Leadership speakers tell women
and girls to step out of comfort zones
By Emily Staley
Apr. 26, 2018
EPHRAIM—Women and girls from Sanpete County were encouraged to step out of their comfort zones and become leaders at the Utah Women Leadership Project.
Sometimes, leading is hard, explained Project director Dr. Susan R. Madsen to an audience of women and girls in the Snow College Noyes Building on Tuesday, April 17.
“We like to be in our comfort zones,” she said. “But our growth and development comes from outside of our comfort zones.”
Community leaders Abby Cox, Janet Carlston, and Karen Soper were guest speakers. Each woman is highly involved with leadership and came to inspire others. They spoke about leaving their comfort zones in order to be where they are today.
“Please don’t put yourself in a box.” Cox explained. “Expand yourself and get outside of the box. Define yourself not by what you do but by what you are, who you can help and who you can influence.”
Carlston expressed how her mother inspired her to be a leader. “I was a little girl from Ferron who came to the big city of Ephraim to go to Snow College and my mother told me ‘I want you to pay attention. Pay attention to the people who are alone or sad and make a difference in their lives.’”
“You impact everyone around you.” Carlston explained. “We all make a difference and it’s important to realize that we do. We all have a voice and we should use it.”
The women agreed that confidence is essential in leadership and confidence is gained through education.
“Education is critical,” Carlston said. “It helps you grow as a person. It helps you be able to work with people. It helps you in every aspect of your life.”
Madsen explained that a lot of women believe that as soon as they get married or have a baby then they don’t need to get an education anymore, but it is important to remember that it doesn’t need to be one or the other; they can do both.
Madsen encouraged the women and girls to pursue their education and become lifelong learners. She challenged the audience to identify their passions and set goals to make a difference in what they are passionate about.
“Find something you are good at and share it with others to inspire them to do something good.” Soper pleaded. “Find your voice.”
The women emphasized the importance of saying yes to opportunities. “Take advantage of opportunities,” Carlston said. “Welcome them and be prepared; know that you can do things; and have faith in yourself.”
Soper expanded; “When you say yes to an opportunity, give it your whole heart and soul. Be committed. Be responsible. And then you can make a positive difference. Leadership is an invitation to greatness, so I invite you to be great.”
The mission of the Utah Women and Leadership Project is to inspire Utah women and girls to find their voice, be confident and become leaders by informing and engaging them.