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Leadership Reflections: Kickstarting 2023 with a look into the rearview mirror

January 19, 2023

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Lynne Gilliland


Lynne Gilliland Consulting

As we start 2023, it will soon mark three years since the biggest shift in modern history occurred—a global pandemic that resulted in an overnight transformation from traditional in-person work to a world of virtual expectations. This year, we look forward to innovation, evolution, and growth, but we also want to take a moment to reflect on just how much has changed in the span of three years.

In this week’s Lessons from Leaders, host Lynne Gilliland sits down with three leaders to reflect on their leadership journeys.

Amany Killawi

I didn’t wake up and decide it’s time to build a crowdfunding platform for a global community of 1.8 million Muslims. I didn’t even think about being an entrepreneur.

Amany Killawi

Amany Killawi is the co-founder and COO of LaunchGood: a global crowdfunding platform for campaigns, projects and creative ideas. She is a social worker turned social entrepreneur who through LaunchGood has raised over 15 million for 1,500+ projects, impacting 70+ countries. She has had such a unique and inspiring journey to where she is now: an honoree of INK Magazine’s top female founder.

One thing I loved about this episode was the comparison of a fixed mindset versus a growth mindset. Amany is a true, acting growth mindset leader who has allowed space for transition and evolution in her career.

This episode is particularly inspirational for anyone interested in a transition — be it for an organizational change, or positional change. I encourage you to listen, learn, and take the change.

Mary Ellen Iskenderian

Mary Ellen Iskenderian is the President and CEO of Women’s World Banking.  In this podcast, Mary Ellen talks about how she learned to kick down doors and make her own way. She also takes the time to share her “question funnel”  for us to utilize in our own industry. I am inspired by her work – her insights resonate with women leaders everywhere.

I think that gender lens – the ability to now see a situation and question it – how would this be different for women? How would this situation have changed, or this decision varied, if it were in the hands of a woman? I naturally ask that question.

Mary Ellen Iskenderian

Karen Pearl

Can you imagine having grown 30% during this pandemic? What would that mean for your team’s career security? What would that mean for your energy and overall outlook? How would that have affected you over the past 11 months?

The incredible leader, Karen Pearl of For God’s Love We Deliver, has done just that. In the early days of 2020, Karen worked hard and intentionally on her team culture.  As a result, she shares the lessons, the trials, and the journey she has been on to become the guided leader she is today.

The hardest thing for us was, the night everything, everywhere, everyone shut down – we had nearly 3,000 phone calls asking for help through our services. That is a lot of need. We had to identify who was looking for what assistance and help, make sure we had the right resources, find the referrals, and have enough food. If we weren't moving quickly, people weren't going to stick around for very long.

Karen Pearl

In a time of so much need and demand, relying on your team can be difficult, particularly when there is a national pandemic, racial injustice, economic struggles, and so much more. Karen has developed a team that could withstand the pressure.

“I’m so fortunate that over the years, our staff has just gotten stronger and stronger, and they’re able to take care of what needs to get taken care of, even now.”

This episode is timely, deep, and empowering. I want to thank Karen for her time, I left feeling ready to serve because of her inspiration.

Real conversations. Current topics. Honest leaders. Found wherever you listen to podcasts. You can hear top tips from leaders across the world. Lynne and her guests discuss everything from success to failure, fear to courage, and the path to growth. Listen today