Lisa Garber

Leadership Coach


Lisa Garber

Lisa Garber has been coaching for over 25 years and is known internationally!
Lisa has coached individuals and teams throughout her successful career. She is valued for her ability to help her clients take their leadership to the next level by applying Emotional Intelligence (EQ) concepts and strategies.
Lisa’s coaching methods have proven effective in what leaders are looking for: ways to inspire, motivate, manage and succeed.
Lisa also holds a Master’s Degree in Counseling Psychology from the University of Toronto and is a graduate of the Coaches Training Institute (CTI). She is also a Certified Professional Co-Active Coach. (CPCC). You can learn more about Lisa at

The Three Strategies to Help You Be an Empowered Women Leader

In the 25 years I’ve been a professional coach, I have seen the same three issues circulating around the female leaders I have worked with. They are cultural, political and psychological, which means no one is entirely immune. But with consistent self-awareness, every woman leader has learned to grow beyond their limitations and step proudly into their personal power and success.

Culturally, many women leaders carry with them the roles they were taught growing up. Of course, cultures are different. Some have championed them as little girls and so they grow into strong women leaders. Others learned that there was a place for women and it was different from their male counterparts.

Overcoming cultural programming takes a lot of self-reflection. Using a journal is always helpful. Ask yourself, “do I often take a back seat in meetings? Do I see my career as staying in the “medium” level of management as opposed to higher executive roles? What is contributing to these beliefs? What evidence can I see all around me to dispute these beliefs?” The first step in empowering yourself to grow beyond your culture’s expectations is to be aware that you have them. Then you can work towards slowly dismantling them. 

Political barriers are all too pervasive. Women leaders can often feel left out of social conversations, overlooked for promotions or feel invisible. They often remark that they are treated differently than their male counterparts even when they share a leadership designation.

We can’t change the world, but we can absolutely change how we respond to the world. The first step, once again, is to be aware of it. Sometimes we can be in denial because it’s so hard to believe it’s actually happening. First, raise your self awareness so you know what you are dealing with.

And then, ignore it. Honestly, the most powerful strategy in these situations is to acknowledge it and then let it go. This allows you to keep doing the things you know make you a great leader and don’t let anything stop you. Contribute your ideas to those conversations where you used to feel left out. So what if you feel invisible? Make yourself present regardless by volunteering to be involved in projects even if you weren’t asked. And speak up if you think you are not being treated the same. Those who may be treating you differently are in the minority. Don’t let their behavior be the boss of you!

Psychological barriers are just that, they live within us and are the most available to change because they are totally under our control. The biggest barrier to women leaders in this realm is their fear of being “too pushy.” That translates as being too aggressive and so they compensate for this by becoming too passive. There is a wonderful middle ground. It’s called assertive.

Assertive is the ability to ask for what you need and want in a respectful way. It always contains “I” statements. For example: “When this memo went out to everyone except me and my team, I felt confused and frustrated. I would prefer to be a part of these memos going forward so that our team can contribute to the project and likely make a positive influence that helps all of us.”

I have to say, I have coached more than half of my women leader clients in these last many years on how to be assertive. It is one of the most empowering skills any woman leader can learn.

All the above strategies are built on a baseline of self-awareness. And from there, you really can contribute your unique style of leadership no matter what you are faced with.