Q&A with Allison Barber
Share Your Story Blog Series
From IWL Conference Speaker and Chancellor of WGU Indiana, Allison Barber
Why does the subject of women resonate with you?
I think it’s because of my background. I have had the opportunity to work with a lot of women from a lot of different generations. One of my favorite stories or memories is when I worked with WWII nurses, who were ahead of their time. The WWII women told me they were vitality alive living at full speed. Those are the kind of women I was able to engage with as a young lady in my profession, so that motivated me to think about how women lead in all sorts of ways. I think that’s what inspires me to be in the space to talk about how women can be vitality alive and living at full speed even if you are a WWII nurse – and that excites me.
Why did you chose to speak at this year’s conference?
I am excited about the future of women in Indiana and women worldwide. I look at women here in Indiana and what we are doing with this conference and it’s inspiring. We are reaching out to people to show that there are opportunities for women to lead across every platform, and it is not just in corporations or in owning your own company. Leadership is really the ability to take what you have and improve the circumstances around yourself – for yourself and for the other people you care about. I am excited about the opportunities for women and I think this conference raises the dialogue around potential and opportunity.
What message do you hope to give the audience in your breakout sessions?
I think I am going to focus on the ABC’s of motivation. So, we will look at how we motivate ourselves, and how we motivate others. People spend a lot of time talking about motivating and leading others and I don’t think you can do that until you figure out how to motivate yourself. I think you can break it down into three things: it is autonomy, belief and competency; the ABC’s of motivation and how I motivate myself. If you can figure that out, then you can help motivate others. So it is: know yourself, be yourself, and improve yourself.
If I am someone who has never been to the conference, why should I attend?
I think people should attend this conference if they care about being better at what they do. The way you get better at what you do is to surround yourself with other people who are good in that space. If you engage in this conference, really come in with an open mind that says, ‘I am going to take where I am today and I am going to spend time with other people that are leaders in different areas. I am going to start where I am today and ask where can I improve and I am going to surround myself with other leaders.’ That is what this conference does; it is a door-opener to help your people engage in the space of leadership.
Contributed by: Allison Barber, Chancellor, WGU Indiana
Dr. Allison Barber is the chancellor of WGU Indiana, the state’s online, competency-based university. She champions college attainment for working Hoosiers who have some college but have not yet earned a degree.