Women Of Leadership: Leading and Letting Go

Christine Courtney
Christine Courtney

My great great aunt, Eleanor Burke was a suffragette in NYC and with her friends she chained herself to the courthouse gate, was arrested, went on a hunger strike and force fed through pipes - all in attempt to earn the right to vote.    100 years later, I am proud as part of her legacy to be the president of a woman owned and operated business.  I am surrounded by a smart, compassionate and purpose driven staff of all genders, but mainly women.

My aunt and the other suffragettes came together with a purpose bigger than themselves - to impact not only their lives but the lives of our nation and their daughters and granddaughters for generations.  They were risk takers.  Anyone who steps into their leadership to make positive change in the world is taking small leaps of bravery with every hand that is raised and every idea that is pushed forth.

I am lucky enough to have worked here for twenty years.  When I reflect on my time so far, the ability to embrace change and take risks is how I worked from part-time trainer to President.  Risking failing at something I didn’t know how to do, risking looking unqualified, risking hurting someone’s feelings, stepping up even when I wanted to hide in the back row, risking having to change and grow.  Now that I am older, the biggest acts of bravery I embark on is the act of giving over that power and giving women (and men) more responsibility, more voice, more unfettered paths to stepping into their own leadership. 

In the beginning of my journey my success was measured by how much responsibility I could take on.  Now it is measured by how much I can give away.  How can I ensure others can risk failure and learn from it, others can take the glory, others can decide a direction the company should take, others can have their votes and voices count?

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Christine Courtney

By Christine Courtney

Christine is the President of The Leadership Program (TLP). Additionally, she teaches workshops for companies and coach’s leaders inside her company and out. Christine has an obsessive passion for helping people step into their leadership and make positive change in their lives and in the world. She completed Stanford University's Executive Leadership Program, a CEO member of Vistage and Chief and a graduate of The University of the Arts. Her other roles have included mom, spouse, soccer coach, block party organizer and chief dishwasher. The Leadership Program has been providing leadership development training for 30 years. Their facilitators are a magical combination of educator, business leader, and performer. They are highly sought after for keynote addresses and conference workshops nationwide. They help companies small and large find dynamic ways to engage employees in continued learning. Their clients include Brooklyn Brewery, PwC, DBI, Visa, Big Brothers Big Sisters, Facebook, Mount Sinai, Tradeweb and more. They also work with thousands of NYC public school kids every week bringing leadership development and social emotional learning into classrooms and afterschool clubs through arts and sports programs.