Published on November 30, 2023
Nestled within the vibrant heart of Ottawa, the Shaw Centre recently became the epicenter of inspiration as it hosted The Art of Leadership for Women on Monday, November 27, 2023.
Canada Hall was abuzz with the energy of approximately 900 attendees, predominantly women eager to glean leadership insights and wisdom from highly successful women across diverse fields. The orchestrator of this empowering day was the dynamic Bill G. Williams, Principal and President of The B4 Group Inc., who serves as the host and brand ambassador for The Art of Leadership Signature Summit/The Art of Leadership for Women. Williams set the stage for a day brimming with enlightenment.
The conference, inclusive not just to women but to anyone advocating change on behalf of women, sought to arm leaders with the tools and insights required to navigate the challenges of an ever-evolving corporate landscape. The day featured a stellar lineup of influential speakers who generously shared their stories, lessons, and perspectives on crucial leadership topics.
Ritu Bhasin: The Art of Unlocking Belonging through Authenticity
The first speaker, Ritu Bhasin, CEO of Bhasin Consulting inc., held the audience captive with her expertise in leadership, workplace culture, and inclusion. Her key messaging revolved around the impermanence of belonging and the transformative power of authenticity. Bhasin urged attendees to create a sense of belonging by unlocking authentic experiences for others, emphasizing that showing vulnerability fosters a culture of openness and connection.
Showing up authentically in the workplace is belonging the more we are able to show up as who we are the more, we experience belonging.
Fotini Iconomopoulos: The Art of Negotiation and Communication
Following Bhasin, Fotini Iconomopoulos, an expert in negotiation, communication, and conflict management, shared insights into the power of negotiation. She stressed the significance of setting boundaries, the art of pausing, and the impact of likability and communication on building relationships.
Be the mirror you want them to reflect.
Dr. Shimi Kang: The Art of Nurturing Resilience and Wellness
Next on stage was Dr. Shimi Kang, an award-winning medical doctor and expert in neuroscience. Kang delivered a compelling message on resilience, adaptability, and wellness. She underscored the importance of simple habits, such as getting enough sleep and prioritizing downtime, in optimizing human intelligence. Attendees resonated with her quote.
Doing leads to being.
The Executive Panel, featuring Nina Kressler, President and CEO of the Shaw Centre, Chandra Carr, and Marilou Arends, highlighting each woman’s career path, path to success, and qualities that are valuable in a leader. Nina emphasized the value of cross-training, mentorship, and the power of learning from one another within the organization. When asked about opportunities for professional development for employees, Kressler responded with:
We take continuous learning very seriously; we encourage people to cross train and find mentors to help them grow. There’s something powerful being around other people and learning from each other. Here at the Shaw Centre, we have hundreds of employees, and we all have something to learn from each other.
Dr. Hayley Wickenheiser: The Art of Sport and Leadership
Dr. Hayley Wickenheiser, a five-time Olympic Medalist and Assistant GM of the Toronto Maple Leafs, took the stage to share her experiences and insights on team effectiveness, performance, and success. She emphasized the privilege of pressure and encouraged the audience to control what they can and let go of what they can’t. Wickenheiser also shared her experiences during the COVID-19 pandemic with an organization called Conquer COVID. The crowd was so moved by her speech that it rose everyone to their feet for a standing ovation. Her impactful quote was:
It’s one thing to be the best in the world; it’s another to do your best for the world.
Arlene Dickinson: The Art of Pioneering Leadership and Transformation
The spotlight then shifted to Arlene Dickinson, renowned as the luminary from CBC’s Dragons’ Den and the General Partner of District Ventures Capital. Dickinson, a trailblazing entrepreneur, delved deep into the realms of leadership and transformation. Her pragmatic approach to self-reinvention for success struck a chord with the audience, offering a practical guide for discovering purpose and navigating an audacious career trajectory. Dickinson’s insights not only illuminated where to begin but also provided the clarity to discern if you possess the essential qualities to elevate yourself, your company, and your life to new heights.
If you're careful to listen to your instincts and question conventional wisdom, set priorities, and make thoughtful choices, eventually you will figure out how to design a lifestyle that suits you.
The Art of Leadership for Women was a transformative experience, offering attendees a deep well of knowledge and inspiration. As insights were shared, connections made, and lessons learned, the conference fueled the collective drive to redefine leadership and empower individuals to make a lasting impact in their organizations and beyond. The stories told, lessons learned, and ideas shared at the event will continue to ignite creativity and disrupt the norm, echoing The Art Of’s commitment to helping individuals and organizations find their voice and innovate their thinking.