Honorary Co-chairs Reflect on Women and Leadership
Both honorary co-chairs for the October 24 Women’s Fund Fall Luncheon have progressed through the ranks to become leaders in their companies.
Katrina Becker, managing director – communications, public affairs and events, TD Ameritrade; and Gail Graeve, director of public affairs, Cox Communications, recently shared their views on leadership with Today’s Omaha Woman.
Becker joined TD Ameritrade in 2000 and has held progressing roles in marketing, communications and investor relations. She defines leadership as the ability to inspire others to act on a common goal.
Graeve has been with Cox since 2006, when she was hired as a marketing manager, and she also held other positions prior to assuming her current post a couple of years ago. Graeve says “leadership is not the same as being in charge. All of us, regardless of our station in life, have the capacity to demonstrate leadership through our actions.”
When asked about the key skills needed to be an effective leader, Becker listed “emotional intelligence, understanding of your strengths, self-control and a desire to help others succeed.” According to Graeve, “Effective leaders don’t need to have the loudest voice, but must know how to influence by building consensus, soliciting feedback, being open to new ideas and seeing the big picture.”
“Women are collaborative and inclusive and able to balance varied priorities and interests,” adds Becker.
“Additionally, effective leaders surround themselves with smart, talented people and then provide the team with the resources and empowerment to generate the best ideas and work product,” Graeve says.
Graeve credits her parents with encouraging her to take risks, knowing that it was OK to fail as long as she kept moving forward and learned from every experience. “They also taught us the importance of considering other points of view and how our words and actions might impact others,” she adds.
According to Becker, “everyone is a leader.” She encourages others to “know yourself – your personality, skills and strengths and weaknesses. Utilize them to help others be successful.”
Both honorary co-chairs believe that luncheon speaker Betsy Myers’ message about a new style of leadership is relevant in today’s world. “Betsy Myers takes a realistic and modern approach to leadership and how it applies to today’s working woman,” Graeve says. “Her message about finding your true self and being authentic transcends gender and is a great message for anyone who has the opportunity to attend the luncheon.”
“Ms. Myers speaks to each of us on a personal level and believes that you need to be authentically you,” Becker says. “She has a unique view as a scholar, entrepreneur and policy expert who has put theory into practice.”