Empowering women around the world into mindful leadership | by Emily Symes

“Leadership is about empathy. It is about having the ability to relate to and connect with people for the purpose of inspiring and empowering their lives” – Oprah Winfrey

I recently had the opportunity to attend the Dream Collective’s Emerging Leaders Bootcamp and found it to be an incredible experience. I got to meet so many beautiful and intelligent women, who are all on the journey to becoming more empowered leaders.

Day 1:

Day 1 kicked off with importance of Emotional Intelligence in leadership. This was led by our amazing presenter, Alicia Brown who is also Head of Programs at The Dream Collective. Prior to the program, all participants took part in an EQ assessment which was then shared back with us privately. I was surprised by my results and found that the area I would need to develop further is self-expression. l also learnt from one of our presenters the beautiful and inspiring, Shade Zharai, that having a growth mindset is essential in becoming a true leader as authenticity is the key to be a highly effective and inspiring leader. She also covered the topic on mindful leadership and how it’s so important for us to have mindful leaders today who not only understand themselves but who also have the strength of character to make ethical decisions.

Research suggests that high levels of emotional intelligence can help predict leadership success, while low levels of emotional intelligence in other areas can predict leadership derailment. According to a HBR Paper in 2010 titled, “When Emotional Reasoning Trumps IQ”, it was found that the strongest strategic thinkers showed more brain activity in the part of the brain associated with emotion and intuition. And The World Economic Forum’s “Future of Jobs Report” found that EQ will be on the Top 10 in demand job skills by 2020.

I couldn’t believe it when I heard that the average person has about 60,000 thoughts per day and that about 80% of those thoughts are negative. That is alarming. It made me realise how powerful our thoughts are and how they truly create our reality. It’s so important to be mindful of what you are thinking and to be aware of what’s passing through your mind. If you can be aware of your thoughts, you have a better chance of being able to control how you react to them and the actions to take as a result. This is powerful as mastering others is important, however mastering yourself is true power.

Day 2:

Day 2 was led by the wonderfully energetic, Gauri Bhalla. Gauri is an expert in Design Thinking, Executive Action & Empathic Leadership. It was a truly enlightening day as it made me realise that we are all innovators and can be the change that we want to see.

That night we attended their flagship event, Dinner with a Mentor, where the group got a chance to dine with the ever-inspiring, Karen Lawson. Karen is an award-winning growth and transformation leader in the technology industry & has led some of the biggest brands through reinvention & disruption.

I learnt a lot from Karen that night. Her story was so inspiring and it was clear that she genuinely cared about The Dream Collective’s vision as she took time to go around the table, one by one, and understand the professional experience of each of the cohort, before sharing her personal response or advice each time.

It was so refreshing & I can’t think of a similar opportunity that I will have again soon.

Day 3:

Day 3 was bitter-sweet as I knew the program was coming to a close but also knew that we would cover topics that I was particularly eager to learn such as Courageous Conversations & Personal Branding.

First up & what stood out most for me was how to create a personal brand. Through the leadership model, P.I.E, I learned that Performance accounts for 10% of your success while Image accounts for 30% and Exposure a whopping 60%. Very interesting to discover!

Overall, I can’t rate my experience at The Dream Collective Emerging Leaders Bootcamp highly enough. The team, the presenters and the content delivered was of exceptional quality and value. I left with so much insight and knowledge and also felt so inspired but also empowered now with tools that I can implement into my life and my business and I can’t wait to do the work and see what’s possible. I encourage every woman to take part in the Bootcamp.


Who are The Dream Collective?

The Dream Collective’s goal is simple: To build the pipeline of high-calibre female leaders worldwide by empowering and equipping them with the required skills training during the early to mid-stage of their career.

They are determined to drive long-term and sustainable change in women’s representation in the corporate landscape and work with organisations to deliver effective leadership programs that equip young professional women across Australia, Japan, Singapore and more recently, China.

Inspired by the MBA syllabus of the world’s leading business schools, their programs shape women in business with the leadership skills, confidence, network and knowledge necessary to advance into leadership positions.

The Emerging Leader’s Program comprises of two modules:

  1. Think Tank Sessions: Three consecutive, immersive days of Leadership Development, delivered by world-class subject matter experts. The sessions are designed to encourage collaboration through facilitated discussion, debate. We were then responsible for setting attainable goals as part of our Leadership Blueprint, and then followed up on by Head of Programs at The Dream Collective, Alicia Brown.
  2. Dinner with a Mentor: Was an evening with one of Australia’s leading female business leaders in a relaxed and informal setting where we discussed how to overcome career challenges and achieving breakthroughs

If you are interested to learn more on how you can take part, you can get in touch here.

Originally posted on Emily Symes’ blog, Eko & Lux.


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