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Betsy Myers      

Women’s Business and Leadership Expert; Author of "Take the Lead"; Former Senior Political Advisor

Betsy Myers speaks at and leads workshops around the world on the changing nature of leadership. Her book, Take the Lead: Motivate, Inspire, and Bring Out the Best in Yourself and Everyone Around You, continues to be the basis of her work as her experience spans the corporate, political and higher education arena.

In May 2011, Betsy was appointed Founding Director of the Center for Women & Business at Bentley University. The Center was a repository of best practices for corporate America to recruit and retain women leaders. Betsy worked with corporations and shared information about putting these practices into place.

In 2003, Betsy served as Executive Director of the Center for Public Leadership at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government. During her tenure, Betsy focused the Center’s teaching and research around authentic inner leadership. The results and impact were immediate and staggering. A strategic educational partnership between Harvard and The Hoffman Institute was developed which continues today. Betsy also increased the Center’s efforts around women and leadership while working closely with Harvard’s Women’s Leadership Board.

As senior official in the Clinton Administration, Betsy was the President’s senior adviser on women’s issues. As Deputy Assistant to the President, Betsy launched and was the first Director of the White House Office for Women’s Initiatives and Outreach. She played a critical role in Clinton’s re-election effort in 1996 and figured prominently in shaping the Administration’s legislative agenda on issues such as domestic violence, reproductive choice, breast cancer and women in business.

Betsy also served as the Associate Deputy Administrator for Entrepreneurial Development in the U.S. Small Business Administration. She implemented the SBA’s national requirements under President Clinton’s Welfare to Work Initiative and was responsible for the agency’s technical assistance, management, and distance learning programs. In a previous post, she served as the Director of the Office of Women’s Business Ownership at the SBA where she was an advocate for the 9.4 million women entrepreneurs in our country.

Betsy serves on the Council of National Advisors of Springboard Enterprises, a national not-for-profit organization that educates, coaches and supports high growth women-led businesses that are seeking venture capital for expansion.

Prior to joining the Clinton Administration, Betsy spent six years building Myers Insurance & Financial Services based in Los Angeles. She specialized in the small business and the women’s market providing insurance and retirement planning.

A Public Service Fellow at Harvard’s Kennedy School, Betsy graduated with a Masters in Public Administration, and then served as the School’s Director of Alumni Programs & External Relations before her role at the Center for Public Leadership.

Speech Topics


Leadership is a Feeling

Research and statistics indicate that as many as one in two American workers feel disconnected in their workplace. This accounts for $350 billion of lost productivity each year. At the same time, American companies spend millions a year on leadership development programs. Betsy challenges us by asking, Are we teaching the right practices to our future leaders? Her book, Take the Lead: Motivate, Inspire and Bring Out the Best in Yourself and Everyone Around You, (September, 2011), describes an often counterintuitive view of leadership. When people feel valued, supported, appreciated, included, and understood, they are inspired to do their best work. The job of any leader is to bring out the productive feelings of their people. Betsy describes seven principles that serve as a road map for any leader who aspires to bring out the best in their people. This is not just the right thing to do, but is a proven strategy to profitability and success.

Authentic Leadership and the Leader in You

The leader in each of us is realized the moment we say, This is the real me. What is the pearl that each of us is adding to the world and how do we identify that special quality? During the past 50 years, leadership scholars have conducted more than 1,000 studies to determine definitive styles, characteristics, or personality traits of the ideal leader. None have produced a clear profile or consistent skills, traits, or styles that led to success, rather; leadership emerged from our life stories. Authenticity is an understanding of our personal story and what gives us meaning in our lives. We trust leaders who are authentic and not trying to be someone else. In this session, Betsy will take listeners through the journey of authentic leadership, what it looks like for each of us, and how we can help others around us live their most authentic life.

The New Paradigm of Leadership

Change is all around us and todays leaders are confronted with a changing work force. The command-and-control leadership style that worked in the past does not work today. In 2008, 70% of new entrants to the workplace were women and minorities. This changing workforce also includes generational differences, technology, global relationships, and womens roles. Betsy will discuss the important leadership skills needed not only for today but into the next decade while emphasizing diversity in the workplace.

Leadership Round-Up

There is a new leadership model that is changing the field of leadership. Leading with love and putting your people first is quickly becoming a mantra of successful companies such as Southwest Airlines, T.J. Maxx, and Chick-fil-A. This keynote will focus on the new leadership model needed for a changing workplace that includes multi-generations, minorities, women and takes into account the diversity of our times. It is not just the right thing to do but it is also profitable.

Women and Leadership

In this provocative presentation, Betsy discusses important research and thinking around women in leadership. She explores the history of the movement for equality and shares insights gleaned from her work with Gloria Steinem, Betty Friedan, and Bella Abzug. Tracing her own career path from the financial services industry to her roles in the Clinton Administration, the Harvard Kennedy School Center for Public Leadership, and the Obama Presidential Campaign, Betsy brings perspective from her experiences as a successful female leader. She helps audiences understand what it will take to continue closing the confidence gap, how to confront the balance question, (Is it really possible?), the different leadership styles of men and women, and leadership necessary for the next generation of women.

Rethinking and Reshaping Your Personal Leadership Agenda

Betsy explores the fundamental leadership skills of personal and interpersonal leadership development. She believes the hardest person you will ever manage is yourself. In this presentation, Betsy uncovers the key tools to use while thinking about and exploring personal leadership effectiveness. Her remarks focus on personal authenticity, how to seek out and understand your personal and organizational effectiveness, developing a personal advisory board, establishing critical listening skills, and the importance of appreciating and acknowledging yourself and your team.

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