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Women in Business Leadership Speaker Series 2018: “Together We Inspire”

Originally published on March 18, 2018

The Tempe Chamber of Commerce started off 2018 with an exceptional program, brought to us by the Chamber’s Women in Business Council. These presentations took place over four weeks from January 26th to February 16th, hosted at the MarinaLink venue at the new State Farm regional HQ in Tempe, AZ. The discussions provided insight into the great topics presented by these accomplished Women in Business.

February 16th. Together We Inspire: "Strategic Leadership" with Deborah Dubree

In this fourth and final installment of the 2018 Women in Business Leadership Speaker Series, Deborah Dubree brought a lifetime of career and leadership knowledge across various professionals to bear on the topic of Synergistic Leadership. This topic departed from what the paradigm for predicting workplace success has been for decades and demonstrated it in a more contemporary, relevant light.

For years, educators, college admissions screeners, and even businesses have focused on intelligence quotient (IQ) as a determining factor in predicting future placement and future success. To be sure, that is a valid method, but it is only a piece of the puzzle–and not the largest piece at that! Today, emotional intelligence (EI, sometimes called emotional quotient, or EQ) has emerged as a primary factor in success where personal interactions and leadership are concerned.

EI is responsible for success in 85% of successful leaders

80% of effective leaders have a solid EI/EQ

Three concepts about how one grows as a leader were presented:

  • Self-understanding. When a leader has an understanding of their past, present, desired future, capabilities, perceived limitations, and so forth, it allows for one to gain “upgrades” in the things that they view as deficits–and also improve on things that they do well.

  • “7 C’s” of Excellence. I will discuss those in a bit more depth later; however, they include the keys to “up” power, “up” performance, and “up” profits.

  • Default Language. What is the default language that you speak? Does it match your vision and mission? Are you consistent? is it effective? Is it relevant?

Deborah provided insight into what she coined as the “10 Top Dirty Little Secrets.”

  1. Average is an Addiction. I have for a long time held this to equate to another saying: “If minimums weren’t good enough, they wouldn’t be minimums.” Are you content with just meeting the standard and going on without exploring other facets of your job, hobby, or life? When we take the position that just being an average person or just meeting the standards instead of exceeding them, we impose upon ourselves an artificial limitation.

  2. Bet on YOU! How many times have you been faced with the notion that you might not be able to accomplish something? well, if you take that perspective, just sit right back down and don’t even bother to start–you have already set yourself up for failure (and mistakenly convinced yourself that you can rationalize the failure when it happens). You need to believe in yourself as a core principle in being successful!

  3. FOCUS. This is the common trait between Bill Gates and Warren Buffett that helped propel them to ultra-success.

  4. ALONE, not Lonely. It is important–necessary–for effective and successful leaders to have “me time.” You need time alone, away from others, to have your own environment, think space, de-stress space, and so on. It does not mean that you have to put yourself in a position where you no longer have friends or interaction with others…but in any relationship–business or personal–everyone needs their space from time-to-time…

  5. Positively Useless. Positive self-talk is useless and, over time, stress kills positive self-talk. BUT…if you REALLY believe in yourself, positive self-talk can be a powerful motivator–emotion drives memorability.

  6. Stop Talking. Instead of talking and solving the problems of others, lead or mentor them to develop their own problem-solving methods and answers.

  7. Well-Meaning Praise. We often find praise to be empty because we set such a high standard for ourselves–we keep telling ourselves that we could have done better. We want to do better–and next time, we will–but it does not mean that you didn’t do well this time. Remember that we can always improve, learn more, do better–don’t let well-meaning praise lull you into a sense of adequacy…and end up being average.

  8. I’m Not Average. Of course you are! Everyone is in one respect or another–we all have our talents, areas where we do not have talents, and areas where we are about the same as others. It is OK to be average–as long as you don’t let yourself be average in everything!

  9. Breakthrough. So, you’ve come this far. You’ve hit a plateau or a roadblock. What can you do to keep going toward your goal? Think critically and find a way to breakthroough the pause!

  10. I’ve Got this. You can do it! everyone needs help sometimes. Even coaches need a coach.

Now, let’s go back to The 7 ‘C’s of Excellence

  1. Choice. Say “yes” to one things, “no” to another. once you make your choice, stick with it until it is accomplished or until you find it to not be the right path.

  2. Consciousness. Don’t forget yourself! Take time to check in with yourself from time to time –> How am I doing?

  3. Change. Beware–your brain will fight change in order to keep you in your comfort zone.

  4. Courage. Courage is the bridge to confidence. Success is the result of courageous choices and bold action.

  5. Confidence. Let’s take some introspection on this one. If you are shopping around for a service, a new employee, a college, or some other external resource that you need, how does the confidence of the marketer/presenter/salesman sway your decision? now, take a look at yourself in the mirror and see what others see–or don’t see-in you. (Hey, talking to a mirror is OK–you will see things about yourself that others see and make yourself better).

  6. Commitment. Say what you’ll do; do what you say. Say what you won’t do, and then don’t do it. Otherwise put: Don’t just talk the talk; walk the walk.

  7. Consistency. Stay the course! Don’t go off in tangents chasing shiny objects! In business and leadership, predictability can have a directly positive correlation with productivity, efficiency, and success [to a point].

Your Bonus “C” – “Challenge.” We all get in a comfort zone. Step out of the box and challenge yourself to do something new! There is a reason why so many products sell well when they use the word refresh in their marketing–because we want and need that feeling for ourselves!

Finally, Deborah shared the Four Quadrants of Performance that shows relationships between actions and influences compared to results. Although I cannot share the image here (copyrighted material on her handout), you can likely find reference to it at her Website listed at the end of this article.

A high-energy, down-to-Earth, enjoyable learning experience! This is a series that you will want to plan ahead NOW to attend in 2019–they just keep getting better!


The discussion above was developed from attending the presentation by Deborah Dubree. Please note that the concepts, quotes, and methods contained therein are the intellectual property of Deborah Dubree and are not the original thoughts of this writer.

Want to know more? Deborah is on the Internet at:

Thank you to Margo Brown and the Tempe Chamber of Commerce Women in Business Council for bringing together this outstanding four weeks of leadership speakers! Thanks to Sukki Jahnke for arranging an outstanding venue and superb catering for each day’s breakfast!

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