Q&A: Di Strachan on our new Women with Wings seminar and finding her own wings

Di Strachan

Di Strachan

Editor’s Note:  We are happy to debut a new blog, this month featuring Di Strachan, one of the facilitators for our upcoming Women with Wings Leadership Seminar. We caught up with Di recently and asked her a few questions about how Wings has impacted her over the years. In coming months we will feature writing from other grads who are taking what they learned in Wings into the world. We hope you will “like,” comment, share, and join in the conversation!

What was your experience with Wings Seminars as a participant? What seminars did you take, and what results have they had on your life? Twenty five years ago I graduated from PES, CrossOver, Integrate, Listening Heart, Authentic Leadership, and more recently the Women’s Retreat Weekend, where I first met the new and inspiring Wings program director, Sherrie Frank, who is co-leading the Women with Wings Leadership Seminar with me. Wings’ immediate impact on me was more success, acceptance, happiness, and commitment in my life—it took my breath away. Wings unveiled me to myself—much faster and more thoroughly than a lifetime of living.

How have the seminars helped you (or have they?) increase your own business and work with women in leadership? I had just launched my new organizational development, marketing, and PR consulting business a few years before I began taking Wings Seminars.  The impact of the Wings experience was immediate and even startling to me and to those around me.  I made bolder and braver moves—in fact, I won a state award for one of my community education projects. I had a much better sense of my unique contribution to others, how to articulate it, and I moved faster on things. I felt free, unleashed, like I always wanted to feel. I know that confidence and greater personal and social awareness, coupled with hard-core leadership and communication skill, can unleash a powerful force in women that benefits us all. I want to be part of unleashing that power for positive change through my work with women, and through the Women with Wings Leadership Seminars.  It satisfies my desire to laugh together and have fun, dive deep, and feel worthwhile in the moment, and at the same time this work contributes to realizing my own vision for a more compassionate, healthier, sustainable world that is growing in balance with itself.

What is your current work and how does it connect with Wings, both your experience as a participant and with what Wings offers people who are seeking professional development and leadership development? My focus is on creating positive change for positive futures.  I like to identify and create new and broad social/economic structures and trainings to create positive change and strengthen the capacity of people who are already in leadership roles so they can be more effective. Right now I am working with clients who are women in transition and starting businesses, CEOs, directors, and middle managers in nonprofit organizations, politics, and government (cities, counties, and state agencies).

When I met Sherrie I was instantly inspired to pitch the Women with Wings Leadership Seminar idea to her to combine the best of the Wings approach to awareness and personal effectiveness with inspiring and helping women build stronger leadership skills and to do their best work.

We are also working on developing an ongoing series of offerings to help support and inspire women in leadership and life. We are enthused about hearing what women want and getting feedback as we all take flight together.

What will people get if they participate? I’ve noticed when women are involved in Wings programs they are ready for something more, something different, something supportive, something highly interactive, something real.  Transformation is not just about more awareness and learning about skills. It is about having the opportunity to connect deeply with one’s self and others, about feeling vulnerable, safe, and brave all at the same time, and about having repeated—even challenging— opportunities to practice new behaviors, get feedback, and gain insight.  Participants in the Women with Wings programs will notice a speeding up of their growth and leadership evolution.  They will just feel good and be inspired to do their best work.

Are you a Wings grad with something to say about how you’re using what you learned in the seminar room? We are looking for stories to share as part of this monthly blog. If you’d like to be featured, please contact Michelle Wilson at mwilson@laclinicahealth.org.

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