DonnaLyn Giegerich Presents Resilient Leadership Skills for Women Executives and Leadership Trends in Two-Part Sessions

ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. – When Donnalyn Giegerich, the leader of an empowerment speaking and corporate training company, was highly recommended by a female credit union professional to speak at our Convention, we thought she was a perfect complement to our speaker line-up, especially since adding on the Emerging Leaders track focused on that next generation being groomed to move up the management ladder. 


DonnaLyn Giegerich MBA CIC RYT is the CEO of DLG Consulting, a leadership training firm that provides international and national conference keynotes, business development services, and speech coaching to executive and entrepreneurial leaders worldwide. She maintains business interests in two Red Bank insurance agencies, has taught economics and finance courses three NJ colleges, is a Mrs. NJ America winner, a pharma/medical brand ambassador, and an entrepreneurial consultant for the Small Business Development Center in Lincroft, NJ.

In the first part of her two sessions, she embraced female leaders and gave attendees the key skills needed for women executives.

Being a female leader is not easy and the role is ever-changing. Building resilient leadership skills is key for getting ahead and staying ahead in business. But today is a great day to be a female leader in business! Giegerich pointed out that fewer than 7% of today’s Fortune 500 leaders are female. However, today’s women feel more empowered to take a leadership role in business – even laws are beginning to favor women in leadership roles.

Giegerich presented the four (gender neutral) qualities of great leaders, according to Kim Powell, author of The CEO Next Door:

  • D – Decisive.
  • A – Agility and adaptability.
  • R – Reliability – do what you say you are going to do – show up and do your job/fulfill your responsibilities.
  • E – Engagement – learned skilling, expanding our mindset beyond to be the best leader we can be.

A recent study shows that women typically outperform men in several business areas – compassion, empathy, cultural tolerance, etc. However, there’s always work to be done. Three key areas that women need to get better in:

  1. Speaking up more frequently, without hesitation and with confidence;
  2. Not taking enough risks – “We’re all here to share our time and our talent. Not to waste it.”; and 
  3. Handling stress – try simple stretches at your desk (roll shoulders, turn head to one side and the other, whatever works and moves your body to make you feel better).

Stop apologizing! If you didn’t do something wrong, don’t apologize! Women need to actively support other women in business instead of actively sabotaging or passively resisting the success of another women. Giegerich stated, “How people approach diversity influences both their ability to deal with it and, in the end, their own success and well-being through challenge.” She challenges everyone, most especially women, to use the D.A.R.E. list above and challenge themselves.

In the second part of her discussion, Giegerich went over the latest trends in leadership.

There’s a difference between being smart and being effective. Being effective means getting results. Executive Presence is key. Harvard Business School defines Executive Presence as learned skilling to develop impact. Executive Presence encompasses:

  • First Impression – less than a few nano-seconds to make a good first impression because social media allows people to check you out before you walk in the room – Answer these questions about how do you show up?: Are you an excellent communicator? Are you culturally competent? Are you situationally proficient? Do you regularly help others achieve success? Are you agile, interested and an excellent listener? Do you understand the difference between IQ, EQ and CQ? Do you update your look regularly? Do you plan for the worst and expect the best? Are you very clear on your value proposition and legacy goals in life? Do you ask for feedback from trusted peers and leaders?
  • Engagement Skills - honing your communication and engagement with others – smile, say hello, extend your hand, eye contact, ask open-ended questions to elicit feedback (Who? What? How?)
  • Conflict Resolution Skills – are you calm and confident in a crisis or do you fall apart? How do you handle adversity? How do your people see you in a crisis?
  • Learning the mechanics behind speaking well and presenting.
  • Prioritizing Self Care - take care of yourself – no emails after 5pm, overworking is no longer accepted in many large corporations. How do you take care of your team?

She introduced attendees to Cultural Intelligence (CQ) the ability to function across cultures and creating psychological safety by treating everyone equally and valuing everyone’s input without negative judgement or comments. She gave attendees steps to take once CQ is established:

  • Develop CQ Drive – stimulating the curiosity of other cultures. This leads to more diversity and interest in other cultures, which leads to acceptance and then leads to expansion of the business culture and member experience.
  • Develop CQ Knowledge – learn about the culture and go deeper to understand it fully.
  • Develop CQ Strategy – What are you going to do with the knowledge you have vs the curiosity over what you don’t know?
  • High CQ Action – actually doing it.

Lastly, Giegerich explained the importance of not being ethno-centric – unconsciously holding your culture as superior to others. Good leaders embrace all cultures and see all cultures as equal.

To connect with DonnaLyn Giegerich directly, attendees can visit or by call 732-547-0894.

Additional photos from NJCUL's 84th Annual Meeting and Convention can be found on the League's official Facebook page.