Interview with Lu Ann Cahn, I Dare Me, LLC & Temple University

For this year’s International Women’s Day, our team at Slice is proud to celebrate women across the marketing and communications industry through an interview series.

This interview is with Lu Ann Cahn, Author, Speaker, and the Director off Career Services for the Klein College of Media and Communication at Temple University. Read our full interview series here.

How do you define your leadership?

Helping students, organizations and audiences of all ages “Do the New”, resist the “no” voice and recognize the power we all have to own our day and create the life and career we want. I’m also proud to be launching the next generation of truth tellers and communicators at Temple University.

How has your leadership changed in the past year?

I’ve learned the most powerful thing we have and we can control is our one on one interactions, that our lives ripple out and touch so many others every day in ways we don’t even know. Some days we just have to let go of things that really aren’t that important. When technology fails, when society or politicians or systems underperform or are out of control, we still have the ability to make positive change and we need to lead our next generation by example. I’ve learned to embrace and accept the imperfections of doing many things for the first time and teach others how to do the same. That’s how we survive and move forward. 

Can you share a story that demonstrates a key learning for you in your leadership journey?

A woman who had never learned to swim invited me to get in the pool with her and watch her take her first lesson. She was terrified but she read my book, I Dare Me, and she was daring herself. She was so proud she faced her fear. After the lesson, she confided that she had spent time in jail for selling drugs and she was determined to live her life differently by facing the fears that were keeping her from the life she wanted for her and her children. She said every time she faced a fear she felt more courageous. Studies show that’s true. When we face our fears, the courage we gain transfers to other parts of your life. This woman went back to college, is now working on her masters and helps other women who’ve been in prison. I think of her when I’m facing my own fears, when I hear my NO voice, and understand the saying “everything we want is on the other side of fear”. It’s hard to ask others to dare, if we aren’t daring ourselves and so we must walk that walk as leaders. 

Who do you follow on social media that you would recommend to other women leaders?

Brene Brown.

Thank you to Lu Ann for taking part in our interview series. And be sure to read the entire series!

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