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Women Count: A Guide to Changing the World

Wed, 04/23/2014 - 9:33am | by Susan Bulkeley ...

A successful woman is one who is “CEO of Me, Inc.”

She has a vision of who she wants to be and is a woman who makes things happen for her rather than lets things happen to her.

In order to be the CEO, she has to take responsibility for the following:

1) What do you want to have achieved in 5 years?  Write what you will be doing, beginning with “I am…”

2) Who needs to be on your board of advisors to “help you achieve your goals?”

3) What is your plan for the next 12 months, with your goals and expected results?

4) Plan each day to actively move towards meeting your goals.  

Also, as a CEO, she is responsible for marketing herself, developing her product to meet the requirements of her aspiration, and packaging herself to be a representative of her aspiration.  For instance, as a partner of my company, I had to demonstrate that my product would support me as a partner and that I was packaged as a partner.  

SBBLastly, to be a successful CEO, she will need to spend time on Me, Inc. everyday, to evaluate how she is successfully moving herself toward achieving her aspiration.

A successful woman is seen as someone who demonstrates the following characteristics:


  • She is a leader who gathers ideas and points of view from her team, develops a strategy for moving forward and gathers consensus.  A leader is also someone who will make a difference where ever she is.  After all, she is investing her time, talents and resources to “make change happen” in order to achieve a better outcome where ever she is.  
  • She knows how to develop a team of diverse backgrounds and gender (target of 30% women) and develop their talents to be able to take on more responsibility.
  • She is networking, to expand her “web” and to make it even bigger by getting connected with other people’s webs. She never knows how getting to know someone who will provide wider opportunities, and that she can provide opportunities to them, too.
  • She takes on opportunities which will expand her horizons (and still help her to achieve her aspirations), build confidence and/or provide her visibility to others who should know her and she should know them. 
  • Mentoring is a significant part of a successful woman.  She not only enhances her on roles and responsibilities, but those around her. As she moves up the career ladder, she is bringing others up behind her.

  When I think of myself, I am half Susan B. Anthony (completing what she and the other suffragists wanted –equality for women) and half Amelia Earhart (encouraging women to follow their dreams).  Sandra Day O’Connor was one to say:  Follow your dreams, as dreams do come true.  And then there was Gloria Steinem in the early ‘60s with her bra burning women who made a statement for women in the work force.  We owe them a lot.


It is time, as successful women, to help change this world for all.  We need to move from “counting women” to “women count.”  It is up to us to have women everywhere we find ourselves... At least 30 percent and growing.  With women being nearly 50 percent of the workforce, over half of the college graduates and involved in nearly 80 percent of the purchasing decisions, isn’t it time to be “counted” as equals?

And, isn’t it up to us, successful women, to make the world a better place for our daughters and granddaughters?

Susan Bulkeley Butler is CEO of The Susan Bulkeley Butler Institute for the Development of Women Leaders. Prior to founding the Institute, Susan established herself as an accomplished business leader who shaped her career at Accenture, the world’s leading management consulting, technology services and outsourcing organization. She joined Arthur Andersen & Co. as its first professional female employee in 1965, and 14 years later, was named the first female partner of its consulting organization, Andersen Consulting, now known as Accenture. Before her retirement in 2002, Susan was the Managing Partner for Accenture’s Office of the CEO for Chairman & CEO Joe W. Forehand. Susan served on Accenture’s Executive Committee, the company’s principal advisory and strategy-setting committee, and as President of the Accenture Foundation.

Editor's note: This book was published in 2011 but still contains invaluable advice for women seeking to make a difference. 

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