Paying it Forward
Speaking is how I help others. Speaking and sharing what I have learned is how I honor all the people in my life who have helped me become who I am. Speaking is how I pay it forward.
As the first woman to fly the F-16 in the US Air Force, I was thrown into a relatively hostile environment that I was unprepared for. It wasn’t easy, but I earned my place and the respect of my fellow fighter pilots. I couldn’t have done it without the help of all who supported me. I have developed three speeches that draw from my experiences, the good and the bad, to help others who want to do something a little different or help someone who does.
Follow Your Dreams, Debrief Your Life – Live Better and Inclusion, Everyone All the Time
I use my life experiences as the first woman to fly the F-16 and my time as an airline Captain to form the basis of my speeches. I use stories from my life (funny, frustrating and sometimes intense) to build the takeaways from each speech.
Follow Your Dreams is an inspirational speech based on my challenging path from a four-year old on her first flight to the first woman F-16 pilot, respected by her peers. Key takeaways are that what looks like luck and timing usually involves a lot of hard work, that you get to decide who gets inside your head and that perseverance is essential to reaching your dreams.
Debrief Your Life – Live Better is about the importance of looking at pivotal events in your life, debriefing them and learning lessons to make your life better. Lessons like focusing on what you can control and how to develop your courage. Debriefing your life takes time but it will help you live your best life.
Inclusion – Everyone, All the Time incorporates my unique perspective on inclusion. I was almost always the only woman pilot in my squadron or on my base. Feeling like part of the team is essential to peak performance. Everyone has a role in building an inclusive environment – leaders, members of the similar group and members of the diverse group. Building an inclusive environment will help your team perform at its best.
Mindset and Resiliency
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Powerful message, entertaining stories, transparent delivery. Sharon was perfect for us.
Incredibly inspiring! Her way of intertwining her own life lessons and experiences is brilliant. Highly recommend her.
Sharon spoke to our Women’s luncheon at our Independent Insurance Agencies Conference in Chicago. Sharon got to meet some of the conference attendees at a function the night before and her story was so interesting we actually had 10 men attending the women’s luncheon. Sharon’s message of courage, perseverance and being true to yourself resonated with all the attendees. The comments I heard most frequently after her speech were “inspirational” “motivating”, “engaging” and “impressive”. I will definitely have Sharon speak at future events
Sharon was the keynote speaker to our Rotary Youth Leadership Awards retreat. Her message of looking for mentors, working hard for what you want and knowing the value you bring to the world reached the entire audience, students and adults alike. Sharon was engaging and connected very well. After her speech multiple people personally thanked her for validating the importance of hard work and valuing yourself. We feel blessed to have had her share her story and her time with us
“As a leader, you have to live your values and they should be reflected in your policies.”