LAC S2 4 | Authentic Leadership


Leadership is often dominated by men, causing women to suffer from imposter syndrome and cultivate a scarcity mindset. Since they are often in harsh competition with one another, women find it hard to hone authentic leadership skills. Alicia Couri chats with Dr. Mary Jean Vignone on how women can make a tremendous shift in leadership to lessen conflicts for power and unleash their true selves. Dr. Mary explains how to use feminine energy the right way, speak their mind freely, and stop acting with too much bravado just to fit in. She also talks about how flexible remote work can mend the gap between women being stuck at home and assuming leadership roles.

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Women In Power Developing Authentic Leadership Presence With Dr. Mary Jean Vignone

On the show, we welcome our amazing guest with us, Mary Jean Vignone. Let me tell you about Mary Jean. Dr. Mary Jean Vignone is an executive coach and consultant with an MBA, PhD, and over 25 years of leadership experience in nonprofits and corporations. She is passionate about helping women overcome their internal critics and self-doubt to reach their unlimited potential.

She works with women clients who are transitioning or on track to transition to higher levels in their careers and assists them in developing their authentic leadership presence. Mary Jean also consults with CEOs and HR executives to develop their employees’ talents to facilitate increased employee engagement and retention to support their employer’s brand and attract new talent. Welcome to the show, Mary Jean.

Thank you so much, Alicia. Glad to be here.

We’ve had a conversation before about female leaders. You work with women specifically, and I want to go back to your own experience, first of all, in corporate and nonprofit, as a woman leader and how that led you to the work that you are doing now. What was your role back then? How did you find that women need support?

I’ve had numerous roles and different roles in my career. First, I started in the mortgage industry and worked for Chase Manhattan at that time. I gave up the ladder. I started there as a loan officer, then got promoted to a small office, managing an office, and then the Greater Los Angeles area as a marketing officer in charge of that. Also, having the flagship office in Downtown Los Angeles. If you look at banking, it is a male-dominated organization, especially at the top levels. I was very fortunate to be able to move through that.

A lot of it was because of the way that I embraced my employees, understood who they were, tapped into their straps, and tried to be authentic. Sometimes it worked, and sometimes, it didn’t. What I found was that I had some more problems with other women than I had with men. That got me thinking about, “What are the dynamics here?” Fast forward to when I jumped into a nonprofit role with Santa Barbara County’s United Way, did fundraising, and had to interact with lots of different companies and people. I started noticing again that there were some women who were authentic, truly who they were and there were others who were putting on this facade of being more masculine in their approach.

Coming into banking, into a different role, and more in the organizational development role, I again found that same thing. There are certain women that are not being who they are and want to be somebody else. They want to be like men, and it doesn’t work. It causes conflict. It is, “This is competitive. Let’s push another woman down, so I can look better.” I want to change that because we, as women, coming in authentically who we are, can make major changes in our society, in our companies, and in the world in general.

Some women want to be somebody else or act like men. This does not work in the leadership space and only causes conflict. Click To Tweet

What do you think was behind some of that attitude? Do you think it was fear-based? Do you think it was because they didn’t know better? What do you think as the expert and have not just been the expert in it now, but having experienced it yourself?

What you tapped into is fear. The fear that they weren’t good enough is possible. The fear that they had to pretend to be somebody else. We will talk about the impostor syndrome a little bit later, which is a little different than trying to be somebody else that you are not. The impostor syndrome is more that you are questioning who you are.

That you are not good enough, I’m not good enough but this bravado and this having to put on an act like a man, be like one of the guys, be tough, be a dog eat dog could be fear-based. As you feel like, “If I’m not like them, they are not going to accept me any other way, and they are going to push me out.”

It’s a competitive thing because they are looking at the top leadership. There’s only a handful of women. It’s like, “We have to compete with other women so that we can get that little tiny piece up there,” has to change.

It’s not inclusive. It’s all this fear and this scarcity mindset of, “There’s only one position, and it’s better to be me. There’s no more room at the top. They are only letting one of us in. The door is narrow. I got wide hips, so how do I get in? I have to turn to the side.”

It’s like, “I’m not enough, so I have to push other women.”

“I have to push other women out of the way and squeeze myself in.” As people are reading, I want them to identify, “Could this be me? Am I showing up this way? This is such and such,” and then we will help you be able to shift that or bring attention to it in a kind and gentle way if it’s someone else. You could bring attention to it without bringing offense, shame, guilt, or even being combative or trying to approach someone with the wrong intention. Tell us how this can show up for people.

While we were talking about that, one person came to mind, a leader that I had that was not with it, and that was part of the boys’ club. She worked her way into being the female but the female boy in the homeboys’ club. It’s like favoritism. It’s saying, “Instead of looking at somebody’s ability or what they can do, look at them like, ‘I like this person better. She’s more like me or I like that person because of this,’ and then giving all the opportunities to select here.” Building that loyalty that they feel they need to have so that they have these people in their back pockets. It’s speaking the talk, and not sometimes you have some corporate speak. It comes in and says the words.

It’s all empty. There’s nothing behind it. Everybody knows you don’t mean it, “We will take care of you. No, we’re not.”

“We’re very open here,” but no. You are not.

“We’re open to all your suggestions. The minute you bring a suggestion, you’re fired. You guys can take Friday off.” What you mean is you better come in on Friday because we have a big thing due but we are saying, “Take Friday off,” but those who do come in on Friday get a promotion or are treated differently. Come Monday, they are getting better treatment. Even though you said to take Friday off, you didn’t mean it. You said it because you were supposed to say it. If you know what’s good for you, show up on Friday.

You have it down a path right there. It’s not being who you are. It’s putting on this air about something else. You talk a lot about confidence. The confidence we have should be authentic confidence.

It shouldn’t be this bravado, this fake egotistical type of egotism, not confidence. This can afflict everyone, male and female alike. This is not a woman’s issue. We’re focusing on women because you coach women. Everyone could show up inauthentic but because you coach women, we are talking about women. Please don’t get us wrong in thinking that men don’t show up that way too because they sure do. In fact, they probably wrote the script.

Since it was a man’s world, the corporate was typically a man’s world. I remember the movie Mr. Mom. She came in, and it was a good old boys club. You had to smoke cigars, drink, and do all this stuff. She came in being her authentic self. At first, it was not well received but then she realized she had her finger on the pulse of what women wanted. They were selling products to women, so we better listen to her. I love that movie. I don’t know if you know it.

That’s an authentic woman coming in and being who she was.

It was supposed to be like focusing on Michael Keaton’s character, trying to be the housewife, trying to be Mr. Mom. If you look at Teri Garr’s character, the movie was about her. When you look at Corporate America and women back then, this was in the ’80s, and it’s still happening now, how she was not well received at first because she was a woman. When you’re thinking about climbing that corporate ladder for women, what are some of the cautions? When are they trying to stay authentic? What are some of the things they need to be aware of to keep themselves authentic but also strive to be in leadership?

A lot of the whole thing about authentic leadership in general, and there’s a whole theory around it, and I have been using an authentic leadership questionnaire in some of my research that I’m doing. Number 1) It’s having that self-awareness, understanding who you are, your emotions, your strengths, and your weaknesses. Know exactly who you are and feel comfortable in your body with who you are. Number 2) Is to have values and live those values, to be ethical, moral, understanding inclusive, and listening to others. That’s part of that transparency of being who you are. It’s not like you have to share every aspect of yourself but you have to bring yourself into it.

LAC S2 4 | Authentic Leadership

Authentic Leadership: Understanding your emotions, strengths, and weaknesses is the first step toward becoming an authentic leader.

You have to show that you’re a real person and that they can count on you and know who you are. You build that trust with that transparency. Here’s what’s called balance processing. That balance processing is all about listening to others even though you don’t agree with them but giving them that space to speak their mind and open up in a safe environment. There’s a lot that goes on with that psychologically safe environment that we all need to work in. We don’t want to feel threatened by work. We don’t want to feel anxious about work. We want to feel that we can be who we are. The most important thing is that an authentic leader is going to help others to be authentic in their goals.

Whenever I ask this question, it always comes back to the individual first. That’s always number one. Number one is always knowing yourself. In fact, I have seven secrets, and I call them to step secrets. It’s interchangeable with audacious confidence. It starts with knowing and loving yourself. I always talk about the good, bad, and the ugly. You have to know it all. We have blind spots that we don’t know about ourselves that show up that everybody else sees, and you need to know what those things are.

You can’t be offended when somebody tells you something about yourself just because you don’t see it. That’s a time to listen and say, “What is causing me to act this way or do something like this?” Question yourself because if they are seeing it, other people are seeing it too. They are not the only ones that are seeing something in you. It’s up to you, not up to them, because you have to take personal responsibility. It’s not up to them to change that about you. It’s up to you to recognize it, understand it, and then if you want to change it, then you can be a choice to change it.

If you keep saying, “That’s not me,” and pushing it away, that’s a victim mentality, and you will never rise above it. People will see some of those issues and situations and won’t promote you because of a certain thing. If you don’t know it, if you refuse to acknowledge it, it’s not going to lead you to move up or move higher. You need to know and understand those things about yourself. Values and boundaries are important. Transparency, and psychological safety, all of these things are vital for you to understand in that process of moving forward and moving up. I love that you are sharing that. What is your PhD on?

My PhD is on Human and Organizational Systems for Development.

When we are talking about strengths because I love diving into strengths of all types, I am an assessment junky. I’m not going to lie. I love taking all kinds of assessments to learn more about myself because knowing yourself is so vital. Are there any particular types of assessment tools that you use, you recommend, or something that you’ve created yourself?

The assessment tool that I use is the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator, MBTI, and the DiSC. I also use the Authentic Leadership Questionnaire. I have another one, called Management By Strengths, that I also use. I am like you, and I am a junky too. I’ve taken Enneagram, which I’m not certified in but I love that one. Also, CliftonStrengths is another one.

It’s vital. There are so many different facets to us. I laugh sometimes when leaders tell me, “We do DiSC.” I’m like, “That’s one measurement.” There are so many other places. I’m certified in Kolbe, which is a cognitive assessment. I have The Predictive Index, which is cognitive and affective. I want to look at all three parts of the mind and how they interact with each other to get this view of a person from various different strengths to see, “How is this com conflicting with another person and how is this meshing with someone else? How do we get synergy even if we have a diversity of strengths?” It’s because you want diversity. “How do we create this symphony, harmony, and strength?” I love that you are an assessment junky like me because it’s so important.

I also have the TKI, which is also looking at conflict, which I’ve used. Also, I love the EQI points out emotional intelligence. That covers so much. It’s in-depth, and people learn much about themselves and how to move forward because it’s something you can learn. It’s not something you’re born with. You can learn emotional intelligence.

You can learn about yourself. The reason I bring up assessment tools in this conversation is that you’re talking about developing authentic leadership. If you don’t understand and you’re trying to lead with different strengths that you see other leaders have and say, “I want to lead like this person,” if your strengths don’t align with that person, you will find yourself in a struggle and not being authentic.

You have to understand what your individual strengths are and how to best utilize those strengths to get where you want to go. We can model other people’s career paths and some of the things that they did but when you understand your own strengths, it makes it so much easier for you to stay in your lane and not try to hop over into that lane and drive their path. Understand your own career path and how you can get there because you might get there faster than them if you understand your strengths.

Strengths are so important. It’s also the essence of who you are. It’s being who you are, bringing that whole self into your role. When you have to try to imitate somebody else, it’s imitation. People can see through that. I’m sure you can recognize when somebody isn’t being authentic. You can recognize when somebody is putting on a facade, putting on a face. It’s obvious.

Individual strengths are the essence of who you are. When you try to imitate somebody, it is imitation. People can recognize if you are being inauthentic. Click To Tweet

Everybody else can. They roll it, and someone says something in leadership, and you see everybody else like, “They know.”

People know. You can’t fool them.

You’re not getting anything over on them. Not at all. When we measure strengths, they’re not gender-biased but you get to understand how you operate. The question I have about women now is how do you help women make that distinction between leading with their feminine energy and understanding their non-bias strengths and how to use them integrative to lead?

It’s a good question, and it’s not an easy answer too. One of the things that I do is understand the person that I’m working with, especially in a one-on-one coaching session, to understand who they are. Sometimes I will use some of the assessments so that they can get more self-awareness but then try to bring their attention to what they want to be in the world, who they want to be, whom they’re trying to be, and what they’re trying to achieve. Focus on that and around the person and then understand. We all, especially women, have some feminine power. We have something there. The feminine energy, feminine power.

During my research, I have been asking people and women that I’m interviewing, “What is your feminine power?” There are lots of different answers, and I haven’t finished my research yet, so there are lots of different things that come out. I’m also seeing a little bit of a trend in the early stages, and women are talking about being open, accepting, welcoming, and caring. Those are the qualities that each one of these women went through. The test actually had people rate them on authenticity. They came out as authentic, and here’s what they’re saying, it’s that openness. It’s that welcoming. It’s caring. It’s wanting to understand their employees or the people that they want.

LAC S2 4 | Authentic Leadership

Authentic Leadership: The trend in the early stages of leadership is for women to be welcoming and caring. These qualities are used to rate them their authenticity.

I know not everybody is a mother but women were created to be more nurturing. As a mother, I don’t consider myself very nurturing. Ask my kids when they’re sick. It’s like, “Don’t call me. I’m not the cuddler. I’m not the one.” However, there is this innate sense to nurture this sense to take care of others and like you said, that openness to want to help others. As a woman, we have this innate sense. Men were created differently, especially when they were hunter-gatherers. They were created to go and get, kill the thing, and bring it home.

In our prehistoric DNA, the woman was the gatherer and the nurturer, and the men were the hunters. When a woman is trying to be that hunter, I’m not saying you can’t have drive and ambition but to be authentic, you also have to bring that nurturing side of you into it and not just shut it down. It is a part of our DNA. We have levels of nurturing as I said, I am not the one that, when you’re sick, will cuddle you. I’m the one like, “You’re sick. Let’s get you healed. Let’s figure out how to get rid of this thing.” The way I do it still has that nurturing quality, which is different from a man’s.

When we are looking at authentic leadership presence in a woman, you have to bring all of you to this leadership role. Don’t just say, “I’m a mom, so that part of me has to stay home.” Bring all of it with you. It’s because there might be one little thing. Someone comes in, and they’re not feeling well that day. You can relate and not say, “Suck it up, butter cup. Let’s go. We got a deadline.” You can be more, “What do you need? How can we support you?” That, to me, is leading, bringing all of you because you don’t want to say, “I do that at home. I don’t need to do this at work.” That’s not it.

The pandemic has blurred the lines between home and work in a good way. Now, we’re bringing people into our homes. We’re sharing parts of ourselves in some ways, whether it be what the background is or other things, by sharing something about ourselves. It’s that whole thing of being authentic.

The pandemic blurred the lines between home and work, but in a good way. Nowadays, people at home share parts of themselves in one way or another. Click To Tweet

It’s being more compassionate.

I also think that women are more attuned if there are family issues. Let’s face it. During the pandemic, we’ve had a lot of family issues going on, and in the same room as the Zoom meeting.

Kids are doing class while you’re on Zoom, and you have to pay attention to them, and you work at the same time.

Women are attuned to the needs.

To your point too, society has changed where a lot of us are taking care of elderly parents and children. We have both sides of the spectrum happening at the same time. When a worker comes, and they say they have to take care of their parent or something’s happened to their parent, there is more compassion in leadership now that’s saying, “Go handle that. Go take care of that,” because they’re in the same boat too. We’ve bridged a gap of understanding where it’s no longer this compartmentalized life that we’re living. That’s a lot due to the pandemic. Things are blurred.

The one thing that does worry me about the pandemic is that there are many women who leave the workplace. Luckily my daughter’s grown, so I don’t have to take care of her and be on Zoom with learning and such. I give a lot of credit to the women who had to take care of the children, make sure that they were okay, that they got on Zoom, and do what they had to do. Especially for those with toddlers, that has to be such a difficult thing to balance everything.

LAC S2 4 | Authentic Leadership

Authentic Leadership: A lot of credit has to be given to women who had to take care of their children at home while attending Zoom meetings, especially those with toddlers.

A lot of women had to make difficult choices saying, “I can’t manage. I have to take care of my family,” and have left the workplace. I’m hoping that as we come out of the pandemic, and we’re still in it, unfortunately, to some degree but we can start getting those women back, getting them into leadership positions and to be part of what they want to be in terms of their careers.

I want to talk about that. I have two questions I want to ask you about that. First of all, the lion’s share of the responsibilities and everything fell on women during the pandemic. We can’t turn a blind eye to that. We can’t sugarcoat that. It was devastating for women in companies because there was a mass exodus of women when kids couldn’t go back. They weren’t opening schools.

Women had to make the difficult decision of, “Leaving my job and taking care of my kids.” We did lose a lot of women leaders. What should companies do to help women bridge that gap and start bringing more women back into the workforce and back into leadership? What is your opinion? We don’t have any specific answers. I want to know, being someone who was in that world, what would you have done as a woman to help support other women to come back?

The main thing is flexibility. The flexibility to work from home. The flexibility to maybe flex their hours if they need to, to take care of both the responsibilities of either an aging parent or children. To give them that flexibility and more openness. There’s a whole thing about some companies demanding that employees come back into the office and some companies allowing remote workers. We’ve shown that the remote worker can do just as much, maybe even more, sometimes.

They don’t have that long commute in traffic.

They can be fresher. It’s a workable solution. The companies have to be open to it. The whole thing about childcare that’s another major issue that needs to be addressed. What is the responsibility of the workplace when it comes to childcare? Are some of the companies working towards having childcare on-site? Making sure that people who have to take family leave are not penalized in their trajectory. A lot of companies know that they can’t do that legally.

As you said earlier, you’re saying one thing but what is happening over there? This came to light during the pandemic too where the equity of saying, “We’ll have 7:00 AM standup meetings.” It’s difficult for women with children to be at a 7:00 AM standup meeting if they have to drop kids off at school or get them ready for school. Those are the times that you’re getting the families in chaos in that morning, getting everybody together and getting them off to school.

Why would you have a standup meeting at 7:00 AM and then penalize the person, “You’re never showing up at our standup meeting, so what do you want us to do about that?” Don’t have it at 7:00 AM. Don’t have it at 8:00 AM. Don’t have it at a time when they are corralling the troops to get them to school. Have it at a reasonable time so that everybody can be available to be there.

There are certain policies and procedures that were created at a time when there weren’t women or caregivers in the office that haven’t been looked at or changed. When you talk about values, you’re looking at the person’s values but also, what are the company’s values? Does it align with both genders or is it favoring one gender over the other? As women get into leadership, you have to address those systemic things.

Back in my career, early part, we were looking at, “What do we do to train loan officers?” The men have come up with this great plan, “We will have a bootcamp and put people in bootcamps for three weeks, train them up, and do all this.” At the time, I was a single mom and it was like, “I can’t be gone for three weeks.”

That’s not going to work.

I mentioned, “That would not work for me. I was a top salesperson here, so you would not have me fired.” They didn’t care. Granted, that was years ago but it still exists now.

It still exists on some level. The people on the top who are making these decisions don’t have the voice of someone represented there to say, “That’s not going to work because you’re excluding this whole area of people because they have to take care of their kids or their parent.” The second question I did want to ask you, and this is bridging into that is, do you believe that things are getting better for women or not? It’s the same.

When I think back to the early part of my career, I’m probably older than you, so we’re going way back. It’s gotten better. I remember when we weren’t allowed to wear pants or suits to work because that was not appropriate. We had to wear skirts, which makes no sense.

You had to look like a lady. The progress has been slow.

I don’t want to get into political stuff but things are shifting again, and I’m not sure if it’s going to be better in the future.

We see some incremental progress but then it’s not enough.

The pandemic has shown that. The discrepancy between men and women in terms of responsibility and even opportunities. Hopefully, we are moving in the right direction, and we have to keep pushing forward in that right direction.

LAC S2 4 | Authentic Leadership

Authentic Leadership: The discrepancy between men and women in terms of responsibility and opportunities is being lessened. Hopefully, everything in this aspect is moving in the right direction.

That’s why the work you do with women in leadership is so important to help them stand in their power, be recognized for the brilliance that they offer, and say, “I deserve a shot as much as anybody else here.” That’s very important. The last thing I’m going to talk about, and then I have some rapid-fire questions for you, and we touched on it before, is the impostor syndrome. Building women up to believe that they do deserve to be there. That they have everything that it takes to be a leader, to be in the room and not sit in the back of the room, not sit off to a corner but sit at the front of the table. Do you still find that it is a battle that you’re working with women through this impostor syndrome?

It still exists to this day. Men have it too. It’s more likely that women will have it. One of my clients, when I first started working with her, I was unsure why she was even invited to sit at some of these meetings. She didn’t feel she had a voice, and we worked hard on that through the coaching process. She had the degrees. She had a position and was an intelligent, incredible woman who wanted to make a major difference in the world and not feels she had a voice.

I recognize that because I used to feel that. I used to get invited where I was the only woman in a room full of White men. I would sit there thinking, “Why am I here? What do they see? I have nothing to offer here.” I would always feel that way. One day I realized, “If I had nothing to offer, they wouldn’t invite me into the room.”

That’s a great awareness to have. That’s what we worked on. After quite a few months of working together and she’s still a client of mine. I help her with different things. She now has a voice where she has been presenting her way of working what her model to the State of California. I’m proud of her because she has that ability, and she always had it. It was recognizing, internalizing, and owning it.

That’s it. Owning it. I used to say, “Am I supposed to be here to take notes? Am I the secretary? Do they invite me here to take notes?”

I have to tell a little story about one of my research clients. She’s a young woman in a very high position and doing a presentation in this hotel. The wait staff came in and stopped her because she had to sign the bill and because they thought she was the secretary and stopped her in the middle of her presentation. That feeling out there is still there.

Impostor syndrome doesn’t come out of anywhere. I’m going right back to Mr. Mom. She was treated at first like she was only there as window dressing or the secretary, “Grab us a cup of coffee. Go get us a drink. Go fetch us this.” There’s still that impression. As you said in the beginning, you must know yourself, what you bring to the table, your gifts, and your skills, and you know all of that. Know what the knowledge base that you’re coming therewith.

Stand in your power and recognize, “I am as deserving of sitting here as anyone else. In fact, I have great ideas that need to be shared as well.” Open your mouth and speak. Don’t hold it all inside. Open your mouth and share those brilliant ideas that you have. That’s what I would say to women because that’s being audaciously confident.

It’s that understanding who you are and what you bring, feeling great about it, and being confident in it. I love the work that you’re doing.

I am going to share some questions with you. Don’t think too hard or long about it. First of all, what is the biggest leadership mistake you’ve ever made or were a victim of?

It’s hard to think of it offhand but let me go through it. When I think about it was jumping into some leadership roles without having anyone there to coach me. It was learning by fire.

You didn’t have a mentor or somebody to whom you could talk to.

Early in my career, one of the biggest things was being thrown into a leadership role because I did well in learning how to be. At that time, I was a reservation agent for a travel company. I knew my stuff, so they put me into a leadership role but no training and no support. I made mistakes left and right. The majority of the people I was managing were older than me because I was very young.

It was rough. That seems to be a theme. As I’m doing these interviews in these shows, companies aren’t supporting their leaders when they promote them. They are saying, “There you go. Figure it out.” It’s this idea that, “You’re good at this, so you should know what to do.” We’re not born with a playbook already downloaded of how to do this. We need support.

The most important thing is the transition from an independent contributor to a manager. It’s a big leap.

It’s a big leap for a lot of people. Without the necessary upscaling, you end up with people leaving below managers because managers don’t know what they’re doing or the managers leaving because they feel overwhelmed, and everybody hates them now. You must give them support. The second question here is, what’s the best leadership advice you ever got that you still implement?

The best advice I ever got was about emotional intelligence. It is using your emotional intelligence and learning about it, and then people say, “Just do it.”

Maximize your emotional intelligence and always learn something from it. Click To Tweet

It’s important. Here’s a fun one. If you were a castaway on a deserted island, what three things would you hope wash to shore or was air dropped that you couldn’t live without, and one of them cannot be a cell phone?

I would have to have books. I’m a lifelong learner, so I need to have some books besides food, of course, food is an important thing as well. I would love to have some wine.

Wine, food, and books. There you have it. The three necessities of life. Send me some grapes. Let me plant some grapes, create my own vineyard, and learn to make some wine. You can send me a book on winemaking. I will make my own. If you were a song or a song title, what would it be and why?

I Am Woman.

I Am Woman. Hear me roar. Is that by Carol Kane?

No, it was Helen Reddy.

The final question I have is since you talked about books so much, what are you reading now or what are your top three favorite titles?

What I’m reading now is a book about leadership presence and its embodied leadership presence. It goes into not only the way that you speak but also the way that you hold yourself in a leadership role.

I love that. I have a book on Executive Presence, but that sounds very different because I truly believe it has to be carried in the body. We have a lot of similarities. That’s why I enjoyed having you on the show. Anything that I did not ask you that you would like to share?

I want to talk about my research because I’m so passionate about that. My research is about how women are authentic in their leadership roles. That’s why I’m interviewing women who are in leadership roles and giving them the authentic leadership questionnaire. These stories are incredible, from women that came from challenging childhood to women who have had challenges moving into their careers and how they have the courage and the self-awareness to pull themselves through. It’s so exciting, and I feel honored to hear those stories.

I remember I have to connect you to some of those women. Thank you so much, Mary Jean. Thank you again for joining us on this episode. I want to encourage you to lead yourself, lead your team, and lead your organization with audacious confidence. Until next time.

Thank you.


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About Dr. Mary Jean Vignone

LAC S2 4 | Authentic LeadershipDr. MaryJean Vignone is an executive coach & consultant with an MBA, Ph.D. and over 25 years of leadership experience in nonprofits and corporations. She is passionate about helping women overcome their internal critics and self-doubt to reach their unlimited potential. She works with women clients who are transitioning or on track to transition to higher levels in their careers and assists them in developing their authentic leadership presence. Mary Jean also consults with CEOs and HR executives to develop their employees’ talent to facilitate increased employee engagement and retention to support their employer’s brand to attract new talent.


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