TEDWomen 2015: Inspiring Talks that Ignite Change

“Sometimes in life you are lucky enough to have the opportunity to have the combination of moments and interactions come together to reframe your view of the world and ultimately your platform of action in an amazing and powerful way.” -Michelle Cirocco

At Televerde, we provide a lot of services, from B2B demand generation to marketing automation consulting, data quality and more. But our business isn’t just about marketing and sales solutions—we strive to make the world a better place and inspire positive change in people’s lives. Our VP of Client Success, Michelle Cirocco, recently had the opportunity to attend the TEDWomen 2015 Conference in Monterey, California and left inspired with an even greater passion and commitment for her work at Televerde.

TED is a conference centered on sharing knowledge and igniting change around the world, and TEDWomen showcases the women and men who are a part of this story and are forging our future in business and society. With so many insights, ideas and inspirational stories from TEDWomen 2015 that can be applied to all aspects of life, below are some of Michelle’s favorite highlights from the powerful talks at the conference.

1. Margaret Heffernan: “Companies don’t have ideas, only people do…”

Forget about “superchickens” and focus more on social cohesion! Margaret Heffernan challenges the way we think about work and leadership and what drives high-achieving teams. She presented studies that showed more productive groups did not have higher IQs or a star leader, but rather had a high degree of social sensitivity, were not dominated by a single voice, and had MORE women. Ideas flow more freely when a culture of helpfulness exists. As Heffernan says, “Companies don’t have ideas, only people do. And what motivates people are the bonds of loyalty and trust they develop around each other.”

2.     Aspen Baker: “Empathy is created when we imagine ourselves in someone else’s shoes…”

Aspen Baker spoke of the importance of listening and storytelling, and her ideas can be applied to any area of one’s life. Asking open-ended questions, being a good listener, using reflective language, and sharing stories are key to having meaningful conversations. “Empathy is created when we imagine ourselves in someone else’s shoes. It doesn’t mean we have to end up in the same place,” Baker says.

3.     Linda Cliatt-Wayman: “If you’re going to lead, lead.”

As a school principal at a low income, low-performing school in North Philadelphia, Linda Cliatt-Wayman has learned a lot about leadership and success with three principles that were paramount in her journey. First, “if you’re going to lead, lead,” meaning you have to take responsibility and personally ensure what needs to be done is being done. Second, “So what? Now what?” Although the school she led had a host of problems, they weren’t going to be solved by making excuses—she had to take action to fix them. Her third slogan was, “If nobody told you they loved you today, you remember I do, and I always will.” She shows her deep compassion for her students and her unwavering belief in their potential. That is what really makes her a powerful leader.

4.     Jane Fonda & Lily Tomlin: “Women’s friendships are like a renewable source of power.” 

From 9 to 5 to their new show Grace and Frankie, Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin’s friendship has spanned several decades. Fonda and Tomlin took the TED stage to discuss the importance of female friendships and the strength women gain from them. Women typically have close relationships with each other, which allows them to have full disclosure and vulnerability. These relationships are “like a renewable source of power,” according to Fonda, and may even be the reason women live longer than men.

5.     Jimmy Carter: “The best thing that we can do today is for women in powerful nationswho have influence and freedom of speech to take the responsibility to be more forceful and demanding.”

Former president Jimmy Carter spoke about the hardships women around the globe face. “The number one abuse of human rights on earth is the mistreatment of women and girls,” says Carter (source: TEDBlog). In the United States, we are seeing an epidemic of sexual assault on college campuses, sexual slavery, and excessive imprisonment. Carter said what needs to be done is we need to speak up. Women in powerful nations who have the opportunity to influence others and freedom of speech need to take responsibility to be more forceful and demanding.

At Televerde, we want to do more. Our underlying business model provides second chances to individuals who are disenfranchised within their communities. We provide on-going training, education and gainful employment within our contact centers. This supports their ability to pursue and develop meaningful careers and successful community re-entry. After attending TEDWomen and learning that 7.3 out of 1,000 people in the U.S. are currently incarcerated, we realize we could be helping not only women in Arizona, but men and women around the world.

To learn more about Televerde’s story and what we’re doing to reduce recidivism rates and transform human lives with our social responsibility initiatives, visit our website Arouet Foundation. To share your experiences and stories about social responsibility, comment on our LinkedIn or tweet us @televerde.

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