Leadership Lessons from Nikki Haley

On November 10, NeW members joined an exclusive fall book club event with Nikki Haley, former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations and Governor of South Carolina, to discuss lessons and leadership highlighted in her new book, If You Want Something Done: Leadership Lessons from Bold Women. During the event, Karin Lips, President of NeW, asked Haley what she learned from the stories she wrote about and how they aligned with her own experiences.  

Haley’s book highlights lessons people can learn from inspiring women. Margaret Thatcher taught women how to believe in themselves. Claudette Colvin was an example of how standing up is important even if it means having to stand alone. Amelia Earhart showed how if one woman is successful, it makes more women successful. 

A theme of the night was unity between women of all political beliefs. Haley stated, “I did not want this to be a partisan book as much as I wanted this to be a leadership book.” She emphasized supporting women who do things well, regardless of what they believe. “I don’t criticize a woman for being pro-choice, but I expect her not to judge me for being pro-life,” Haley shared. She advised attendees to find common ground with others and intentionally make people feel valued and heard. 

Haley’s encouragement reminded attendees to take time to believe in themselves, push through any fear, and make sure the rest of the world feels the benefits. 

Attendees saw that Haley proudly lives out her values and inspires others to do the same. Whether it be courageously standing up for America on the world stage at the United Nations, fighting for vote transparency in South Carolina, or putting her family first, Haley is an excellent role model for women because she works hard at all she does to make a difference in other people’s lives. 

NeW leaders also had the chance to interact with Nikki Haley during the event. She answered their questions ranging from how she picked the women for her book to the global impact of the Ukraine and Russia conflict.  

When asked about what trait women are missing today, Haley responded with one word – confidence. She stressed the importance that women from all walks of life need to know they deserve to be in the room, they don’t need to wait for an invitation. Haley stated, “When you push through the fear, you live life.”  

The women were very interested to learn how Haley handles the public criticism she faces for being a conservative woman. Her response was, “[when people tell you to back off,] you keep going because they don’t get to tell you who you are or what you are capable of.” She continued by saying it is not easy to be a conservative woman, and that is exactly why more conservative women are needed in the public eye. 

Nikki Haley also shared some tactical professional development tips with the women. When asked how she handled changing career paths throughout her life, she encouraged attendees to always leave jobs respectfully and make sure the next job is a step up and resume builder. She warned against young professionals getting stuck in doing the same tasks that are comfortable and challenged the women to try jobs and tasks that don’t come natural in order to learn new skills. 

To conclude the event, NeW was proud to present Haley with the prestigious 2022 Empowered Woman of the Year Award for her commitment to leadership.  



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