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Do Something that Scares You

Posted on May 8, 2012, by United Way in

What's the most effective way for professional women to increase their power and influence?

“Do something that scares you and change the rules of the game,” said Alameda County Prosecutor Sharmin Bock, as she summarized the key take-away from the recent “Leap into Leadership” breakfast hosted by United Way's Women's Leadership Council.

Click on thephoto gallery below to seepicturesfrom the event.

Here are some of the great ideas that emerged from our distinguished panelists, who all work in the public sector:

"Failure is not fatal. If you're not scaring yourself every now and then in your job, you're not working hard enough."

- Ophelia Basgal, Regional Administrator, Department of Housing and Urban Development

"Run for office because you want to do something; not because you want to be something. Running for office should be the culmination of your political career, not the beginning.”

“How do you [get political] juice? Write checks. Get involved in any kind of community group/democratic club, volunteer with campaigns. This will help you build your network and your network is what gets you elected.”

- Alix Rosenthal, SF Democratic County Central Committee Treasurer

“As a society, and especially as women, we need to elevate the no-baby choice while honoring the motherhood route.”

"All of us get to these crossroads in life where we agonize over a choice. Just choose! Just choose and it will immediately become the right choice."

“Practice radical mentoring. Those who have had doors opened for them must turn around and open those same doors for other women.”

- Gilda Gonzales, CEO, The Unity Council

"I didn't mean to fall into leadership - someone needed to step up and I thought 'I can do that.' This kept happening."

“Bringing someone along is key. There is a lack of succession planning; we need to feed the pipeline. I am constantly being asked to run again, to run for higher office. I'm tired!”

- Hydra Mendoza, President, San Francisco Board of Education, and Mayor's Education Advisor

"In addition to getting you elected/appointed to a position of power, networks are a safety net. The comfort of a network is incredible - it catches you when you fall in addition to lifting you up.”

- Sharmin Bock, Moderator and Alameda County Prosecutor

If you missed the breakfast, there are two more coming up this year - our next "Leap into Leadership" breakfast is June 12. Click here to register.

Special thanks to Symantec Corporation hosting our conversation at their San Francisco office.

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