Friday, June 1, 2012

A Dragon With Heart

A Dragon with a Heart is one way to think about Arlene Dickenson, an incredible business woman and celebrity on the Dragon's Den television show.  One of my bucket list items was to meet Arlene, and on May 3 I was thrilled to meet her at the Alberta Women Entrepreneur Awards night. Arlene was awarded the Celebration of Achievement Award, one that was very well deserved.

Arlene Dickenson and I in Edmonton at the AWE Awards Event.
Listening to Arlene speak at the event was inspiring and affirming. One comment that really struck me was when Arlene talked about emotion having a place in business. One of the qualities I appreciate about Arlene as a business woman is her authenticity, and how she shows up in life... real.... and integral!  Part of that involves emotion. I have always struggled with the concept of leaving emotion out of business or checking emotion at the door. Business is about relationships, risk , responsibility, loss, success, all of which involve emotion. The key is to manage emotion and show up real, and it was affirming to hear Arlene say "how do you keep emotion out of business?"  The saying goes that people do business with those they know, like and trust. When you are authentic, and show up as the best version of you, you make it easier for people to trust you and build relationships that are key to business.

As a leader, how do you want to show up in business... and in life?  How you show up really matters.
I have read Arlene's new book Persuasion, and highly recommend it. The book is full of business advice and tips to help business women succeed in business, and in life. Arlene's authentic, down to earth writing style makes her so relatable. Check it out here, I highly recommend this book!

According to Alberta Women Entrpeneurs, there are currently "over 900,000 of the 2.6 million self-employed workers in Canada are women, with businesses that represent over $117 billion per annum of economic activity." Alberta Women Entrepreneurs (AWE) is a not-for-profit organization that provides unique programs and services to women at all stages of business through advising, skills development, financing and networking opportunities, ensuring women entrepreneurs are supported and continue to establish profitable businesses that contribute to the economy.

For more information on Alberta Women Entrepreneurs or the Celebration of Achievement, visit