Category Archives: Leadership

Leadership Takeaways from Young Rwandan Women

As the summer concludes, I thought it would be fitting to end by showing a few short clips from my trip last month to Rwanda. These young women students at the Akilah Institute for Women inspired me beyond words; they have withstood immeasurable challenges, and have a lot to share about what is possible with vision, focus, and dedication and support. I had the opportunity to serve as Guest Lecturer to the Foundation B students; young women whose English language skills were newly developing. My intention was to share the foundations of the Step Up Leader approach to leadership with …

Are You Designing Moments of Impact?

This week’s Step Up Leader tip offers an opportunity to explore how to consciously design moments of impact as a leader. It borrows from Leading Blog, in which a new book outlines how to have strategic conversations that have impact. One of the things we teach leaders to do is create the capacity and spaciousness for conversations to emerge. This happens when there is a vision, intention, and an invitation for collaboration among the group. “The new book, Moments of Impact by Chris Ertel and Lisa Kay Solomon shows that the real challenge is not to find the right answer …

More Reflections about Rwanda: A Country’s Leadership Journey

This is the second part in my series about Rwanda and its leadership journey. (If you missed the first part, click here.) Here are a few of my observations on key influences for the country’s current success. 1. Stewardship of natural resources; effective planning and implementation Plastic bags are banned in Rwanda, so there is a cleanliness that is striking to travelers upon arrival in Kigali. Roads and streets are clean; air is clean. Because the mountain gorillas are a national treasure, access to them is limited and restrictions are many. This allows Rwanda to continue to be a refuge …

Reflections about Rwanda: A Country’s Leadership Journey – Part 1

When I visited Rwanda this last month, my primary purpose was to deepen my connection to the Akilah Institute for Women. My blog post, “More Leadership Lessons from Rwanda” focused on how they were taking our Step Up Leader principles and integrating them into their world. This week and next, I will share my impressions and highlight a few cultural distinctions that I believe contribute to Rwanda becoming a leading nation in Africa. I hope these observations may shed light on what we may learn about transformation. The timing of my visit coincided with the conclusion of the Kwibuka, the …

More Leadership Lessons from Rwanda

Step Up Leadership traveled to Rwanda this month to share our principles with the young women of the Akilah Institute for Women. Akilah means “wisdom” in Swahili. I cannot think of a more fitting word to describe this remarkable place. Akilah is a college that offers a unique model of market-relevant education empowering graduates for success in careers and leadership roles.  I first learned about Akilah upon hearing Co-Founder and CEO, Elizabeth Dearborn Hughes, speak about her vision. At the age of twenty-four, this extraordinary young leader foresaw an opportunity. Upon reading about the 1994 genocide there, Elizabeth decided she had …