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Volume 1, Issue 4

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Kate Bensen,
President and CEO,
The Chicago Network

At this year’s Chicago Network Women in the Forefront Luncheon, speaker and TCN member Mellody Hobson inspired us in unexpected ways. In a wide ranging conversation with fellow TCN member Sally Blount, Dean of the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University, Mellody spoke openly and honestly about her leadership journey, challenges and fears.

Some of the key takeaways included:

  • Share your ideas but hold them lightly, as good ideas can become great when you hear what others have to say
  • Continue to cultivate and fully realize your authentic self—all facets of that self, and not just the parts you choose to show the outside world. Exhibiting that wholeness with those we lead generates occasional vulnerability and through that, authenticity and trust.
  • It’s important to be brave in controlling your own destiny, in trying to do the impossible, but you cannot be brave without fear.  

Mellody’s authenticity as a leader, together with her insights on leadership and investment philosophy, provided the more than 1600 Chicago leaders gathered at our luncheon many valuable takeaways to apply to their own careers, and lives.

You can watch highlights of Mellody discussing innovation, diversity, business, bravery and more in these clips from Women in the Forefront 2016 here:


Your ideas matter: Be brave: On race: 

Importance of boardroom


On business: