The Power of Intentioning to Advance Women’s Leadership

Posted on September 28th, 2021 by Cathy Evans

Gloria Feldt admits she made up the word “intentioning” to describe what happens when intention becomes an action. While intention is a wonderful word, it’s static, and Gloria wanted an active verb. She says that, “intentioning is an active verb because I want women to know that we’re talking about not just ambition, not just thinking about it, not hoping, not wishing, not dreaming. We’re talking about, hey, we’re doing it.” And her new book, Intentioning: Sex, Power, Pandemics, and How Women Will Take the Lead for (Everyone’s) Good details 9 new power tools to tell women how to use the power of intentioning to advance women’s leadership, starting with their own.

Leadership Intentioning Tool #1 – Uncover Yourself

Because of her own belated start on her career, Gloria starts with the tool she had to use before she could cross the starting line, “Uncover Yourself.” She grew up one of few Jewish people in a small west Texas town. She knew she was different from the moment she was born as the granddaughter of immigrant grandparents with thick accents and very different cultural practices. She didn’t want to be different, so she did what every girl did. She got married and had four children to become a mother just like everyone else. However, by the time her youngest was four months old, she started community college and 12 years later, she says she discovered “that I had what I called a CEO brain, and I’m willing to take almost any level of responsibility in order to be able to bring people together, have a vision and make things happen in the world.” She uncovered herself, and after serving as CEO of Planned Parenthood Federation of America for 30 years, Gloria uncovered her passion to advance women’s leadership and started on her current career—NY Times bestselling author, motivational speaker, and co-founder and president of Take the Lead Women, which prepares, develops, inspires and propels women to take their fair and equal share of leadership positions across all sectors by 2025.


Gloria armed women with nine power tools with her book, NO EXCUSES: Nine Ways Women Can Change How We Think About Power. She says that when she did the research for the book, she found that women remained stuck in spite of earning more degrees than men and having broken through many glass ceilings, we remained only 18% of top leadership positions across every sector. She says that she became obsessed with why and “realized that women have been socialized differently around power than men. The history books, all written by men express power in terms of wars and fighting. She says, “It’s about scarcity that there aren’t enough resources, So I have to fight you for mine.” However, Gloria says there is no limit to power. She compares it to a hammer. You can build something with it or smash things apart. She educated as many women as she could with the concept of having the “power to” instead of power over. With “the power to, you can make life better for yourself, your family, your community, your country, the world.”

Now with INTENTIONING: Sex, Power, Pandemics, and How Women Will Take the Lead for (Everyone’s) Good, she takes action with nine additional power or “intentioning” tools to help women dream the impossible dream and then live it. Gloria explains that she uses the VCA method and differentiates it from ambition, which is the fuel that makes intentioning happen. You have to start with the vision, then have the courage to put one foot in front of the other and finally, take action.  She says, “Ambition is I hope. I wish. I want. Intention is heck, yes, I’m doing it. I see it already. It’s happening!”



Watch/Listen for Amazing Ideas

There is so much more to learn from this Smart, Amazing Conversation with Dr. Nancy:

  • On how Take the Lead’s 50 Women Can Change the World Programs really are creating change one industry and profession at a time
  • The richness of diversity as the secret sauce that makes businesses and organizations soar beyond limited boundaries
  • The Intersectionality of racism and sexism and how Gloria sees it as “two heads of the same coin.”
  • The opportunity of the disruption we are experiencing as we emerge from our many crises for the past few years.

Learn more about Take the Lead and upcoming programs at Order Gloria’s new book at And follow and engage with her everywhere @GloriaFeldt.

Listen on SoundCloud | Apple Podcasts | Spotify | Watch on YouTube

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