Five provocative questions answered by an inspiring and fabulous woman – a woman with something to say.
Meet Jone Bosworth
Jone Bosworth is the Founder of inCourage Leading, LLC, a leadership development and strategic consultancy firm that focuses on growing women’s influence and impact. Driven to avoid at all costs what Madeleine Albright called the “special place in hell for women who don’t help other women,” Jone interviewed ‘Main Street’ women across the U.S. to learn what they care about, are proud of, and what they believe must be transformed for the nation – and future generations – to thrive. A graduate of the University of Nebraska’s College of Law, the National Foreign Affairs Training Center, and the University of California at Berkeley’s Haas School of Business Executive Coach Institute, Jone has lived and worked across the U.S. and in Japan, Saudi Arabia, Mexico and Kenya.
People would be surprised to know that: I once did the voice-over for a hemorrhoidectomy (hemorrhoid surgery) video used at an international proctology conference. Even 20 years later, the thought of using my voice that way makes me giggle. Talk about the perfect fodder for jokes!
The WTL 5:
What’s the conversation that changed your life?
Many conversations have changed my life. In 2008, I met His Holiness the Dalai Lama and his amazing presence, without words, transformed me. Similarly, almost every conversation with young children changes me. They so naturally live in a state of awe that it reawakens my own sense of wonder and possibilities. And, a conversation with civil rights leader, Derrick Bell, changed my life. I asked Professor Bell, “How should a person decide when to speak out against injustice when injustice is so ubiquitous?” He replied, “Ask yourself, what burdens my soul more? To speak or to remain silent? That is how you decide.” That ‘burdens my soul’ test, mindful that there are consequences to either choice, empowered me to be much more strategic and heart-centered in my approach.
What are you most conscious of today?
Fear harms us, gratitude and awe heals. When we allow fear of “the other” to divide us, or fear of our own greatness to control our thoughts and actions, it negatively impacts our spirits and more. Fear hurts our health. Fear curtails our kindness. Fear isolates us and can twist our thinking. Acknowledging and releasing fear, replacing it with gratitude or a nature-generated moment of awe, we’re able to regain our integrity, our wholeness.
What part of you have you yet to give voice to?
I haven’t given full voice to the “Grandma Moses” in me, the voice that plainly paints a picture of life in Main Street America. Writing my first book, I have a burning desire to discover and share what ‘ordinary’ American women are thinking, feeling and experiencing today. I’m much more interested in Main Street women than the Kardasians, the Real Housewives or the 1%. I feel incredibly honored and humbled that women across the nation shared their stories with me – they inspire and sadden, embolden and shame, and also sing with enduring optimism. I cannot wait to share their voices with you.
What’s the conversation women need to be having collectively?
Women don’t need “fixing” to be leaders. We are whole. We are powerful. We are the world’s majority. Collectively, we possess immense influence over children’s development, communities’ cultures, companies’ profitability, governmental elections (in most nations), and the world’s economy. We have everything we need right now to lead at a time when the world is crying out for leadership.
What’s stopping us?
What needs to be said bigger, louder, stronger?
Greater equality makes societies stronger! When we allow wealth inequality to expand, we all suffer – even those well off – as violence, mental illness, poor physical health and distrust of one another grows. We need to get serious about saying in bigger, louder, stronger ways that we need new ways of thinking about wealth.
As much as I’d love to take credit for raising this, epidemiologists Kate Pickett and Richard Wilkinson brilliantly said it in their book, The Spirit Level: Why Greater Equality Makes Societies Stronger. If you’re interested in evidence, and in human well-being, I highly recommend reading the book – it will change how you see the world forever.
Thank you, Jone, for sharing your powerful voice
with WomanTalk Live.