“Networking” has come to mean so much more than cocktail parties and structured networking events. Having a network of allies—people who can help you build your business, your expertise, or your breadth of connections—is more important now than having a sparkling and detailed professional resume printed on fine linen paper.
Last May, we shared a story called “The Giraffe and the Elephant,” an allegory representing the challenges of building diverse organizations within existing structures. This month, we took Chocolate Villa to South Africa—a region of the world with actual giraffes and elephants—where we hosted 19 women from the World Food Programme for a 2.5-day workshop as part of their INSPIRE Women’s Leadership and Career Development Programme.
"I’ve had more of a focus of driving connection rather than hard skills this year, due to the Chocolate Villa influence and the value I have seen of being able to connect with women (through Chocolate Villa).
Gender balance in leadership has been a hot topic. I came across this allegory recently, and found it to offer a refreshingly different point of view on the challenges we face in changing structure and challenging cultural norms. I wanted to share it with all of you
When women attend Chocolate Villa, we see them reconnect with their passions, their confidence, their aspirations, and their belief in their own capabilities. We hear repeated stories of women feeling inspired, rejuvenated, re-focused and recommitted to their work and managing the complexities of their lives.
“It’s easy to let yourself drop below the line, or forget that you have choice in everything, or that you can only control what’s in your sphere of control—all those things we learned at Chocolate Villa. When you ask yourself if you’re “Living the Villa’, then you can practice something you learned to help you feel better, or take charge of a part of your life you need to manage more effectively.”
The first key is to change your mindset about your resolution. Want to drop 15 pounds? Stop saying "I want" and start saying "I will." Make it a daily mantra. You'll be surprised by how much this can help you think of your goal as more attainable, and be more inclined to actually work at it.
Here are some tips to help you make sure your 2015 resolution comes true
Just as we passed Chocolate Villa’s five-year anniversary, we found ourselves in the Italian countryside, hosting women from all over the world. We launched the first two new Chocolate Villa programs for the United Nations World Food Programme’s (WFP) INSPIRE Women’s Leadership and Career Development Programme.
We just returned from a two-week Chocolate Villa Asia tour, and 24 new alumnae, from both Bangkok (above) Shanghai (below), have joined our ranks. It was a fabulous trip, and it was so exciting to meet with two new groups of amazing and aspirational female leaders.