Fearless Leader: Carey Lohrenz
Carey Lohrenz knows what it’s like to work under extreme pressure. As the U.S. Navy’s first female F-14 Tomcat pilot, she flew missions around the world. In the cockpit, there’s little room for error. Fearlessness is part of the job description.
That’s a lesson Lohrenz wants more professional woman to master, and it’s the topic of her keynote speech at this year’s PGA TOUR Executive Women’s Day, which will be held Tuesday, March 10 during this year’s Valspar golf Championship at Innisbrook.
“I learned some unforgettable lessons in life and leadership,” Lohrenz says of her time in the Navy. Her experiences led her to the realization that fearlessness is the common denominator in success, whether it’s as an aviation pioneer or a high performance leader. Regardless of their workplace, women must learn to lead and excel in spite of their fear, and that being uncomfortable is not something to avoid. Too often, Lohrenz says, women play small for fear of how they’ll be perceived. “It’s a safe path not to engage.”
That lack of courage even shows itself in networking, a skill Lohrenz also believes is critical for success.
“Women don’t always value networking as much as we should because we think our performance should speak for itself,” she notes, adding that having a strong network when life gets rough– both personally and professionally – is key.
“You can’t get to the top alone. It’s too easy to become overwhelmed and overburdened. A network helps you prioritize the things that matter.”
Lohrenz praised the PGA Tour and Executive Women’s Day sponsor Astellas Parma US, Inc. for bringing together women in a powerful way. Women who attend the event will take away lessons on how to live well and work smart. It’s for women who have been in leadership roles for years, or others who want to learn how to overcome the barriers that may keep them from success.
“I learn as much as everyone else. These women talk about their path and journey. It’s amazing to hear how other women succeed.”
Retired from the Navy, Lohrenz is a married mother of four who owns an executive coaching and leadership training firm. She is the author of “Fearless Leadership,” which earned a place on the Wall Street Journal’s Best Seller list for 2014.
She’s looking forward to returning to Central Florida, where she often visited relatives as a child. “There’s no other place on Earth that has beaches like the west coast of Florida!”
More than 200 women are expected to attend PGA TOUR Executive Women’s Day, which will includes panel discussions moderated by Angela Ardolino, Founder of Tampa Bay Parenting Magazine and talks by Elizabeth Frazier, Executive Director, Lightning Foundation & Vice President, Philanthropy & Community Initiatives, Tampa Bay Lighting; Dr. Catherine Lynch, Associate Vice President, USF College of Medicine; Karyn Talarico, Senior Vice President, Private Advisors, BB&T Wealth; and Kim Welch, Vice President, Communications, Valspar.