In Search Of Excellence: Lessons On Leadership, Life & How To Empower Female Leaders To Rise

In Search Of Excellence: Lessons On Leadership, Life & How To Empower Female Leaders To Rise
Duration: 60 Minutes
Module 1 Module 1
Recorded on: 2020-07-22
Unit 1 Slide Deck: In Search Of Excellence
Unit 2 Transcript: In Search Of Excellence
Unit 3 Workbook: In Search Of Excellence
Unit 4 Recording: In Search Of Excellence

True leaders welcome insights from others to become better. There are lots of resources – books, conferences,  coaches, and mentors – that offer leadership development advice. However, for female leaders, these may not fully capture the experience and challenges of leadership, particularly in male-dominated fields like law enforcement.

Justice Clearinghouse made this panel discussion possible with a roster of outstanding women leaders from different agencies.

  • Tina Buneta, Director of Public Safety Communications for the City of Aurora, Colorado
  • Deanna Cantrell, Police Chief of the San Luis Obispo California Police Department
  • Doreen Jokerst, Police Chief of the University of Colorado Boulder Police Department
  • Kimberly Miller, speaker, consultant, and trainer specializing in individual and organizational development.

Dr. Miller facilitates the discussion, allowing the panel to sound-off with tips, lessons, and challenges related to being a female leader. Specifics include:

  • Strategies and tools that helped their career
    • Career diversification and growth mindset to reap rewards with new learnings and experience.
    • Fostering one’s network to hear different perspectives, leverage each other’s strengths, assist one another, and create support systems both within and outside the field.
    • Understanding the value of influence, relationships, and emotional intelligence in leadership.
    • Owning it – be it mistakes or the barriers and limits we impose upon ourselves.
  • Practical advice to young and up and coming female leaders.
    • Stop harmonizing, apologizing, or trying to fit in and instead start embracing one’s authentic self.
    • Focus on the plan: Prepare, learn, work hard, have a mentor to provide guidance, believe that the plan will come into fruition, and take planned and smart risks to make it happen.
    • Get involved and build networks within the industry.
    • Learn how to handle conflict and maintain the ability to communicate effectively amidst disagreements.
    • Awareness of one’s reputation and taking control of it.
  • Things they’d change if given the chance for a do-over.
    • Redefining the concept of success and being more open to other possibilities instead of being stuck on one path.
    • Believing in one’s self and not allowing unconscious bias to create doubts or negatively impact performance.
    • Work on people skills: Be a better team player, have a support network, realize how influence works, and practice empathy.
    • Refusing mediocrity by taking assessments and soliciting feedback to have a better awareness of where improvement can take place.
  • How supervisors can better develop women they lead.
    • By recognizing the attribution errors and double standards as a result of implicit gender bias which creates the challenges for women and overcoming these.
    • By being proactive in communicating, knowing, and understanding their strengths and opportunities for growth.
    • Paying it forward by mentoring someone willing to benefit from the relationship.
  • Perspective on roles where a civilian employee supervises sworn employees.
    • Nurturing an organizational culture that isn’t caught up with ranks and titles.
    • Understanding that leadership and expertise can come from anybody and highlighting meritocracy and competence as the basis for leadership.
    • Acknowledging that command and control doesn’t work and pivot to a more people-oriented leadership that values everyone’s contribution to the organization.
    • Pay attention to nuances that espouse certain perspectives, like the use of titles for sworn staff and not for civilian positions.

Topics covered on the Q&A were about:

  • Books and resources for women’s career development.
  • Handling circumstances that didn’t go according to plan.
  • Dealing with personal attacks.
  • Overcoming cattiness, competition, and other negativity between women.
  • Advice to a new police officer.


Resources and Handouts:


Audience Comments

  • “I truly enjoyed the conversation on your own implicit bias, turning the lens inward, seeking out feedback when bi-passed by leadership, being unapologetic for speaking up, controlling your own reputation, not participating in or condoning negativity among females in your org, and the urge to reach out to a mentor and female leadership networks NOW. Thank you so much to these amazing women leaders. My favorite quote of the day; “Fix somebody’s crown without telling everyone that you had to do it.” — Veronica
  • “This webinar provided confirmation to my current endeavors on searching for my first leadership position that I must place myself in uncomfortable and not so easy work tasks to be able to excel to the next level. This spoke volumes to me to expand my outlook on my career opportunities. I enjoyed the personal examples and information discussed during this webinar. Thank you!” — Whittney
  • “I am preparing for an interview for a promotion. This really encouraged me and gave me some great speaking points.” — Leigh Anne
  • “Great panel, very informative, inspiring, and helpful! thank you!” — Yelena
  • “This was so valuable to me as a female, even just working in an office as a civilian. It felt like they were talking to me. Everything about this webinar was extremely helpful. It maintained my attention the entire time because it was so helpful. The points and tips were some things I already knew but needed to hear it again, from successful women.” — Tonya
  • Wow, this was one of my favorite webinars. I like that it wasn’t a powerpoint presentation and got to see “real” people in “real roles. I gained a lot of good information and knowledge today as a woman and a leader. Thank you for providing this opportunity!!! — Ronna
  • “This webinar was outstanding! Such a positive, encouraging discussion that helped me realize I’m on the right track and definitely have more to offer than I give myself credit for sometimes.”  — Penny
  • “There were too many valuable takeaways to mention in this space. I’ve always enjoyed Dr. Miller’s presentations and was not disappointed with the panel selection. I appreciate their transparency in sharing their personal experiences and insights. We definitely need more mentors like them in the workplace. Great webinar!” — Michelle


Additional Resources
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