Vashti Murphy McKenzie, the first female bishop of the African Methodist Episcopal Church, wowed the women during her keynote this morning sponsored by ADP at the Women of Power Summit in Hollywood, Florida.
With humor, sass, gravitas, and pinky swear promises, this leader of the AME church exhorted her listeners to not only own their truth, but to let go of hindrances holding them back. Here are a few highlights.
Opening up with a hilarious but common sense litany of things accomplished women ought to know, McKenzie captivated the audience. â€œYou oughta knowâ€”
- How to be positive in negative situations
- That sometimes the answer is â€œnot now,â€� and sometimes itâ€™s â€œnever.â€�
- That Spandex doesnâ€™t look good on every body
- How to flirt without getting into trouble
- If you donâ€™t know, ask for help
- What you care deeply about
The bishop also urged the leaders in the room to â€œgo deep,â€� to not be afraid of abandoning the superficial but to address life-and-death issues our society must grapple withâ€”such as the tragic lead-poisoned water in Flint, Michigan.
â€œLeadership is not for the faint of heart,â€� she said, and went on to describe how women are recasting the leadership model by being not only assertive, but also flexible and relational, inviting others into the decision-making process.
â€œClose the door to the past, open the door to the future, and walk into your destiny,â€� McKenzie had all the attendeesâ€”nearly 1,000 strongâ€”promise and pinky swear.
â€œPromise me youâ€™ll dream big and trust God to take you through the process,â€� she charged the women. â€œStart encouraging yourself since criticizing yourself hasnâ€™t worked.â€�
â€œStop working it out yourself and let God do the heavy lifting.â€�
â€œStop wasting your time on things you canâ€™t change, and spend time on things that have possibility.â€�
â€œTurn challenges into opportunities.â€�
â€œLeadership is reaching beyond your comfort zone.â€�
â€œThe world is waiting for who God has called you to be.â€�
The keynote was so energizing, McKenzie and the audience broke out in a dance at the end! Be sure to watch the live stream for other unique messages that all women leaders need to hear from other Women of Power.