In 2018, soccer legend Abby Wambach gave the commencement address at Barnard College – and her speech became a rallying cry for women everywhere.
“You were never Little Red Riding Hood,” Abby declared. “You were always the Wolf. We must venture off the patch and blaze a new way, together!”
Inspired by a 1995 Ted Talk about the reintroduction of wolves in Yellowstone National Park, Abby wrote a speech, and now a book, that inspires women to live a Louder life. She proposes eight rules for the wolfpack, which are excellent guidelines for feminine leadership:
- Create your own path.
- Be grateful for what you have AND demand what you deserve.
- Lead now – from wherever you are.
- Failure means you’re finally IN the game.
- Be FOR each other.
- Believe in yourself. Demand the ball.
- Lead with humanity. Cultivate leaders.
- You’re not alone. You’ve got your Pack.
Wolfpack is a powerhouse of a book – packed with inspiration, stories, and humdingers about the patriarchy. Abby’s leadership on and off the soccer field makes her a unique and refreshing voice. Who’s ready to join the Wolfpack? You will after reading this book.
My big takeaways:
#1: Even Olympic Gold Medalists experience the Fraud Factor.
Right at the beginning of Wolfpack, Abby writes how nervous she was to speak to the Barnard College graduating class. She wondered how a retired athlete who didn’t graduate from college could be compelling and inspiring. She pushed her doubts aside, thankfully, and delivered a remarkable speech. I love this reminder that the Fraud Factor affects everyone, and it’s our job to ignore it and move on.
#2: I am a wolf. You are a wolf, too.
“There is a wolf inside every woman. Her wolf is who she was made to be before the world told her who to be. Her wolf is her talent, her power, her dreams, her voice, her curiosity, her courage, her dignity, her choices – her truest identity.” (page 23)
As a child, I always related to Little Red Riding Hood. She had a rocking red cape and was a loyal granddaughter. How about you? Now, after reading Wolfpack, I am loving the idea that I am a wolf. It’s time to shed the red hood and be the wolf I am meant to be.
#3: You can lead and be imperfect.
Society demands that women be perfect leaders with no track records of mistakes. However, society does expect the same from men. If you need further proof, look at the track records of Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump. Who made the most mistakes yet became president of the United States?
Women know that society expects us to be perfect. Instead of trying to change this expectation, we try to meet it. It’s unattainable, though. The result? We are so afraid to make a mistake that we don’t try.
No more, Loud Woman. Failures and mistakes are a necessary part of our journey. It’s how we learn. So, make the mistakes. Be imperfect. As more of us do this (unapologetically), the expectation will change.
How Wolfpack relates to entrepreneurs:
Abby Wambach says that every woman is in the wolfpack. That’s excellent news for entrepreneurs because we definitely need a wolfpack of supporters on our side.
On days, though, when you feel like shit and you are not sure why you chose to be an entrepreneur, read Wolfpack. Even one chapter will lift you and remind you of your purpose: You are here to change the world. Keep going. Stay in faith. You can do it.
Wolfpack is a short, powerful book – one I recommend unreservedly to all women entrepreneurs. I can’t wait for the day when all women can lean confidently into our wolf selves and make this world a better place.