Dr. Sarah Renee Langley

Leadership Coach

Sarah Langley, I succeeded by following the best advice.

Dr. Sarah Renee Langley

Dr. Sarah Renee Langley is an Award-Winning Global Empowerment Speaker, Tedx Presenter, Business Strategist, Leadership Trainer, Licensed Professional Counselor, and Published Author, who is highly sought after for virtual and live stages on leadership, success and happiness around the world.

For nearly 30 years, Dr. Langley’s personal and professional experiences have afforded her the opportunity to helping her clients win big at being number 1 by breaking the traditional rules of success and happiness and redefining the rules on their own terms without guilt, loss or sacrifice.

Dr. Langley is the Founder & CEO of LeadHER International, a successful leadership, personal and professional development company committed to empowering, educating, and enhancing corporate leaders and business entrepreneurs to boost their confidence in themselves, boldly own and unleash their leadership power, and create endless opportunities to lead limitless lives.

Through her successful Limitless LeadHER programs and services, Dr. Langley has counseled, coached, consulted and trained top Fortune 500 executives and employees, small business owners and aspiring entrepreneurs on quality leadership, efficient service delivery and accelerated profitable growth strategies.

Dr. Langley has also received numerous awards for her selfless act of service toward economic policy change and human equality.

Dr. Langley has been featured on ABC, Fox News, CBS News, Good Morning America, Huffington Post, and was a Tedx speaker. Dr. Langley loves to travel, write, sing, and play the violin.

Limitless Leadership: How Women Can Rise By Defining Success & Happiness For Themselves

“I owe my success to having listened respectfully to the very best advice, and then going away and doing the exact opposite.”

— G. K. Chesterton

From our earliest days, we are told what a happy life looks like. We are told what paths we can take to reach this desirable destination, and once we reach it, we will have earned the desirable accolade of “successful.”

But do we know what a successful and happy life looks like?

For women, this yellow brick road tends to consist of go to college, get a job, find a life partner, and start a family. Anything in between is a bonus. Or, if you so wish, you can skip the first two and replace them with “become an entrepreneur.” 

And yet, a chasm is born 

These are all noble goals that can provide a wealth of fulfillment and life satisfaction. Still, it’s no secret that it’s a much-criticized concept in our modern times. It started as a whisper with the dawn of technology: “does this mean we can be free of the restrictive judgment of society?” “Can we carve out our way in life?” 

Opinion was divided 

Some people nodded in agreement and set about redefining what the long-solid terms “success” and “happiness” meant for them. Others were retaliating by leaning in.

We saw the calamity that books such as Nell Scovell and Sheryl Sandberg’s “Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead” caused. Instead of turning against the machine, women were being asked to simply face it – woman up and get on with it. 

And, the advice certainly worked for some. Still, the harsh truth behind the rallying call remained: rigidity would not work forever. 

The tides have changed

As a group, we were becoming more aware that expectations often aligned with the times. In the 50s, women could’ve skipped most milestones on our current success ladder and gone directly to find a life partner and start a family. 

Surely, we thought, and journalists wrote, all of those women couldn’t have been happy. Parallels beyond measure were drawn between our idea of success and those of the 50s. Were our supposedly freer mindsets still being imposed on us? Did we only think our idea of success was better than before because we were told so?

Would women be able to define their lives for themselves?

And naturally, the next question arose, and the whisper turned into a shout: “Can we define our idea of success and happiness?” Unsurprisingly, no one had the answer. Philosophers had posed themselves this lofty question for centuries and could never muster a straight yes or no.

And then, perhaps, we realized, there is no answer – only actions. Women could start revolutionizing the idea of happiness by simply living how they wanted to. In short, it was entirely up to them how they viewed the world. If women wished to adhere to the traditional view of success and happiness, that was their choice. But a new tapestry of paths opened up to women who were left feeling unsatisfied by tradition.

Why women should take back the reins 

And that’s where my story begins. Over time, I noticed the confines of society strengthen around women once again. Many leaders, entrepreneurs, and visionaries have been lauded for their eccentricities and forward-thinking in the past. It seems women aren’t always offered the same freedom nowadays.

Women were consciously or subconsciously expected to fit the mold of what we consider is the quintessential leader. Rugged, persistent, charismatic, and relentless, just to name just a few. Moreover, many female leaders felt compelled to follow in the footsteps of those before them, especially since this was such untrodden ground.

However, I believe that having the freedom to experiment with your leadership and lifestyle is crucial to reaching your full potential. And believe me, I know there’s a lot of unlocked potential. Every day, the women I see around me are brimming with ideas, teaming with passion and a simple yearning to be allowed to be themselves.

The power to lead a happy life lies within

It’s a simple premise, really; people unfurl wonderfully if you let them. If we could, for one moment, dismantle the preconceived notion of what it is to be a leader, successful, and happy, we would create a landscape where attaining all three at once is possible and perhaps even easy. 

When we define our lives for ourselves, we are encouraged to live well. We trace the lines we wish to follow and generally know where they’ll lead us. We are capable of identifying our strengths and weaknesses accurately, so that we can always put our best foot forward and know when to step back. Through this alone, we become impervious to judgment, doubt, and harsh criticism. You see, when you know the way, there’s no time for detours! And when you know yourself in and out, there’s no room for doubt! If that doesn’t sound like a good leader, I don’t know what does.

We’re also much more capable of viewing the bigger picture as we understand the values, experiences, and dreams behind our goals/life plans. I believe this may be what they call a sustainable life plan. 

And after all, a leader is meant to be someone who can set an example that others want to follow. There’s little more compelling, engaging, and enticing than someone who lives and leads to the beat of their own drum. 

A necessary step forward

Nonetheless, there will be those who accuse me of viewing the world through rose-tinted glasses, those who protest that leadership can’t indeed be limitless. To them, I say, I’m not recommending regulations be nullified or caution thrown to the wind; I simply aspire for women to take control of their lives. Creativity is necessary for crafting the idea of a future, and daring is responsible for making it happen. As of now, these two forces can rarely exist within the confines of our current leadership structure.

As Jacinda Ardern, the current prime minister of New Zealand, expressed beautifully, “One of the criticisms I’ve faced over the years is that I’m not aggressive enough or assertive enough or maybe somehow because I’m empathetic, it means I’m weak. I totally rebel against that. I refuse to believe that you cannot be both compassionate and strong.” It’s clear that Ardern has chosen her path and has ultimately been a success despite running into pushback along the way.

We truly are in an era of change. We are experimenting with what works and what doesn’t. Women are entering into roles that no women have ever occupied previously. It is entirely up to us to define how we assimilate. 

It’s easy to get caught up in the hum-drum of our day-to-day lives that we forget this movement is a slow yet steady revolution. And it’s a revolution that every woman has her part to play in.

Finally …

While reimaging your life and leadership strategy may satisfy you, you can also be assured you’re influencing the world. By choosing to live your life as your own and set your boundaries, you’re paving the way for others to the same.

But most importantly, you’re living life by your own rules, setting your standards, and simply doing your thing – and that’s all we can aspire to do.