Fireside Chat with Loretta Penn

On February 12, the Black Employee Network (B.E.N.) kicked off Black History Month with a Fireside Chat with Loretta Penn, North Highland’s Lead Director – Board of Managers. Friday’s event was the first of many held by the firm to celebrate the achievements and contributions of African Americans throughout history with an emphasis on honoring the story of extraordinary women such as Penn.

Historically, women’s contributions to the advancement of society are left untold because of the patriarchal construct our world has been framed within; however, to join the fight in constructing a new model without a biased framework for valuing women, B.E.N. co-lead, Jayson Hill, AVP and Atlanta I&D Champion, Courtney Albert, joined by hundreds of North Highlanders, sat down with Penn as she candidly shared HERStory of success in the field of business.

Like many, Penn came from a humble beginning, but that did not stop her from making great headway over her 30+ year career in business. She has held C-suite titles and roles in Fortune 500 companies and is currently Founder & President of PECC, LLC, an executive coaching and consulting company. Penn reminisced on her family values and a very important principle instilled by her parents of believing in yourself and having confidence in your abilities. Below are some highlights from the gems she shared during the discussion:

Believe in yourself!

 “I never lose. I either win or I learn.”  – Nelson Mandela. This is among her favorite quotes.

Take the leap – go out and be competitive. Knowing your craft, your product, and what you are doing is the half of it. You will need confidence that you can do the rest.

Confidently take your seat at the table. Believe that there is no one seated at the table that has more worth of being at the table than you do.

Love yourself. “It is important to know that when you love yourself, that you have an opportunity to then present yourself in a confident manner”, but first to confidently seize the moment, you must love yourself first.

Be authentic! The more confident you are, the more your authentic self will evolve over time.

“Until we demonstrate authenticity, how can we ask for trust, and if there is no trust, then how can we have a relationship.”

We are all individuals – unique and amazing. Be true to yourself – by believing in yourself, you will be your best self, presenting yourself in a confident manner, and you will never be afraid to admit what you do not know. Honor your uniqueness. The value of authenticity is priceless.

The key to success:

To attain success, you will need people to encourage and teach you along the way, you must discover the “it” factor within to motivate you to keep going, and you must embrace your authentic self.

And by embracing your authentic self, you will align to opportunities that do not require you to sacrifice your integrity and character.