Other Difficult People in Your Life.”

This is Our Time

Young pretty woman working as florist in shop and smilingFor Immediate Release
For a review copy of the book
or an interview with Dr. Nancy D. O’Reilly,
please use our contact page.
Women, This Is Our Time: Six Ways to Take Your Power Up a Notch
Often, we allow our circumstances, routines, and self-imposed obligations to become barriers between ourselves and our dreams. Here, the coauthor of Leading Women offers insight into how you can reconnect with your power and create a more satisfying life.
Santa Barbara, CA (April 2015)—Statistics show there has never been a better time to be a woman. As of 2014, there were almost 9.1 million female-owned businesses in the United States, generating more than $1.4 trillion (yes, with a “T”) in revenue. The percentage of women who are household breadwinners is rising. Young American women are 33 percent more likely than their male peers to have earned a college degree by age 27. And around the world, women hold several of the highest offices in the land.
And yet, in practice, so many of us seem unsettled and wary of using our own power. We’re all too willing to hand it over to other people: our families, our friends, our employers, and more. What gives?
“Too often, women make choices that benefit everyone else in our lives instead of doing what we, personally, are passionate about,” says Dr. Nancy D. O’Reilly, who along with 19 other women, cowrote the new book Leading Women: 20 Influential Women Share Their Secrets to Leadership, Business, and Life (Adams Media, 2015, ISBN: 978-1-440-58417-6, $16.99, “We move in directions that take us further from our dreams. We rob ourselves of connections that could sustain us and of relationships that bring us joy.”
This isn’t surprising; after all, centuries (millennia, even!) of socialization have taught women that our primary role is to support and care for others. Even now this attitude is alive and well. (Consider the fact that while women continue to take on a greater role in the workforce, the amount of time we spend on housework hasn’t changed much at all in recent years.)
Well, enough is enough. O’Reilly wants this to be the year you finally stop living by default and start connecting to your passion. It’s your time, just as much as (and dare we say, more than) it is your husband’s, your children’s, or your boss’s.
“For many women, the biggest obstacle to claiming and using our power is that we aren’t completely sure how to tap into it and where to channel it!” points out O’Reilly. “We’ve been so busy devoting our time and energy to everyone else around us that we may not even know what we care about most deeply.”

Key to Igniting Passion and Purpose-Embrace Your Power

The only way to figure out what your passion is and to learn how to direct it is to purposefully turn your power up a notch. Here’s how:

Deliberately get uncomfortable.

No one ever did anything great by staying in her comfort zone. As anyone who has ever given birth to a child knows, passion is often born of pain! But exploring new territory can be scary stuff, and most of us will avoid it if we can. Unfortunately, by doing so, we also avoid growth. This is why it’s so important to not only push yourself but to engage with others who challenge you, make you think, and sometimes even make you angry.
“The messages that set us on fire are not always delivered in a positive way,” says O’Reilly. “Believe it or not, my own journey toward empowering and partnering with other women began with my high school counselor, who advised me to forget about college and look into secretarial school. Well, that advice ignited something powerful within me…but not in the way the counselor intended!”

No excuses: Start working out.

Don’t worry; O’Reilly isn’t going to harp on your BMI, cholesterol, or blood pressure (though those things are important). The fact is, if you feel tired, stiff, weak, or in pain, you are unlikely to take on that next ambitious challenge. The less you do, the less you can do.
“It takes stamina to push yourself out of your comfort zone!” O’Reilly notes. “And besides helping you build up the physical resources you need, exercise relieves stress, helps you relax, and produces the ‘happy hormones’ that keep you strong and resilient. In short, you must exercise to be at your best. And if you’re saying, ‘I don’t have time,’ well, I encourage you to think about it in terms of loving, respecting, and maintaining the one body and the one life you’ve been given.”

Move to Connecting 2.0.

The “connecting” too many of us do is of the “mile-wide, inch-deep” variety. But real connecting is not just about attending surface-level meet-and-greets and collecting hundreds of Facebook friends. It’s much deeper. It requires you to stop wondering, What can I get from you? and start thinking, What can we accomplish together?
This is Connecting 2.0, and making the shift changes everything, notes O’Reilly. How well we can truly partner with other people (especially with other women!) determines our success.
“Women inherently know how to make satisfying, mutually fulfilling connections,” O’Reilly points out. “As you seek out ways to collaborate with other great women, aim for a good mix of social networking, phone time, and face time. And remember, this isn’t all about business. It’s also about building real relationships. Even introverts won’t mind doing this once they see how good it feels to connect this way.”

If you can’t figure out where to channel your power, look to your friends.

After years of doing what they think they should be doing instead of what they want to be doing, many women simply don’t know what their strengths and skills are. If this sounds like you, don’t strike out blindly. You won’t get far if you aren’t moving in a direction that’s aligned with your goals and values. (For instance, getting a professional certification in a career field that doesn’t fire you up might make you a better employee, but it won’t bring you closer to living your purpose.)
“Ask your women friends for advice,” O’Reilly advises. “In some ways, they know you better than you know yourself. They aren’t bogged down by your particular routine and worries, and they are in a better position to notice the things that make you smile and that you’re inherently good at. What do your friends admire about you? What do they encourage you to accomplish?”

Practice staying present.

How often have you “lost” a few minutes…or a whole hour…or even more ruminating on something that happened in the past or worrying about what might happen in the future? The point is, whether you can’t stop thinking about an argument you had with your teenager or are concerned about how a client will respond to your proposal, you aren’t focusing, creating, doing, or developing right now.
“When you can learn to stay present, you’ll fret less and become more powerful,” says O’Reilly. “And it’s ironic that so many of us struggle to stay present because it really is the simplest, most natural thing in the world. It happens through the senses—all we need to do is tune in to what we’re seeing, hearing, touching, smelling, and tasting right now.
“Challenge yourself to notice something beautiful about your surroundings,” she adds. “Allow yourself to feel grateful for it. Gratitude awakens us, and when we’re awake, we can see our opportunities and rise to our challenges instead of obsessing about our barriers and failures.”

This year, do one thing to change the world.

When you are able to observe a positive difference in the world because of something you did, you’ll tap into a powerful well of motivation. You don’t have to solve world hunger or found an orphanage; in fact, O’Reilly encourages you to start small. For instance, organize a panel of successful female entrepreneurs to speak to a local women’s group. Start volunteering at a local animal shelter. Or simply start picking up the litter you encounter on your walks through your neighborhood.
“A few years ago, I had the privilege of meeting the Dalai Lama,” O’Reilly shares. “He impressed me when he said that the future of the world rests in the hands of Western women, but we would be able to fulfill this destiny only when we wake up. I so believe this, and I also think the opposite is true—changing your corner of the world for the better invigorates your whole being. It’s an amazing way to access your power.”
“Once you take those first few jarring steps forward and stop living by default, connecting to your purpose will become incrementally easier,” concludes O’Reilly. “You’ll begin to notice other women and men around you who are moving in similar directions. You’ll feel the joy and satisfaction of doing something deeply meaningful. And you’ll want to do more.”

# # #

About the Author:
Nancy D. O’Reilly, PsyD, is an author of Leading Women: 20 Influential Women Share Their Secrets to Leadership, Business, and Life and urges women to connect to help each other create a better world. As a licensed psychologist, motivational speaker, and women empowerment expert, O’Reilly helps women create the satisfying and purposeful lives they want to benefit themselves, their families, and their communities. To accomplish this, she devotes her energies to fulfilling the mission of the Women Connect4Good, Inc., foundation, which benefits from her writing and speaking services. O’Reilly is the founder of Women Connect4Good, Inc., and for seven years she has interviewed inspiring women for online podcasts available on her website.
For more information, please visit and follow the author on Facebook and Twitter.
About the Book:
Leading Women: 20 Influential Women Share Their Secrets to Leadership, Business, and Life (Adams Media, 2015, ISBN: 978-1-440-58417-6, $16.99, is available at bookstores nationwide and from online booksellers.

Women-Helping-Women Movement Is All About Connecting

FACEBOOKFor Immediate Release
For a review copy of the book
or an interview with Dr. Nancy D. O’Reilly,
please use our contact page.
The Women-Helping-Women Movement Is All About Connecting. 
Here Are 11 Ways to Do It Better.
Making meaningful connections with other women can change your life (not to  mention the world). Problem is, many of us don’t know how—or where—to do it. Dr. Nancy D. O’Reilly offers 11 tips to help you improve your connecting skills.
Santa Barbara, CA (February 2015)—Competing with other women is out. Connecting with other women to share ideas, work together on projects, and offer support is in. The changes brought about by the global economy have made collaboration and innovation “must-have” skills, and the great news is that women tend to be naturals at them. And that, says licensed psychologist Dr. Nancy D. O’Reilly, is why the women-helping-women movement is really picking up steam.
“We’re making a shift to what I call ‘Connecting 2.0,’” says O’Reilly, who along with 19 other women, cowrote the new book Leading Women: 20 Influential Women Share Their Secrets to Leadership, Business, and Life (Adams Media, 2015, ISBN: 978-1-440-58417-6, $16.99, “It’s more meaningful than the ‘mile-wide and inch-deep’ type of connecting we associate with social media. It’s based on sharing and co-creating, not self-interest. It’s authentic, it feels good, and it works.”

Expanding Women’s Network of Resources to Support Women

This deeper approach to connecting works so well, in fact, that we are creating an ever-expanding network of resources offering expertise and support to women in business, government, education, philanthropy, and other fields. The idea is not just to advance our careers and make money, but to make life itself richer, more exciting, and more creative.
“This is more than a trend; it’s a movement—and women are loving it,” says O’Reilly.  “More and more smart, amazing women are connecting to help their ‘sisters’ live their very best lives. These likeminded women are passionate about making the world a better place—so they are finding one another and building strong, supportive communities.”
The women-helping-women movement is nothing like the phony, self-serving, let’s-exchange-cards-and-move-on networking that most of us hate. Sure, connecting with other women does pay off in amazing ways, but the rewards flow organically from our “feminine strengths” and a genuine desire to make a difference in the lives of others.
You may be wondering, Where do I sign up? The answer is “everywhere.” This is not some exclusive club—it’s open to all women with passion, enthusiasm, and a yearning to live a richer, more fulfilling life and maybe even change the world. But O’Reilly knows you may not be used to thinking this way. That’s why she offers the following tips:

First things first: Aim for a good mix of online and face-to-face connecting.

It’s easy to send an email message, and it’s really easy to like, to share, to follow in the world of social media. That’s why so many women do it. (It’s easy to push a key or click a mouse after all.) And while there is nothing wrong with social media, it’s also no substitute for real-world human interaction. The women-helping-women movement depends on both types of connecting: virtual and face-to-face.
“If you’re burning up social media, consider taking an online contact offline,” she advises. “Tell her you’d love to meet her for lunch the next time she’s in town. Conversely, if you’re proudly ‘old school’ and are neglecting your social media presence, dive in. You really need a foot in both worlds.”

Join a new group that interests you and really attend the meetings. Make them a priority.

It doesn’t matter what activity it’s based on. This may be a book circle or a kayaking club or a community cause. What’s important is that you’re getting together with other women who share a common interest—and that you go to meetings and events often enough to let these strong connections develop.
“It’s the shared passion for the activity that generates the connections,” notes O’Reilly. “And those connections take on a life of their own. You may end up forging alliances, finding jobs, winning clients—even though that’s not the ‘purpose’ for the group.”

Get on a different team at work.

We tend to stick to our comfort zone. But shaking things up from time to time keeps you sharp and puts you in the path of exciting new people. When you work with women you don’t know on projects you’re unfamiliar with, you will learn, grow, and often discover vital new talents and interests.

Get involved in a philanthropic cause that speaks to your heart.

Women who care enough about others to volunteer their time, talents, and treasure are the kinds of women you want to meet. They tend to be “other-oriented” and want to make new connections, too. So whether your “cause” is homeless animals, kids with cancer, adult literacy, or clean oceans, get involved.
“I actually met the 19 women who cowrote the book through my Women Connect4Good, Inc., foundation,” she adds. “In fact, the book is living proof of the kind of collaboration that happens when women make connections based on their desire to serve.”

Think about what you need to learn. Seek out mentors who can help you learn it.

Let’s say you have a small catering company specializing in weddings, parties, and family reunions. You’d like to expand into the healthcare conference arena but know nothing about the field. You might reach out to someone who plans such conferences and offer to trade services—perhaps cater an upcoming event for free or for a greatly reduced price—in exchange for the chance to learn and get a foot in the door.
“You’re not asking for something for free,” notes O’Reilly. “You’re also bringing something to the table. Who knows: Her clients may love your fresh approach, and it could result in the two of you starting a whole new venture.”

Likewise, give back to women who need your expertise.

In other words, don’t just seek out mentors. Be a mentor to women who can benefit from your knowledge and experience. It’s “good karma” and it can pay off in unexpected ways.

Take a class. (And don’t just sit there; talk to your neighbor.)

Whether it’s continuing education for your job, a creative writing class at the local community college, or even a martial arts training session, actively pursue new knowledge and skills. This will bring new and interesting women into your life—women who, just by being there, show that they have a zest for life and learning.

Volunteer your speaking services.

Yes, yes, you hate public speaking. Many women do. But taking to the podium is a powerful way to get your voice heard, to build up your confidence, and of course to make new connections with those who hear you speak. And there are many civic and service organizations—like the Chamber of Commerce and Rotary Club—that need speakers.

Handpick five to ten powerful women in your community and ask them to participate in an event.

This might be a roundtable discussion that takes place at an industry conference or a community fundraiser, for example. And don’t think that busy, important women won’t have time for you, says O’Reilly.
“Remember, women love sharing stories, best practices, and ideas,” she says. “You might be surprised by how many will say yes.”

If you’re invited, go.

When someone invites you to an event or gathering—whether it’s an industry trade show, a party, or a hiking trip—go if you can. Yes, even if you’re tired, out-of-sorts, and feeling blah.
“Say yes if it’s remotely possible,” advises O’Reilly. “There are always reasons to say no and some of them are good reasons. But overall, life rewards action. Life rewards yes. The more times you say yes, the more connections you will make. The more connections you make, the richer and more creative your life will be.”

Set a goal to meet “X” new women per month.

Insert your own number, depending on your circumstances and personality. Hold yourself to this number (it will help greatly to keep track in a journal or calendar). If you take this metric seriously, you’ll figure out how to make it happen. And while meeting isn’t the same as connecting, it’s the essential first step.
“Let’s say your goal is to meet five new women this month, and it’s the last day of the month and you have two to go,” says O’Reilly. “You can always pop into the spin class at your gym, or maybe go to an open house or political rally. While you’re there, of course, strike up conversations with at least two women and introduce yourself.” Voilà! You’ve met your goal!
While women are naturally good at connecting, it doesn’t happen automatically, notes O’Reilly. We really do have to make an effort.
“Most of us are so busy and overwhelmed that we just don’t make it a priority to connect with other women,” she says. “We really do have to be deliberately purposeful about it. The benefits of connecting with other women are incredible, so we owe it to ourselves—and each other—to make it happen.”

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About the Author:
Nancy D. O’Reilly, PsyD, is an author of Leading Women: 20 Influential Women Share Their Secrets to Leadership, Business, and Life and urges women to connect to help each other create a better world. As a licensed psychologist, motivational speaker, and women empowerment expert, O’Reilly helps women create the satisfying and purposeful lives they want to benefit themselves, their families, and their communities. To accomplish this, she devotes her energies to fulfilling the mission of the Women Connect4Good, Inc., foundation, which benefits from her writing and speaking services. O’Reilly is the founder of Women Connect4Good, Inc., and for seven years she has interviewed inspiring women for online podcasts available on her website.
For more information, please visit and follow the author on Facebook and Twitter.
About the Book:
Leading Women: 20 Influential Women Share Their Secrets to Leadership, Business, and Life (Adams Media, 2015, ISBN: 978-1-440-58417-6, $16.99, is available at bookstores nationwide and from online booksellers.

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