5 Lessons for Lead Dads from a Leadership Summit

Takeaways from a Women’s Leadership Summit That Lead Dads Can Use at Work and in Life

What can Lead Dads learn at a women’s leadership summit that’s relevant to what we’re doing? A lot. 

In many cases, a Lead Dad is the opposite side of the same coin to working mothers who are rising up the corporate ladder.  

This week, I was invited to the KPMG Women’s Leadership Summit, which is held in conjunction with KPMG’s sponsorship of the Women’s PGA Championship. It was at Congressional Country Club in Bethesda, Maryland. 

The summit is targeted to the 150 senior female executives who were nominated by their companies to attend. It’s a conference with purpose and focus – and a bit of fun, with a day to play with the best golfers on the LPGA. 

So what did I learn as a Lead Dad among senior female executives, many of them working mothers?

      1. Flexibility with purpose – it’s a corporate return-to-work strategy that can maintain firm culture but also acknowledge that parenting – and caregiving – responsibilities have shifted. 

      2. Don’t shut people down by embarrassing them. This came from Condoleezza Rice, former secretary of state. This came from her own experience of being the youngest provost in Stanford University’s history. Words said to you matter. But, Rice said,“even if it’s an assault on you, keep your head and count to ten.”

      3. Accept compassion. “You need people who know you somehow,” Rice said, “and know when you’re struggling.”

      4. Have empathy now more than ever. “One size doesn’t fit all,” said Leanne Caret, executive vice-president of Boeing. “We learned from the pandemic that we don’t know how to walk in someone else’s shoes.”

      5. And from my pro-am partner, LPGA star Amy Olson. She reminded me to focus when you need to, to work as a team and if what you think something isn’t working  make a change. These were all lessons on the golf course as our team tried to win the event. But without the specifics of golf, they’re applicable to life in general.