Learning to Lead By Example


We all need leaders!

Last month, you saw Cieana’s article, “We Cannot Be What We Cannot See“! This has been ‘front and center’ to my mind for some time.  I do have many mentors, but I have been looking for more women to add to my circle. I need someone to “see”.

Charli K. Matthews (left) and Katie Mehnert, CEO of PinkPetro (right)
Charli K. Matthews (left) and Katie Mehnert, CEO of PinkPetro (right)

This past Tuesday, that is exactly what I did! Through LeaninEnergy, I had the opportunity to meet Katie Mehnert of Pink PetroExperience Energy, and Sheryl Sandberg, the COO of Facebook and co-author of Option B: Facing Adversity, Building Resilience, and Finding Joy.  I have followed Sheryl Sandberg on Instagram for inspiration for some time now. I have always enjoyed a good keynote speaker who can connect inspiration, relevant information, and facts! Why is that? Because you are attending the speech to be inspired, but you are at the event to be educated. These ladies of course did not disappoint in any of those areas!

Kelly Watson (left) and Charli K. Matthews (right)
Kelly Watson (left) and Charli K. Matthews (right)

I was caught by surprise when I arrived at the event. Kelly Watson saw me enter the hallway and excitedly shouted, “Charli”!  I was so surprised because no one knew I would be at Rice University, and I couldn’t place her. I thought, is she the event organizer? But how did she know my name? Embarrased, I inquired, “I’m sorry, who are you?”. I felt even more ashamed when she said her name and then excitedly declared, “My #PumpTalk star of the week!” I was only saved by the grace that we had not actually met in person… just virtually. I have a unique gift / ability where once I meet someone in person, I can remember their face… maybe not their name, but absolutely their face!

Anyway, the reason I tell you this story is because I was quite humbled by the experience. Someone I had never met knew exactly who I was and was so excited to meet me. How Ironic I thought … I am here to meet ladies I admire, and I run into a ‘Charli Fan’! I can’t explain how honored I felt.  Thanks for making me feel like a celebrity, Kelly!

I am always amazed to learn about stories of influencing peoples lives without even knowing. Katie Mehnert is doing that for me. Katie built her company in the midst of a storm which I admire. She had a vision of connecting and mentoring women… so she is doing it! Someone at the conference told me, “It’s one thing to send out a social post about mentoring, it’s completely another to actually DO it!”

This stuck in my mind.  This is what I am working on for the #WomeninthePumpIndustry.  I want them to have the tools they need to be successful. So I found out… the tools are out there! Sheryl (social media) gives them to us! So, I may not have met Sheryl Sandberg officially, but I “see” her, and I sat across from her, and I Leaned In as she spoke… I listened and it is time to put our vision into action!

I want everyone to have a chance to make their ripple in making the world a better place for our children. I want equal opportunity for my daughter and my sons. I don’t want children to have to decide which spouses job is most important or find out they were interested in STEM too late. I want to help the employer understand that diversity is going to make their team stronger and more effective. And I want my place at the table before I have to prove I deserve it. YES, give me the opportunity… let me show you what a great decision you made!

Let’s keep this conversation going about how to empower, encourage, and support each other! There are many different ways you can get involved.

  1. Join our LinkedIn Groups to start a conversation – Empowering Women in Industry
  2. Join a LeanIn Circle – https://leanincircles.org/
  3. Email me if you have a question or want to talk! charli@empoweringpumps.com.
  4. Use hashtags #EmpoweringConnections to stay involved online.