Betsy Myers has extensive experience in the corporate, political and higher education arena. She has served as senior advisor to Barack Obama’s Presidential campaign and also had prominent posts during Clinton’s administration. She focuses mostly on matters related to leadership and women’s place in the business world. She is an advocate for women in leadership, women entrepreneurs and women-led businesses.
Betsy Myers is currently leading workshops and speaking around the world on the changing nature of leadership. In addition, she is on a nation-wide tour to promote her book, Take the Lead: Motivate, Inspire, and Bring Out the Best in Yourself and Everyone Around You, which was released September 2011.
Betsy was named Founding Director of the Center for Women & Business at Bentley University in May 2011. The center will focus on educating students about their leadership potential while conducting research on how and why companies should promote and attempt to retain women. Betsy will work to build relationships with corporations and share information about putting these practices into place.
With extensive experience in the corporate, higher education and political arena, Betsy served as a senior adviser to Barack Obama’s Presidential Campaign. In January 2007 she joined the campaign as the Chief Operating Officer tasked with the challenge of building a $100,000,000 organization and establishing the campaign with a business operational model and customer service mentality.
Ms. Myers also represented the campaign as a senior adviser and as Chair, Women for Obama. In 2008 she traveled extensively speaking to undecided voters and particularly on women’s outreach. These efforts included a working partnership with the DNC’s Women’s Leadership Forum and Women for Obama. She spent significant time working on unity efforts — meeting with Clinton supporters across the country hearing their concerns and encouraging them to join the Obama efforts.
Prior to this appointment, Myers was the Executive Director of the Center for Public Leadership (CPL) at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government. She came to CPL in 2003, with a track record of strategically building and realigning organizations. Betsy helped focus the Center’s teaching and research around personal leadership and the fully integrated person. This was in line with her strong belief and conviction that the hardest person we ever have to manage is ourselves. This culminated in a partnership with CPL and The Hoffman Institute. The results and impact were immediate and staggering. She also increased the Center’s efforts around women and leadership while working closely with the Harvard’s Women’s Leadership Board (2000-2007).
As a senior official in the Clinton Administration, Betsy was the President’s senior adviser on women’s issues. As Deputy Assistant to the President, she launched and was also the first Director of the White House Office for Women’s Initiatives and Outreach. Betsy played a very critical role in Clinton’s re-election effort in 1996 and figured prominently in shaping the Administration’s legislative agenda on issues including domestic violence, breast cancer, reproductive choice, and women in business.
Ms. Myers has also served as the Associate Deputy Administrator for Entrepreneurial Development in the U.S. Small Business Administration. She implemented the SBA’s national requirements under President Clinton’s Welfare to Work Initiative and was simultaneously responsible for the agency’s technical assistance, management, and distance learning programs. In a previous post, Myers was the Director of the Office of Women’s Business Ownership at the SBA. She served as an advocate for the 7.8 million women entrepreneurs in our country. Currently, Betsy serves on the Council of National Advisors of Springboard Enterprises. Springboard is a national, not-for-profit organization that coaches, showcases, educates, and supports high growth women-led businesses that are seeking venture capital for expansion.
Prior to joining the Clinton Administration, Betsy spent six years building Myers Insurance and Financial Services which is based in Los Angeles. She specialized in the small business and women’s market providing insurance and retirement planning.
A Public Service Fellow at Harvard’s Kennedy School, she graduated with a M.P.A. in 2000, and then served as the School’s Director of Alumni Programs and External Relations before directing the Center for Public Leadership.
Betsy speaks on a range of topics, including:
- Leadership Creates a Feeling
Research and statistics indicate that as many as one in two American workers feel disconnected in their workplace. This accounts for $350 billion of lost productivity each year. At the same time, American companies spend millions a year on leadership development programs. Betsy challenges us by asking, “Are we teaching the right practices to our future leaders?” Her current book, which was released September 2011, describes an often counterintuitive view of leadership. When people “feel” valued, supported, appreciated, included, and understood, they are inspired to do their best work. The job of any leader is to bring out the productive feelings of their people. Betsy describes seven principles that serve as a road map for any leader who aspires to bring out the best in their people. This is not just the right thing to do, but is a proven strategy to profitability and success.
- Authentic Leadership and the Leader in You
The leader in each of us is realized the moment we say, “This is the real me.” What is the pearl that each of us is adding to the world and how do we identify that special quality? During the past 50 years, leadership scholars have conducted more than 1,000 studies to determine definitive styles, characteristics, or personality traits of the ideal leader. None have produced a clear profile or consistent skills, traits, or styles that led to success, rather; leadership emerged from our life stories. Authenticity is an understanding of our personal story and what gives us meaning in our lives. We trust leaders who are authentic and not trying to be someone else. In this session, Betsy will take listeners through the journey of authentic leadership, what it looks like for each of us, and how we can help others around us live their most authentic life.
- Women and Leadership
In this provocative presentation, Betsy discusses important research and thinking around women in leadership. She explores the history of the movement for equality and shares insights gleaned from her work with Gloria Steinem, Betty Friedan, and Bella Abzug. Tracing her own career path from the work she is currently doing at the Center for Women & Business at Bentley University to her roles in the Clinton Administration, the Harvard Kennedy School Center for Public Leadership, and the Obama Presidential Campaign, Betsy brings perspective from her experiences as a successful female leader. She helps audiences understand what it will take to continue closing the confidence gap, how to confront the balance question, (“Is it really possible?”), the different leadership styles of men and women, and leadership necessary for the next generation of women.
- The New Paradigm of Leadership
Change is all around us and today’s leaders are confronted with a changing workforce. The command-and-control leadership style that worked in the past does not work today. In 2008, 70% of new entrants to the workplace were women and minorities. This changing workforce also includes generational differences, technology, global relationships, and women’s roles. Betsy will discuss the important leadership skills needed for 2011 and into the next decade while emphasizing diversity in the workplace.
- Rethinking and Reshaping Your Personal Leadership Agenda
Betsy explores the fundamental leadership skills of personal and interpersonal leadership development. She believes the hardest person you will ever manage is yourself. In this presentation, Betsy uncovers the key tools to use while thinking about and exploring personal leadership effectiveness. Her remarks focus on personal authenticity, how to seek out and understand your personal and organizational effectiveness, developing a personal advisory board, establishing critical listening skills, and the importance of appreciating and acknowledging yourself and your team.
- Leadership Round-Up
There is a new leadership model that is changing the field of leadership. Leading with love and putting your people first is quickly becoming a mantra of successful companies such as Southwest Airlines, T.J. Maxx, and Chick-fil-A. This keynote will focus on the new leadership model needed for a changing workplace that includes multi-generations, minorities, women and takes into account the diversity of our times. It is not just the right thing to do but it is also profitable.
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