Edie Fraser, author of Do Your Giving While You are Living

Edie Fraser, author of Do Your Giving While You are Living

Just think. 90 years ago, women in the U.S. did not have the right to vote.

Thanks to the efforts of Alice Paul and other dedicated members of the Women’s National Party who fought long and hard for the passage of the 19th Amendment, we now have that right.

On Tuesday evening, May 19th, 500 women leaders stood in the home of the WNP – the historical Sewall-Belmont House on Capitol Hill right next to the Senate Office Building — and celebrated Women and Giving.

Honorees that evening included Edie Fraser, serial entrepreneur who founded the Business Womens Network and Diversity Best Practices, and six female political leaders including Senator Mary Landrieu from Louisiana, Kay Hagan from North Carolina, Debbie Stabenow from Michigan, Amy Klobuchar from Minnesota, Maria Cantwell from Washington and Congressman Carolyn Maloney who chairs the powerful Joint Economic Committee.

Dozens of women executives from such organizations as WALL*MART, United Nations Foundation, KidSave, CARE, Center for Citizen Diplomacy and AARP Foundation supported the event which was a Who’s Who of philantrophists and advocates for women leadership.

I get “chicken skin” (Hawaii for goose bumps) thinking that at the exact same spot where women planned, strategized and ultimately realized our right to be treated equally, (be sure to watch the video Iron-Jawed Angels with Hilary Swank to appreciate what our fore-mothers did on our behalf) . . . . hundreds of women gathered who run billion dollar organizations, manage thousands of employees and who oversee global projects having a positive impact around the world.

A special treat that night was when two bright, talented Girl Scouts from the Washington DC area spoke of the impact their participation in Gril Scouts had on their ability to think big, dream big and give big.

I had the pleasure and privilege of Emceeing this memorable event and wrapped up the ceremonies with The Triple T.

I asked everyone to get out their cell phones, iPhones, Blackberries and digital camers and to T – text a women who had given support to let her know she’s appreicated for doing her giving while she’s living; to T – twitter about the inspiring event they were experiencing; and T – take a photo with a new friend they just connected with.

There were 500 women in the Sewall-Belmont garden — yet 5 minutes later, 5000 people knew aobut this extraordinary event because of the Triple T. What’s even better is that 5 days later, 500,000 people will know about the importance of Doing Your Giving While You are Living — thanks to the posts, photos and shout-outs on blogs, websites and social media pages.

I can only imagine that Alice Paul and her “sisters” are smiling somewhere — knowing their efforts paid off and their dreams of women giving at the level of which they’re capable are being fulfilled.

As I promised in my ezine to my mailing list, I’m sharing some personal impressions and take-aways from the PINK luncheon honoring Edie Fraser and Jack and Suzy Welch.

One of the most profound “keepers” comes from the last chapter of Suzy’s 10-10-10 book in which she shares a story about attending a gala New Year’s event.

What was amazing was that instead of reveling in the champagne and exquisitely decorated surroundings, their table conversation revolved around the question, “Do you know a dozen people who are really happy?”

Everyone put their heads together and threw out names for consideration, but most were quickly dismissed with “bitter,” “hates his wife,” “living the picture,” “too intense” or something that took them out of the running.

Jack and Suzy finally pronounced THEY were happy and went off to dance.

What about you? Can you come up with a dozen certifiably contented people? They don’t have to be successful by society’s standards; they just need to be, as Suzy says, at peace with themselves.

Are you? Why or why not?

If you want to have a really interesting conversation, throw this question out for discussion next time you get together with friends. Ask your group to come up with 12 people who are genuinely happy – people who are living life on their terms and at peace with themselves and others.

Please report back! I’m eager to hear your results and insights.

I’ll share mine following the May 19th event at the Sewall-Belmont House where I’ll be asking a LOT of people this question, “Are you really happy? Do you know anyone who is? Discuss!”

After meeting Jack and Suzy Welch at the PINK luncheon in Atlanta and hearing them speak, I know why their co-authored book Winning and her new book 10-10-10 are POPing off the shelves.

He is a focused, powerful speaker who doesn’t pull punches. When asked if it was true many corporations are cutting back on their giving in these tough economic times, Jack said, “That’s why the #1 goal of any company should be to WIN. Because if you win, you have the resources to continue on giving. If you’re in a spot, change it!”

Suzy modeled why 10-10-10 has become an instant bestseller. She obviously agrees with Muriel Rukeyser who says, “The world is not made up of atoms, it’s made up of stories.”

Suzy showscased each point with a real-life example, re-creating each scene with back-and-forth dialogue so we felt we were “there” as the story unfolded.

For example, she told about the epiphany that resulted in the creation of 10-10-10 (a 3-step process for getting clarity in the midst of confusion so we can make sound decisions when we’re pulled in a dozen different directions.)

That’s Suzy’s story, but suffice it to say, it involves a business trip to Hawaii that included taking 2 of her 4 children. Trying to be all things to all people, she signed them up for hula lessons so they’d be occupied while she delivered her presentation. Lo and behold, Suzy looks away from her Power-Point only to see her kids’ faces glued up against the glass doors, screaming, “Mommy, Mommy.”

Yikes. What to do? Well, that’s where the 10-10-10 process comes in. Check out Suzy’s book for the rest of that story (pages 4-7) and to apply her valuable process to a dilemma you’re facing.

As to the photo with this blog post, that’s Suzy Welch (former Editor of Harvard Business Review) on the left, Betty Siegel (25 year President of Kennesaw State University) Paige Hall (CEO of About Face, the turn-around specialists), Jack Welch (former CEO of GE), Marilynn Mobley (Strategic Counsel for Edelman), Sam Horn, and Kimberly Douglas (a client who was celebrating the launch of her book The Firefly Effect that day).Suzy Welch, Betty Siegel, Paige Hall, Jack Welch, Marilynn Mobley, Sam Horn and Kimberly Dougas at PINK Luncheon