Four years ago, I was having coffee with a new acquaintance. We were introduced because we both had consulting careers in education as well as philanthropy and, as we talked, we touched on the idea that there were so many women like us who were successful but were working on their own, or the only ones in their particular role. We agreed that successful, independent women are often lonely and have few connections with others like themselves. We decided on the spot that we would form a women’s a group in Austin and surround ourselves with like-minded women. Women in Legacy Leadership, or WILL, was born on that day.
We each chose 6 members, had our first few meetings, and then my co-founder Jenn Beck took on a new job and moved. Most of her selections stayed on, as did mine and we continued to meet monthly, first at a Blue Dahlia restaurant, then at the UT Club, and then we settled on Juliet Italian Ristorante in Austin. We added a few more select members and came up with guidelines for meetings and leadership based on that first vision. Our members are consultants, coaches, advisors, team leaders and more. Areas of expertise include education and philanthropy as well as communication, branding and marketing, strategic planning, development, research, media, team training and real estate to name only a few.
We meet from 4-6 PM on the last Thursday of the month, with the meeting leadership and topic led by a different WILL member each month. Our meetings include a ‘check in’, a time for each member to share what’s going on in her life and receive support or direction if needed. Then we address the topic for the meeting, the best part. Each month we share our honest experiences in the safest environment imaginable. Each of considers WILL to be a primary source, not only of friendship, but advice, guidance and wisdom. Our topics have included: Life Altering Childhood Experiences, Stages of Human Development, Managing Change, Most Influential Books, The Meaning of Grace and Faith Journeys, as well as taking and discussing the Enneagram and Strengths Finders assessments – and so much more.
We’re now about to enter our 5th year of convening, advising, sharing and caring. And I think we would agree, unanimously, that WILL is one of the best experiences of all of our lives. Women in Legacy Leadership indeed!