Interview by Megan Foo
Henna Inam is the CEO of Transformational Leadership Inc., a company that partners globally with Fortune 500 organizations to help women achieve their potential to be transformational leaders. Working with a team of partners, Transformational Leadership Inc. offers executive coaching, leadership workshops and consulting on how to develop, retain, and engage women leaders. An active member in the global leadership community, Henna is also a leadership blogger for Forbes and an organizer for TEDxCentennialPark Women. With passions ranging from neuro-leadership to mindfulness to travelling to learning about cultures and languages, Henna’s personal mission is to help leaders expand into their most conscious and authentic selves.
Women LEAD: What is your background?
Henna Inam: I was born in Pakistan and consider myself a citizen of the world. I grew up from the ages of 11-19 living in Tanzania, Philippines and Thailand and going to International Schools with kids from all over the world. I learned to be curious about and appreciate other cultures – value the differences as well as realize how at the fundamental level we are all really human and want the same things – to feel secure, to have pride in who we are, to love and be loved, to grow, and to contribute.
Women LEAD: You are the founder and CEO at Transformational Leadership Inc. a company that helps organizations develop and retain their high potential women leaders. Can you tell us more about your company and its focus on helping organizations grow their pipeline of female talent?
Henna Inam: I started my company in early 2011 after a 20-year corporate career. In my corporate career I worked with Fortune 500 companies globally across a range of functions. What I realized after these 20 years of climbing the corporate ladder is that achievement was no longer enough for me to be happy. I wanted to do work that aligned with my sense of purpose and made a contribution in an area I was passionate about. (More on that story if you’re interested here: http://www.transformleaders.tv/my-purpose-journey/)
My company works with a global network of partners to help organizations grow their women leaders. We do this through executive coaching, leadership talks and seminars, and consulting. Our clients include companies like Coca Cola, J&J, Novartis, UPS, Google, Bank of America, Deloitte, PWC, Cox Communications among others.
Women LEAD: You are also the organizer of TEDxWomen in Atlanta. Can you tell us about the TEDxWomen’s event in December 2013?
Henna Inam: I started TEDxCentennial Park Women as the first TEDxWomen event here in Georgia in 2012. Our mission is to help curate and share “ideas worth spreading” that educate, inspire and empower women. We want to bring together a community of ripple-makers, men and women in Atlanta, who care about seeing women advance in all aspects of their lives. Our goal is to be a catalyst for fresh new dialogues and inspiration that help women grow as leaders who contribute to a strong and vibrant city, country, and world.
The 2013 theme was “Invented Here” and we had a fabulous line-up of corporate leaders, artists, educators talking about their ideas and inventions.
Women LEAD: Why are you passionate about women’s empowerment and leadership?
Henna Inam: It’s quite selfish really! I find I get a lot of personal satisfaction and fulfillment when I help others expand into their potential. I believe that as human beings we are here to evolve and grow and my personal mission is to help people expand into their most empowered and conscious selves. I do believe (and data shows) that when women are educated and have access to leadership and power, they invest in their communities, they educate their children. They make a better world for all of us. That is the reason I want to see more women in positions of power.
Women LEAD: What advice do you have for young women leaders and prospective social entrepreneurs?
Henna Inam: If I had only one piece of advice to offer it is to believe in yourself and what you’re capable of and don’t let fear or failure stop you. Continue to believe in the difference you’re here to make.
Women LEAD: Are there websites and books that are inspiring you right now related to the theme of gender equality, women’s empowerment and education?
Henna Inam: Well there is my website of course! (smile). Beyond that there are so many organizations doing great work (both NGO’s and corporations) to advance women. I am a blogger for Forbes and Forbes Woman has great content as well as Harvard Business Review has excellent overall leadership content. I am currently reading a book called “Positive Intelligence” by Shirzad Chamine. It talks about all the ways we sabotage our own power and tools to stop doing that. It’s has some good tools to help us really believe in ourselves so I would recommend that to your readers.