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On the 24th of February, WWIB, in conjunction with the Wellesley Business Leadership Council and CWS, was honored and delighted to welcome Denise Brosseau (’82) back to campus to celebrate the launch of her new book, Ready To Be A Thought Leader?

Denise’s book teaches readers how to become a thought leader using a 7-step framework – from how we notice problems, build solutions, to how we can gain momentum in advocating those ideas, and finally, how to build a community of people amplifying those ideas more widely to create a movement.

In fact, Denise’s own story is a fascinating and inspiring example of a thought leadership journey. After spending her early career in the tech industry, Denise found her passion in women’s leadership and entrepreneurship and has dedicated her career to encouraging more women’s voices in leadership across a variety of realms – politics, the corporate world, non-profits and start-ups.  

She co-founded and became the first CEO of the Forum for Women Entrepreneurs, a non-profit for women who were raising venture capital and she co-founded Springboard, a venture conference and accelerator that has led to over $6 billion in funding for women entrepreneurs. These experiences led to her found the Thought Leadership Lab in 2008, which specializes in building the visibility, credibility, and thought leadership of executives, social entrepreneurs, and CEOs.  Eventually, Denise desired to share her rich experiences and observations in this book, helping women everywhere make their voices heard.

As an alumnus, Denise also offered a lot of valuable advice for us as Wellesley students.  She encouraged us to make use of any and all opportunities we come across – to start taking charge and asserting ourselves.  She also reminded us to make a note of all the ideas that go through our heads – write it down, develop them, and pitch it to someone.  Moreover, she reminded us of the importance of networking – not just meeting people but checking in with them because our network is one of our most valuable assets.  Denise also encouraged us as women to start claiming and asserting ourselves, but also work to amplify other women’s voices.

Opportunities come at the least expected moments and in the least likely places.  To quote Denise, “It is important to be ready for when you’re not ready.”  We should equip ourselves with the tools to pitch our ideas, have a voice – whenever, wherever.  Those are, without a doubt, the first steps to becoming a thought leader and an agent for positive change in the world.