My perspective: recapping the Eastern Iowa Conference

Apr 23, 2015


Colette Atkins

Colette Atkins serves as Assistant Provost at Mount Mercy University, fulfilling a key role in the academic affairs division. She provides administrative leadership and oversight for accelerated and online programs built for working professionals. Prior to joining Mount Mercy, Colette served as a sponsorship coordinator with the United States Air Force, as well as program coordinator for Thomas Edison State College & Rutgers University. She has teaching experience from Burlington Community College, Southern Illinois University, and Thomas Edison State College. Atkins holds a Bachelor in Business Administration from the University of North Dakota and a Master in Education from the University of Oklahoma. Colette is a native of Charles City, Iowa and lives in Marion with her husband and two children.

I spent the last two days at the IWLC Eastern Iowa Conference. And I met some amazing women in leadership roles. This conference was well worth every cent!

Here are a few of my favorite speakers and moments from the conference:

Liz Wiseman, Rookie Smarts

Liz’s talk was around the idea that being a rookie is good – we don’t have assumptions or limiting beliefs. Our experience sometimes builds blind spots. She recommends to feed your team challenge every three months. Her talk made me think about the newest adventure where I work, Mount Mercy University, which is gearing up to offer online programs in multiple states. I would recommend watching a few of Liz’s seminars on YouTube.

Susan Colantuono, The Career Advice You Probably Didn’t Get

She was introduced as “the woman who broke the Internet – and for a good reason.” She was all of that and more. Her advice to women in the workplace was profound.

Watch this!

Carla Harris, Strategize to Win

Amazing! Read her book! A few things I picked up from her: Perception is the co-pilot to reality. Be authentic. Chose three adjectives that describe you and make sure they align with your company. You must be comfortable in taking risks because, she argues, you must show the marketplace you are comfortable with change. Failure does bring experience. Make sure you have an advisor, mentor and sponsor – all three are separate and different things.

Gretchen Rubin, Better Than Before, Mastering the Habits of our Everyday Lives

A friend and I were texting one another after the conference to determine whether we were Upholders, Obligers, Rebels or Questioners. Which are you?

As IWLC CEO Diane Ramsey said in her remarks, the theme of the conference was easily, “OWN IT, LADIES!”

There were many more incredible moments, but these are the ones that come to mind first. I am looking forward to sharing an IWLC conference experience with many of my colleagues next year! And I hope to see you there, too!