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Can "We Teach Nations"... To Drink from the Tap?

We Teach Nations

by Guest Blogger, Lena West, Chief Social Media Strategist at xynoMedia Technology

This past week, I attended both The Women's Congress conference and Satmetrix's NetPromoter Globalwomen conference in Miami, FL. (And, we all know how I feel about Miami!)

At The Women's Congress, I was happy to see some of my favorite people:

  • like my attorney and fellow Entrepreneur Magazine blogger, Nina Kaufman;
  • Diva blogger extraordinare, Toby Bloomberg (on the spur of the moment, we ended up co-hosting a session together);
  • Kay Cioffi of Tex-Zen Partners (and her fabulous new hire Sherron!) and
  • Cory Edwards of Symantec (talk about a smart guy who totally gets social media!)

I also got to meet:

And, guess who won the Entrepreneurial Champion for Women Award at The Women's Congress? Yes, yours truly! I was totally floored and honored. For a moment, I was speechless. Notice, I said, "for a moment"? :) 

I knew that I had asked a number of people to nominate me for the award, but I also new that hundreds of women were being considered for the award. I do great work, but c'mon now.

Before the conference, I was sent an email that let me know I was a finalist, but c'mon now.

I entered the awards luncheon and there were about 200 people, many who were nominees. Seriously, c'mon now.

So, I'm seated at my table - allllll the way in the back of the banquet room - and they call my name. I'm leafing through conference material and making notes on the back of business cards I had received...and it hit me..."Lena West...hey, THAT'S ME!"

Mouth open, I started to stand up and I began the walk to the front of the room that seemed like it took for-like-EVER. But, I took my time...me in high heels walking on tricky convention center carpet tiles is not a good combination to start with.

I got on stage, and mumbled something about being honored and thanking  my family, clients, supporters and mentors. I purposely slowed down, stopped being nervous and enjoyed the moment. Then the most prolific thing (if I do say so myself) came out of my mouth:

"They say, when you teach a man, you teach an individual. But, when you teach a woman, you teach a nation."

*Round of applause*

"I thank all my mentors and supporters for teaching me...because I plan to teach other women."

I've made this statement before, of course, but how it came to me to say in that moment, in that way, I'll never know. Divine providence at work, I guess.

The people at my table, Ja-Nae, Kelley, Valerie told me that the mark of a good acceptance speech at the Academy Awards is when the winner is interrupted by applause, as I was. I don't know about all that, but it felt damned good to have the above statement enthusiastically validated by so many successful women.

If you think about it - and you don't have to think hard - it's true. We women do teach nations. What's the first thing you do when you find out something cool, interesting or insightful? You call or email a friend, right? Or, you blog about it, right?

Not much gets past us. Not much is lost on us. The changes that need to happen in this world are going to be made uniquely possible through and by women. Sure, men will help...but the bigger picture is a woman thing.

What many people don't know is there was a time when women were revered and worshipped. We truly ran the world. Global empires revolved around us. Until we became 'too powerful' and our reign was forcibly stripped. Well, we're getting our power back in spades. The tides are not turning - they've turned. And, it's not just that we have a woman on a serious campaign to be President of the United States. Or that Meg Whitman is at the helm of eBay. Or that Carly Fiorina headed HP, etc. etc. That's a small part of it.

The bigger part is that women like you and me...simply by virtue of pursuing what we love to do -- whether that's marketing, coaching, consulting, knitting, designing, building, connecting or anything else constructive -- are changing global consciousness.  It's all about the everyday woman.

I'll say it again:

The changes that need to happen in this world are going to be made uniquely possible through and by women.

Thank God I was born a woman.

Comments

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Lena West

Thanks, Ja-Naé!

Yeah, I'm sure the look on my face was New York Times worthy. I was totally stunned...but then I had to get it together! :)

It was great meeting you as well!

-Lena

Ja-Nae

Lena,

It was GREAT to meet you at the Women's Congress! Also, the look on your face when you won was absolutely PRICELESS! I wish I had my camera. Congrats again! :-)

Much Love,

Ja-Naé
Wild Women Entrepreneurs President/Founder
___________________________________________
The Wild WE: It's YOUR Community!
http://www.TheWildWE.com

Lena West

Yes, thanks to Toby..we survived. I just love how she can think and plan on her feet.Toby, you rock!

A few people told me that our session was "worth the price of admission". Wowie!

Thanks for the kudos...and for commenting.

-Lena

Toby

Lena - What fun it was to merge our panels into one session on social media/web 2.0. Several women told me that our impromptu "circle of conversation" was the highlight of the conference for them.

Congrats! on your well deserved recognition.

Lena West

Thanks for stoppping by and for the kind words, Heidi!

-Lena

Heidi Richards

Dear Lena,

Congratulations to you! I attended the Women's Congress and was thrilled to see you get your well-deserved award! Thanks for all you do for women.

Warmest regards,

Heidi Richards, Founder & CEO
Women's eCommerce Association, Int'l

Lena West

Lee:

Thanks. And, yeah, we gotta get Yvonne nominated for her Athena.

Yvonne:

Thanks so much! Your little blog?? I LOVE this blog -- and it ain't little. Now let's see what we can do about getting you that Athena.

Lucy:

Thanks! To be clear, I didn't invent that little saying about teaching nations...I just fell in love with it.

-Lena

Lucy

Congratulations Lena!

Love the phrase about women teaching nations - thats definitely one to remember.

Yvonne DiVita

LENA!!! How wonderful and so-deserved. And to think you contribute to my little blog! I am Soooosooooo disappointed I wasn't there.

Lee, thanks for the vote of confidence. I'm aching for an Athena nom... maybe someday.

Lee Drake

Congratulations Lena. You deserve it. Next year we nominate Yvonne (shhh don't tell her).... :)

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