Master Your Mindset: How Women Leaders Step Up
Leadership isn’t just for CEOs. We need good leadership everywhere. In the workforce. In government. In our schools, communities, and homes.
Today, the doors stand wide open for women to step into these roles, however, modern female leadership doesn’t look the same as the male roles of the past. The rules are different. The mindset is different.
Join Molly Gimmel as she explores the unwritten rules of successful female leadership through Master Your Mindset.
Through interviews with powerful women from all walks of life—large corporations, small businesses, non-profits, Hollywood, politics, and more—Gimmel reveals the mental attitudes that define effective leaders.
Filled with personal stories, humor, and profound insights from the trenches, Master Your Mindset shows you step by step how to connect with yourself and with those around you in authenticity, confidence, and integrity—to become the best leader you can be.
Anyone who has any sense for societal trends can see that in the coming years and decades more and more women will occupy leadership seats in every type of organization and in every part of the world. As an extremely capable and effective leader herself, Molly has created a practical playbook for those future women leaders to follow in their personal leadership development journeys. Any woman (or man for that matter) who wants to sharpen her clarity about what it means to become a great leader and who wants ideas about how to develop herself as a leader, should read and regularly review Master Your Mindset.
A must read for every leader, not just women leaders, who dares to break their own boundaries, reimagine greatness, redefine success and build a lasting legacy.
Master Your Mindset is a practical and poignant approach to navigating the nuances of leadership from the unique perspective that women as leaders bring to the table. What Master Your Mindset reveals to readers is that as the leadership roles of women evolve, the perspectives of women also evolve, and in so doing, create an opportunity for women leaders to expand their influence and impact in immeasurable ways. One of the most significant takeaways conveyed to readers is that the construct of leadership is not any one thing, nor is it any one persona. Through the compilation of contributing perspectives within Master Your Mindset, Molly amplifies an empowering truth: that leadership, especially for women, is a unique tapestry of experiences and insights, and because of this, all women are inherently poised for leadership.
I wish I had the wise words and innovative techniques from Master Your Mindset to guide me as I advanced into my early leadership roles—it would have made a world of difference. Although we all need to learn some lessons on our own, it’s invaluable to have tools to help us navigate!
Molly’s insights never fail to amaze me, even after a decade of watching her business grow rapidly. Molly is a world-class leader with decades of relevant experience concisely summarized into a useful, actionable format that can transform your business and give you the necessary tools to evaluate your leadership style. Read this book carefully!
There are other books about women in leadership but Molly makes it much more real and accessible through the personal stories from so many amazing women leaders.
Learn more about the women leaders interviewed in the book.
Ildi Arlette created Results Continuum Inc. in 1994 as a premier HR consulting and training company. Since 2004, Ildi has specialized in consulting to help more than 350 leaders and teams in the medical aesthetics field to achieve their business and personal goals. Her focus is to increase business results by elevating levels of leadership, staff engagement, and client service. Ildi has a proven track record as a results-driven leader, industry expert, thought leader, coach, and business partner. As a business leader for more than twenty-five years, Ildi greatly values the hard work and dedication of clinic and business owners, service providers, and entrepreneurs. Learn more about her at www.resultscontinuum.com.
Jeanette Armbrust is originally from the Pasadena, CA, area. She attended UC Irvine and then started her career path in the entertainment industry for BMG/RCA Records before moving to Minnesota to work for VEE Corporation, the creators of Sesame Street Live. There she was the National Promotion Director coordinating the touring events throughout North America. Later she was promoted to National Sponsorship Director. Jeanette started Skyline Exhibits of Central Ohio in Columbus, Ohio, in 2001. After growing her company into an award-winning seven million-dollar business, she sold the company and found herself back in California as the Regional Managing Director for Skyline. Jeanette is a certified executive leadership coach through The Academies CELDC (Certified Executive Leadership Development Coach) program and a JoAnn Davidson Leadership Group graduate. Additionally, Jeanette is a Past Chair of the NAWBO National Board of Directors. She was named one of the 2017 “Enterprising Women of the Year” and the SBA “Small Businesswoman of the Year.” Jeanette previously served on the board of NAWBO Columbus as President and the Columbus Chamber Board of Directors, and is a member of Executive Women International and WELD. She is the Founder of the Columbus Young Entrepreneur’s Academy.
Melanie Thomas Armstrong is the Founder and owner of ThroughLine Consultants, where she uses genetic genealogy to generate investigative leads that help law enforcement close cold cases. She is a retired PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) partner and a senior executive with eighteen years of experience at the partner and C-Suite level, seven of those as a Chief Operating Officer (COO). She has been a Partner at four firms: PwC, Guidehouse, Unisys, and Arthur Andersen. She established and led PwC’s (now Guidehouse’s) US International Development practice focused on social impact work addressing critical challenges faced by underprivileged people around the world. She began her career as an auditor and spent two years working in the Czech Republic as it converted from communism to capitalism. She sits on the boards of two international NGOs: Mercy Corps and Leadership Mission International. She is also working on her first book about her time in the Czech Republic. Melanie holds a BA degree in Psychology from the University of California, Los Angeles. She loves to travel from her home base in Virginia, where she resides with her two teenage children.
Darla Beggs is President and CEO of Abba Staffing and Consulting, Abba Parking Services, and MGD Management Group. Her broad business experience includes consulting with HR, insurance, and oil and gas professionals to evaluate and establish effective programs focusing on cost-effectiveness coupled with employee satisfaction and retention. She has succeeded in balancing the needs of the employee population with cost-effective solutions for business clients to provide solutions that provide a “win-win” solution at every turn. In 2011 Darla was appointed to the National Board of Directors of the National Association of Women Business Owners (NAWBO), where she served on the Executive Committee and assumed the role of National Chair from July 2014–June 2015, and on the Executive Committee of the National Board of the NAWBO Institute for Entrepreneurial Development, where she served as National Board Chair from July 2015–June 2016.
Elizabeth Bennett-Parker is Vice Mayor of Alexandria, Virginia, and in 2021 was elected to the Virginia House of Delegates in the 45th District. As Vice Mayor, she serves as a member of the Alexandria City Council and is the youngest woman elected to Council in Alexandria’s history. Born in Alexandria to two Naval officers, Elizabeth is dedicated to serving her community. She co-leads Together We Bake, a nonprofit job training and personal development program for under-served women. Elizabeth is also the Founder of Fruitcycle, a business fighting the tragic paradox that, while one in six Americans experience food insecurity on a daily basis, 40 percent of our food is thrown into landfills. Before launching Fruitcycle, Elizabeth worked for the National Governors Association, where she served as governors’ liaison to Congress, federal agencies, and the White House on issues related to transportation, economic development, and health. Selected as one of Alexandria’s 40 under 40 in 2017, she has served on the Community Criminal Justice Board and the Commission on Employment, as well as the Boards of the Arcadia Center for Sustainable Food and Agriculture, Agenda: Alexandria, and the United Way Regional Council for Alexandria. She is a graduate of Emerge Virginia and the Alexandria City Academy. Elizabeth served as a Fulbright Fellow, graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Cornell University, and earned a Master’s degree from the University of London.
Jessica Billingsley is the Chief Executive Officer & Board Chair of Akerna, the most comprehensive technology ecosystem for cannabis operators, governments, and brands. She is an accomplished innovator, executive, and board member in public and private international technology with more than twenty years of experience. She co-founded MJ Freeway in 2010, where she served as President until April 2018, and later as CEO until MTech acquired MJ Freeway to form Akerna. Shortly after, as CEO, Jessica led Akerna to become the first cannabis technology company listed on Nasdaq. You can connect with her on LinkedIn (linkedin.com/in/jessicabillingsley) or follow her on Twitter (twitter.com/jessbillingsley).
Lynda Bishop is the Founder and CEO of Summit Alliance Solutions, an international coaching/training/program development firm. As a master’s-level mental health therapist and certified empowerment and executive coach, Lynda has developed and facilitated groups across the United States and China for more than sixteen years. She currently contracts with national women’s leadership organizations and entrepreneurial support organizations in program creation, management, and impact expansion. As Vice President of National Programs for the National Association of Women Business Owners (NAWBO), she spends her energy and talents doing what she loves most: supporting women leaders. You can find her on LinkedIn (linkedin.com/in/lyndabishop), Facebook (facebook.com/lyndakbishop), and Instagram (instagram.com/lyndakbishop/).
Kristina Bouweiri is the CEO and President of Reston Limousine, Washington DC’s premier transportation provider, ranked among the nation’s top ten largest luxury transportation operators. Starting with only five vehicles in 1990, Bouweiri diversified the business and developed Reston Limousine. Today it is a thirty million-dollar company with more than 250 vehicles from sedans to coach buses. Kristina also is the Founder of the networking program Sterling Women and Co-founder of the Virginia Women’s Business Conference, two programs that have helped hundreds of women entrepreneurs and executives achieve their professional goals. Follow her here: www.linkedin.com/in/kristinabouweiri, www.facebook.com/kristina.bouweiri, www.instagram.com/kristinabouweiri.
Thresette (Truh-se-tuh) Briggs is Founder and Chief Performance Officer of Performance 3 (P3), a certified national woman- and minority-owned leadership development firm headquartered in Indianapolis, IN with offices in Roanoke, VA. P3 believes every leader can be high performing with the right opportunity and the right culture. It helps leaders in small businesses and diverse global companies achieve: 1) through keynotes, training, and facilitation, and 2) with coaching services delivered through conferences, leadership meetings, learning series, retreats, strategic planning, and workshops.
An author and sought-after speaker, Thresette inspires leaders to create a mindset and voice for sustainable high performance. Her honors and recognition include service on local and national boards and committees; features on billboards, commercials, and podcasts; and as voice talent for Emmy and Telly Award-winning production companies. She received her BBA degree from Wichita State University, her MBA degree from Indiana Wesleyan University, and owns two services registered with the US Patent and Trademark Office. Follow Thresette on LinkedIn at https://www.linkedin.com/in/thresette/. Visit Performance 3 at www.bestperformance3.com
Dr. El Brown is the Founder of KinderJam and author of Mama Bear: One Mom’s Story of Optimism, Autism, Advocacy, and Love and Adventures of SuperDuperKid: Friendship Numbers. She is also a faculty member at American University in Washington DC. Early in her career, Dr. El served as an Elementary and Early Childhood educator in the United States, Japan, and South Korea. Upon her return to the US, Dr. El founded KinderJam, an Early Childhood Education care, enrichment, and training agency that has served young children and their families globally. Dr. El believes that families and service providers deserve exposure to high-quality skills and strategies needed to assist them in helping children maximize their potential. Therefore, her body of work represents her desire to help increase the capacity of families and help-giving professionals. Above all, she is the proud mother of a fifteen-year-old son on the autism spectrum, affectionately known as SuperDuperYoungMan (SDYM).
Tammy Dickerson is the Founder and CEO of TBG Events, a national full-service event production firm. Celebrated as a tenacious powerhouse, Tammy has partnered with Fortune 100 companies, politicians, celebrities, and global organizations to curate and produce more than thirty national events annually, hosting five hundred to more than 15,000 guests. Tammy is a Founding Member of The Black Table, a collective group of Black event professionals in the entertainment and hospitality industry. She is also a proud member of Meeting Planners International Southern California Chapter (MPISCC) and the National Association of Women Business Owners (NAWBO). You can connect with her on or follow her on Instagram (instagram.com/tbg_events).
Jen Earle has had the honor and delight of working with the National Association of Women Business Owners (NAWBO) since 2008. She currently serves as the CEO of NAWBO and the Executive Director of the NAWBO Institute. Utilizing her institutional knowledge and consistent drive to advance the mission of NAWBO, Jen works collaboratively with its National Boards of Directors to help carry out the Board’s vision for the organization and navigate NAWBO to where it is today. Jen brings to the table more than a decade of multi-disciplinary, high-level experience in operational and project management development, support, and execution for a broad range of boards, business groups, entrepreneurs, CEOs, and executives. She currently serves as an Advisory Board Member for Enterprising Women magazine, Council member for the National Women’s Business Council (NWBC), and Steering Committee Member for FCEM (World Association of Women Entrepreneurs).
Maria Gamb is the Founder and CEO of the training company NMS Communications. Considered a leadership expert, Maria dedicates herself to helping busy professionals create high-performance teams, make a positive impact, and maintain a balanced life. She has authored four books: Healing the Corporate World, Values-Based Leadership for Dummies, The Resiliency Journal, and Gratitude Journal. As a sought-after keynote speaker and thought leader, she has been featured in Inc., Time, and on Wall Street Radio Network, and she has written for ForbesWomen. You can connect with her on LinkedIn (linkedin.com/in/mariagamb) or follow her on Instagram (instagram.com/maria_gamb).
Lisa Kaiser Hickey is the Founder and Chairman of the Board of DPRINT, an award-winning multi-technology graphic communications company located in Orlando, FL. Ms. Hickey is a former President of both NAWBO and The International Alliance for Women (TIAW). She served Les Femmes Chefs d’Entreprises Mondiales (FCEM, an international association of entrepreneurs) as Regional Director for North America. She is a qualified “Global Board-Ready Woman” as named by the Forte Foundation, and holds a Certificate in International Trade. She is a member and/or supporter of multiple global women’s groups, in addition to being a certified John Maxwell leadership coach, trainer, and presenter—certified Everything DiSC and 5 Behaviors facilitator.
Monica Levinson is a prolific film and television producer with an expansive career, as reflected by the diverse array of projects she has produced. Working alongside top innovators in entertainment, she is frequently lauded for her passion to protect and further the creative aspects of filmmaking, with a strong commitment to fiscal responsibility. As a Women in Film board member and part of the leadership committee of the Women’s Production Society, she devotes effort into gender parity and inclusion to be the norm. Recent projects include Borat Subsequent Moviefilm, The Water Man, Wander Darkly, Captain Fantastic, Beirut, Brian Banks, and Trumbo. Follow her on Twitter at twitter.com/monlev.
Olalah Njenga is the CEO of YellowWood Group, a consulting firm based in Raleigh, NC. An award-winning entrepreneur, an accomplished business strategist, and an advocate for the small business economy, Olalah partners with business leaders to transform ideas into objectives and objectives into outcomes. She worked in several enterprise operations, administration, legal, human resources, and technology roles before founding her firm in 2003. Olalah serves in national and state leadership roles and is a trusted media source for the BBC, NPR, the New York Times, Marketplace, Fox, and local broadcast affiliates. Connect with Olalah at linkedin.com/in/Olalah.
Jennifer Peek is the CEO of Peek Advisory Group in Kansas City, MO, providing strategic financial services for the mergers and acquisition process of small to mid-size companies, in addition to contract Controller and CFO services. She provides realistic leadership, strategic financial insights, and actionable advice developed from more than twenty-five years of financial experience benefiting companies ranging from Fortune 50 to startups.
Mali Phonpadith is the Founder and CEO of SOAR Community Network (SCN), a certified Talent Optimization Leader and Inclusive Behavioral Inventory certified consultant. She is a TEDx speaker, podcaster, and bestselling author. Her consulting firm, SCN, helps organizational leaders map their strategic priorities and then supports their growth by building C3 cultures where Compassionate leaders thrive, Cohesive teams drive results, and employees Collaborate and innovate. She is the Co-founder of SOAR Nebula, a global resource hub for transcendent leaders. Learn more about her firm at https://soarcommunitynetwork.com. Follow her on LinkedIn (https://www.linkedin.com/in/maliphonpadith) and Twitter (http://twitter.com/maliphonpadith).
Lisa Marie Platske is an award-winning leadership expert in human behavior. She has received accolades from the United States Small Business Administration and The International Alliance for Women, and been recognized as one of the top one hundred women making a difference in the world. She left her Federal law enforcement career after 9/11 to build Upside Thinking, Inc. (www.UpsideThinking.com). A member of the Forbes Coaches Council, she has trained or coached more than 100,000 leaders around the globe. When she’s not traveling, you’ll find her in Kentucky, wandering around the rolling hills of her farmhouse and retreat/event center. To connect with her, go to linkedin.com/in/lisamarieplatske.
Jenni Romanek currently serves as Director of Analytics at Instagram, where she leads a team of 80+ data scientists. Her team uses modeling, experimentation, and data analysis to identify the greatest opportunities and launch the best products and services to meet the needs of the more than one billion people who use Instagram around the world every day. Prior to joining Instagram, Jenni led data science teams at Twitter and held roles in finance, economic consulting, and startups. Jenni is passionate about supporting individuals on their career journeys and is the Founder of the Women in Analytics Conference, an annual industry-wide event bringing together women data professionals in service of increasing networking, representation, and learning for the community.
Lisa Rosenthal is the CEO and Co-founder of Mayvin, Inc., a technical services-based contracting firm, and Level Up Ventures, an emerging angel investment organization. In less than a decade, her Team grew Mayvin from one million dollars in annual revenue to more than 75 million dollars. She is an inspiring thought leader, entrepreneur, philanthropist, venture capitalist, and executive that brings a depth of strong leadership experience to the US Government and Industry, developed and proven over a twenty-five-year career.
Lesa Seibert is the Co-founder, CEO, and CFO of Mightily (mightily.com), an award-winning advertising agency named to the Inc. 5000 and Financial Times “Fastest Growing Companies” three times. Lesa joined the National Association of Women Business Owners (NAWBO.org) in 2007 and now serves on the National Board of Directors. Lesa serves on several other national, state, and local boards, as giving back to the community and supporting women business owners is very important to her. You can connect with her on LinkedIn at (https://www.linkedin.com/in/lesaseibert/).
Penny (Benkeser) Thompson owns nine Servpro franchises in North and South Carolina, in addition to the construction company Carolinas Restoration. Prior to her entrepreneurship ventures, she worked in various leadership positions in Corporate America, including Bank of America and Ford Financial Services. She has served in leadership roles in the National Association of Women Business Owners (NAWBO) and is a member of Vistage in Charlotte, NC. You can connect with her on LinkedIn.
Jennifer Urezzio is the Founder of Soul Language, teaching clients how to access their intuitive guidance to positively transform and expand every aspect of their lives. Jennifer is a master intuitive, author, teacher, and speaker. She founded her own business, Blooming Grove, Soul Language’s parent company, in 2004 in response to her intuitive senses and ability to help others feel better about themselves both holistically and naturally, working closely with them to generate a feeling of strength and well-being. She specializes in helping people connect: to themselves, to each other, and to the Divine. She founded a new paradigm, Soul Language, which provides guidance for understanding our true nature and tools for accessing deeper levels of awareness. This new insight into how the Soul expresses itself is being embraced by top healers, lifestyle coaches, and CEOs all over the world as a method for helping people recognize their purpose and live from a place of power and truth. To connect with her, visit www.soullanguage.us.
Lauren Weiner, PhD, is CEO and Co-founder of WWC Global, the largest federal contracting firm in Tampa, FL. The company’s clients include the US Departments of Defense and State, the US Agency for International Development, and others. More than 70 percent of the staff are a military spouse or a veteran. Previously, Lauren worked at the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) in the Executive Office of the President. Her academic accomplishments include a Bachelor’s degree from the University of Michigan and a PhD from Dartmouth College. Lauren co-founded two non-profit organizations: In Gear Career, now the US Chamber of Commerce Foundation’s Hiring our Heroes Military Spouse Professional Network, and Homefront Rising, a bipartisan organization that educates military spouses for roles in politics, policy, and advocacy (https://wwcglobal.com).
Kathy Wilson, a former collegiate and professional basketball player and coach, is a speaker, Transformation Coach, and Principal of Coach Kathy Wilson, a leadership consulting company. Balancing the lessons she learned on the court with her knowledge in the areas of change, leadership, and organizational management, Kathy brings a unique perspective on how to challenge and shift mindsets, align behavior with goals and strategy, and help people take their personal and professional lives to the next level. For more than fifteen years, Kathy worked with clients ranging from government agencies, to higher learning institutions, to Fortune 100 and 500 companies, as well as with a variety of organizations through speaking, coaching, and delivering training and development solutions that have empowered individuals to transform the way they work and live. Kathy currently works solely with women over forty who are looking to reinvent themselves, achieve their biggest goals, and create the next level of their lives in her “Your Next-Level Life” coaching program. She also hosts a weekly podcast called For Kick-Ass Women Only.