It comes from within: Tapping into one’s personal power

April 2 Voices of Leadership focuses upon leveraging one’s unique perspective

Power is no longer bound by status but by one’s unique perspective known as "onlyness," a term coined by Nilofer Merchant, author of “The Power of Onlyness,” and keynote speaker at Mount Mary’s Voices of Leadership event on April 2, 2020.

Merchant will share her story of how she went from community college to launching more than 100 products, netting $18 billion in sales, while working in executive positions for companies ranging from Apple to Autodesk. The organization Thinkers50 named her among the world’s leading thinkers. She will inspire participants to embrace their distinct history, experiences, visions and hopes to generate powerful ideas, lead passionate lives and create scalable impact.

This annual Voices of Leadership event, sponsored by Mount Mary’s Women’s Leadership Institute, brings women leaders who have broken ground in entrepreneurship, innovation, social change and leadership to Mount Mary to engage Milwaukee’s professional community. The campus community is involved in this program through multiple student projects centered on the theme of personal power. Classroom learning projects encompass issues related to contemporary life and through the perspective of history, particularly the suffragist movement.

"The theme of this year's Voices of Leadership keynote is to claim what matters to you and to find a community to move your wild, powerful idea forward," said Anne Kahl, executive director of the Leadership Institute. "This theme is especially meaningful on this 100th anniversary of the 19th Amendment.”

"Nilofer Merchant offers a modern perspective and application of the personal power that spurred women's activism and empowerment during the women’s suffrage movement," said Kahl.

A question-and-answer session will follow the presentation. Sally Haldorson, manager of Porchlight Book Company, a Milwaukee-based online bookseller (formerly 800-CEO-READ), will moderate it. Haldorson, who is also a writer and editor, has contributed to three editions of The 100 Best Business Books of All Time and has written a recommendation of Merchant’s book on her company’s website.

Registration is now open. Additional details can also be found at

Past presenters include social activist Jessica Shorthall; NASCAR champion Julia Landauer; Malala Fund co-founder Shiza Shahid; fashion model, designer, activist, social innovator and entrepreneur Lauren Bush Lauren; and White House advisor to former President Barack Obama Betsy Myers.

Presenting sponsors of Voices of Leadership include Johnson Controls, the Milwaukee Business Journal and Aurora Health Care.