We're excited to showcase the newest member of the Power Women of Denver, Lisa Lewis, CEO and Founder of Career Clarity, a platform that has helped over 500 people get clarity and make bold, exciting career changes.
Connect with Lisa:
What unique impact do you make on the world through your work?
I help people who don't love their jobs to find the work that lights them up. We spend so many waking hours at work every single week that it's a huge honor and privilege to help people map a pathway to work that better aligns with their values and fits their needs.
Tell us about a recent accomplishment you're proud of?
I just learned how to crochet and successfully made my first baby blanket for a friend! I'm the kind of perfectionist who can't just have a hobby for the sake of it -- I need productive, creative hobbies where I get to have fun outputs at the end!
What actions do you take to support and empower other women?
My business tends to skew towards supporting women identify who they are, what they value, and find the work that suits them, so I support and empower women in their careers every single day!
How did your career take off, and what do you attribute your success to most?
My career took off when I started to get courageous and calculated in my decisions. After spending about a decade working in digital marketing, I knew I was done, but didn't know what was next. Over the course of 2 years, I took baby steps to explore different directions, and started up my career coaching business on the side of my full-time job. One year later, I had started generating enough business to take a leap of faith and leave my full-time job -- and if I hadn't been willing to do that, I would have never been able to serve and have an impact at the scale that I do today.
How do you keep yourself passionate and driven regardless of how busy you are day to day?
Taking breaks every once in a while to recharge and re-ignite is important! The passion comes from taking care of myself and my needs while also remembering the bigger mission I'm serving. (I'm a woman on a mission to help people truly enjoy their work!)
What do you see as the future of your industry?
The coaching industry is in a fascinating high-growth stage right now, because typically high growth means a lot of regulation is coming (look at Uber or Lime scooters!). I think the future of the industry will be incorporating far more coaching into companies, so that you won't have to be an entrepreneur to build a satisfying career as a coach.
What is the best piece of advice you've ever received?
When I worked in grassroots communications consulting in Washington DC, my boss Bill noticed that I was very smart and also very quiet. He told me never to leave a room without making sure the people in it heard my voice and knew why I was there. That encouragement changed the trajectory of how I was showing up professionally and using my voice for good.
What's been inspiring you lately?
New music has been inspiring me lately! Loving groups like American Authors and Magic Giant.
What do you love most about Women of Denver?
It's exciting to find a community of ambitious women who are focused on building community!
What else would you like our readers to know about you?
I’m an obsessive learner, recovering perfectionist, passionate traveler, INTJ, English breakfast tea lover, perpetual dreamer, a cappella singer, overachiever, raw cookie dough enthusiast, and a definite Ravenclaw.
Written by: Jessica Schuurman: https://www.facebook.com/freecitymumlifestyle
“It’s time; you have the fire and passion.” – Rosemary Marshall
Inspired by her drive and tenacity in creating IMPACT with women in Colorado. The tough decision to run for office, turned out to be her true passion in changing and protecting the lives of women and youth. With her respected mentor, Rosemary Marshall, along her side pushing her to do more and be more. Leslie took the chance and with the support of volunteers and the people who believed in her she won the election.
Leslie Herod was recently elected to the State House of Representatives; she represents House District 8, which includes neighborhoods in northeast Denver such as Cheesman Park and Five Points. Leslie landed over 38 thousand votes and is the first African American LGBT candidate elected to the state legislature. She also runs her very own consulting business.
Learning that having a sisterhood is so important in staying motivated by using each other as encouragement. Awe inspired, Leslie is proud to represent her state of Colorado. She continually steps forward and speaks her mind of concerns to the community. By being in Office she is changing people’s hearts and minds for the betterment of the vast majority.
“When you step into your passion, it’s a privilege and an honor.” – Leslie Herod
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Now living her life in her passion Leslie speaks about how natural it is to step out and be heard. When times get tough and you fall, it’s a lot easier to get back up and continue on the path to your goals. Living on point with passion gives you the initiative needed in order to bring projects to full completion. Creating change and IMPACT to generate a more diverse community, full of love and compassion. Teaching others to stand up for the ones in need or being mistreated.
Leslie has already begun to make a difference with the homeless youth, providing funding. Sensing the urgency and hardship these children were enduring. Leslie knew that she needed to help these youth with their future and providing the best funding for them as they deserve to have the opportunities needed to create a life full of passion. Creating a difference in the juvenile system, and with women’s rights of abortion and fertility treatments just to begin naming a few. Leslie is truly making a HUGE IMPACT in the Colorado community.
Speaking to Colorado’s youth and inspiring them by sharing her story of just being ‘one of the people.’ Leslie’s favorite part about being in office is sharing her accomplishments and changing their point of views of being able to achieve your PASSION with just a dream. Giving them motivating words and inspiration that you can accomplish anything you want and make that difference you feel needs to happen.
Leslie Herod is a perfect example of a women who steps out of her comfort zone to truly make a difference. Following her passion and putting it into the good works that she does in order to help and teach others. Living a life of purposeful meaning while creating a noticeable IMPACT. Leslie Herod is definitely an exemplar all women should look up to. Put your fears aside and follow your heart in making the difference you were meant to create.
Leslie's tips for becoming a State Representative
Believing in oneself is most important when trying to create IMPACT in your community or even the GLOBE. Your voice matters whether you want to be a politician or a school teacher. Living life in your passion is truly where your happiness lies. If you don’t try you will never fail. If you don’t fail you will never succeed.
What makes someone a great leader?
Great leaders seek out information and listen to their teams. Early in my career I was given a book by Stephen Covey; "Seven Habits of Highly Effective People.
One of the habits in the book has stuck with me for nearly twenty years -"seek first to understand, then to be understood." I am a problem solver by nature with an instinct to jump in quickly and take action, but, this idea helped me temper that approach.
It has formed the foundation of my leadership style - I listen, ask questions, consider perspectives, all before directing, coaching or driving action. A good leader removes obstacles, builds skills and inspires others - understanding first helps all of those things to happen in a positive, productive way.
Do you consider yourself a leader?
I do. In any group or organization, a leader is responsible for mission-driven results - whether the mission is to make millions of dollars or to save millions of lives. To do that, you have to inspire people with your mission, give them the tools and skills to play their part, and reward success.
The first part of my career was working with for-profit start-ups. I was fortunate to work with some amazing people and to learn a lot about the tactics of leadership. That came in handy when I moved into non-profit leadership roles. In non-profit you do not have access to the same resources, whether it's time, money or people. Constant resource constraints often make most jobs more difficult to succeed in and more difficult to reward. Even though it's a challenge in non-profit, when the right people are in the right roles and they know how their hard work fuels the mission that we are all striving towards - great things happen!
Present Purpose Network, the non-profit I co-founded, has been able to partner and fund projects all over the world, with only unpaid volunteers. Our amazing members understand how their efforts help Present Purpose achieve our vision - a world where all women can realize their purpose.
Tell us about a time you took the lead.
With Present Purpose, I am fortunate to have the opportunity to lead all the time. Our network includes amazing women leaders working on the ground creating meaningful solutions to the problems that impact young women, their communities, and their world.
We are also the women who pool our resources and invest in this transformative work. Together, we are the solution that changes the present and the future for young women most affected by poverty, violence and inequality. I am not only a leader in the network, but I am also led, by the amazing women I get to collaborate with every day. The clarity of our vision and the belief in our mission are the perfect foundations for successful leadership. That foundation is consistently reinforced by the impact we are having for young women around the world. I am proud to lead Present Purpose.
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What does it mean to be a great leader?
One aspect of being a great leader is following through on your commitments. I’ve worked with several volunteer groups over the years, and it seems that some people just like to have their name listed on the board/committee but rarely show up or help out.
It’s the people who take the commitment seriously and add value to the organization that make the best leaders, and those are the people I look for when selecting the leadership for my groups. I know I can count on them to get things done.
Do you feel you're a leader? Why or why not?
I feel I’m a leader by nature of being a “connector.” Until I read Malcolm Gladwell’s The Tipping Point, I didn’t realize there was a name for my sickness! For example, if I meet someone who is new to town, job hunting, and/or starting a business, my wheels instantly start spinning to think of how I can connect them.
Tell a story of a time you took the lead -- what was your motivation?
For many years, I ran a listserv I called “The Dean’s List.” It was sort of a "mini-Craig’s list," where people would send me job openings, places for rent, or other things they were trying to promote and I would send out the list weekly. I had over 1,000 members at one point. I created the list because I wanted to help people make connections on a larger scale. When I went back to school while still working full time, I found it was too much to try to maintain the list as well as my sanity! I may try to revive the list after I graduate.
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What makes someone a great leader?
A great leader is defined by a willingness to take on challenges others may avoid for the betterment of the team, coupled with the ability to communicate and delegate to ensure the task at hand is properly completed.
Of equal importance, a strong leader is someone who actively listens to their peers, isn’t afraid of criticism and continuously tries to reinvent.
Do you consider yourself a leader, why or why not?
Whether they are positive or negative, a leader is influenced by many components of his or her life experiences. Growing up with three brothers, to ensure your voice was heard it was required that you exude a strong work ethic, a confident demeanor and to never let your drive towards your goals waiver. The leader I have developed into today is a result of a solid family foundation that constantly challenged me to better myself.
Though my journey as a leader is far from over, the level of support from my mentors at Colliers International as well as the Denver community is unparalleled and something I am eager to pay forward in the future.
Tell me about a time you took the lead?
Working in the commercial real estate industry, it did not take long to realize young female brokers are few and far between. This is particularly true in the office tenant representation sector. Upon graduation, I was originally hired as a research analyst with a two year timeline before entering into brokerage services. However, eager to jumpstart my career, I challenged myself to get licensed and ultimately became an active broker within my first few months at Colliers.
Since becoming licensed, my efforts have been directed at utilizing my differentiator (gender and age) to my advantage. I have been an active participant in Denver’s female networking scene, most recently being appointed to the Advisory Board for Women in Business at the South Metro Denver Chamber.
It takes a leader to recognize these voids and though I have a long path ahead of me, I feel as though I’ve found my niche. One thing I’ve learned is that it’s never too early to take on these leadership roles, and once you put yourself out there, the ability to expedite success is remarkable.
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What makes someone a great leader?
A good leader has respect for everyone they come into contact with regardless of affiliation or belief system. They must have strong convictions and values for which they stand strong.
I learned from my mother, and believe, that in order to keep power, one has to share power, while standing in alignment with one's truth and values. A leader also has a natural knack for nurturing and shares her insights with the people who need them.
Leaders come in times of need. It just happens, you just find yourself in a place of needing to be present with what the people need. Leaders arise when there is a need for people to start moving in a direction that optimizes the greater good.
Do you consider yourself a leader? Why or why not?
I am definitely leader. I’m a very small person, but I have a very big and bright personality. I’m naturally charismatic and that lends well to leadership. Since I can remember, when I speak people listen.
I’m a leader because I came here to be, I’ve always been, and what I have to offer today is very much needed in society.
I’m a holistic healthcare practitioner and I see that people are struggling with ailments and sickness right now. There is a great need for people like me to reignite the power within so people feel empowered to heal themselves. We as a people must learn to heal ourselves through the power of intention and natural medicine, including real food, and connection to our primal pasts, dance, song, storytelling and touch.
Tell me about a time when you took the lead. What was your motivation?
I was asked to attend a home birth after a woman had been in labor for 3 days. I was called in to do acupuncture so that she could relax and dilate fully. It didn’t appear to work. We were there trying to get her to move, she was exhausted and others in the room didn’t know how to respond.
As I was leaving my house that day I had intuitively grabbed a rattle as I was on my way out. When none of the attending knew what else to do for her, I intuitively followed my instincts, pulling from my indigenous cultural background and started singing to her using the rattle as musical instrument.
This ignited in her the ceremony that birth always was through the ages, before industrialized medicine took the mother's agency and natural instincts away, in lieu of mechanistic approaches to laboring . These medicine songs created a sacred and vibrant container which reminded her soul to open. Very soon after she birthed her baby.
Because of my ability to trust my intuition I was able to help someone during labor. Being a part of someone’s life in that way is so rewarding and gives me even more confidence that coming from a place of inner knowing is the key to true leadership in the world.
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