Embrace Confidence and Unapologetic Ambitions

By Lisa Saul, MD, TRUST President

Women leaders often face the dual challenge of managing professional demands and personal aspirations. The key to thriving in our careers comes when we embrace our roles with confidence and unapologetic ambition. We can foster environments where we and other women can pursue our dreams. Here’s how you can prioritize leadership elements to confidently make a meaningful impact.

Embrace Unapologetic Leadership. Saying “I’m sorry” is perfectly acceptable when you have made a mistake or caused harm. However, women have the tendency to over-apologize in everyday scenarios, which can have an undermining effect. Instead of saying, “Sorry, could you send me that report?” you could say, “Could you please send me that report?” Instead of, “Sorry, I won’t be able to make it that day.” try Unfortunately, I won’t be able to make it that day.”

Embrace Unapologetic Ambition. To truly lead, we must commit unapologetically to our personal and professional goals. Set clear objectives and don’t hesitate to pursue them—even in the face of challenges. Directing your energy is easier when you know what you want to achieve. Standing firm in your ambitions and decisions demonstrates that women’s goals and aspirations are valid and important.

Understand Your Values. What matters most to you? Align your responsibilities with those values and ensure your professional actions reflect your profound convictions. For example, in health care, we should prioritize patient welfare in decision-making.

Delegate Strategically. Effective delegation moves from task-oriented decisions into empowerment. When we entrust responsibilities to others, we can optimize our operations and help cultivate future, unapologetic leaders. Align tasks with individuals’ strengths to foster a sense of ownership and enhance satisfaction among team members.

Build Your Resilience. Our well-being enhances our capacity to lead. Regularly engaging in self-care practices can sustain your health, grow your confidence and sharpen your leadership acumen. Our June 5 speaker, Jaime Taets, will share insights on “Cracking the Resilience Code” and how we can build resiliency to embrace new approaches and create environments where people thrive.

Cultivate a Supportive Community. Networks like the Women’s Health Leadership TRUST are crucial to building relationships and sharing invaluable experiences for personal and professional growth. Engage actively in mentoring and seek out mentors. These relationships can enrich your leadership journey while strengthening your professional network. Consider participating in our 2025 Mentorship Program—more information will be available later this summer.

Focusing on these strategies can enhance your effectiveness as a leader and champion the cause of women unapologetically pursuing their dreams in health care and beyond. Let’s lead intentionally and inspire women of all generations to dream big and achieve bigger.

Lisa Saul, MD, serves as the 2024 TRUST President and is a wife, mother, physician and women’s health expert. Lisa is passionate about women in leadership and health equity. She is also dedicated to improving health outcomes for birthing people, with a particular focus on women of color. She was honored as a Mpls.St. Paul Magazine Top Doctor in 2022 and Minnesota Monthly Top Doctor in 2020.