How to Be the CEO of Your Career | Kathryn Heath and Brenda Wensil


I Wish I'd Known This!

Ep. 257 -When is the last time you asked yourself, “What is my reputationality?” Your answer might well be, “Never, because I’ve never heard of that word!” But for successful women leaders, it’s an important concept to understand and build upon throughout their careers.

Reputationality is the combination of your reputation and your personality. It’s how your professional strengths and credentials meet your personality attributes to give you a unique stamp in the world. If you’re an aspiring leader, it’s important to get known for something. And you can shape that story before anyone else does it for you.

Listen in to learn how to intentionally reinvent yourself by building your unique credentials and personality as a professional. You will also learn how to connect with the people you admire and leverage what you can learn from them.

Key Takeaways:

  • How to be the CEO of your career by having a vision, strategies, and people to support you
  • Spend time building your reputationality – your unique credentials and who you are
  • How to intentionally reinvent yourself by building your reputation and personality
  • How to be bold about finding people you admire and learn from them
  • Figure out who you are and do it on purpose as you transition into retirement

"You can have this bold vision of what you want to do, but you have to have a group of people to go with you.” - Kathryn Heath

In this episode you will learn:

They explain how they love to empower women individually and organizationally [1:50]

They describe how Bravanti and their book are focused on individual talent in organizations [4:46]

Reputationality – a combination of the unique skillset you’re known for and your core personality [9:12]

The broad audience that they targeted their I Wish I’d Known This book to [14:50]

How Kathryn and Brenda met and came to work together on their passion [16:28]

The importance of connecting and leveraging people you admire so you can learn from them [19:50]

How to figure out your potential and reinvent yourself after retirement [26:43]

The different ways you can rediscover your strengths and reinvent yourself [29:18]

They explain the process they used to share ideas and write their book I Wish I’d Known This [32:48]

Give yourself time to work on your career and decide to be deliberate with your life’s purpose [35:22]


Kathryn Heath is an author, speaker, managing director of the Leadership Acceleration Practice at Bravanti, and consultant in the field of women’s leadership. Brenda Wensil is the managing director and practice leader, co-author of I Wish I'd Known This, and a recognized expert on women's leadership and dedicated to advancing women in the workforce. In this episode, they talk about their careers in leadership and their passion for empowering women.


Kathryn currently serves as a managing director of the Leadership Acceleration Practice at Bravanti, a preeminent firm in the field of leadership development.

She was a founding partner of Flynn Heath Leadership, where she designed and executed custom programs to recruit, retain, and promote women and to help women overcome barriers to advancement.

Previously, Heath was senior vice-president and director of First University at First Union, where her inventive and results-focused approach won her numerous awards in the field of learning and development.

Kathryn has also coauthored numerous articles on women’s leadership for Harvard Business Review. She is a high-demand speaker for conference keynotes and other events, and she has presented at the 24th Annual ICAN Women’s Leadership Conference and the Network of Executive Women Leadership Summit.

She holds a PhD from the University of North Carolina Greensboro; a master’s degree in education from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte; and a BA from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

See more on Kathryn on LinkedInAmazon, and Goodreads.


Brenda Wensil is Managing Director and Practice Leader of Leadership Acceleration at Bravanti. She is an executive leader with a successful background in sales and marketing, advertising, brand management, customer strategy, service experience, and supply chain performance management on both domestic and international levels.

Brenda is known for her expertise in building collaborative partnerships and developing teams to improve leader performance and drive results. She is an accredited coach working with leaders and managers in large and mid-size companies as well as non-profit organizations.

Brenda has led engagements for the organization focused on women’s leadership and advancement, which include long programs, workshops, speaking engagements, and individual and group coaching. Her approach is practical, goal-focused, and action-oriented.

Brenda established the first-ever customer-focused strategy for the federal government as Chief Customer Experience Officer at the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Federal Student Aid, the single largest provider of funding for post-secondary education in the United States. She held leadership roles for 20 years with Wachovia Corporation (now Wells Fargo) as Head of Customer Strategy, Marketing, and Customer Relations, as well as Head of Retail Segments and Director of Enterprise Supplier Performance Management. Brenda was also a consultant to Barclays Bank in London, leading an international team to re-design and execute the company’s global technology supplier management functions.

Brenda earned a master’s degree in organizational development and executive coaching from the McColl School of Business at Queens University, and a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of South Carolina. She is also a graduate of the Executive Leadership Program, Kenan Flagler, at University of North Carolina Chapel Hill. She is accredited by the International Coach Federation and is a board-certified coach. Brenda is a Senior Fellow of the American Leadership Forum, a freelance writer, and has been a keynote speaker on topics ranging from women’s leadership to customer-focused strategies in the financial industry. Brenda received the Executive Leadership Award for public service from the U.S. Secretary of Education, Arne Duncan, and the Service to the Citizens Award for Leadership in higher education.

See more about Brenda on LinkedInAmazon and Goodreads.


Brenda Wensil and Kathryn Heath, PhD, have coached hundreds of executive women for decades and are the co-authors of this book you can find on Amazon.


I Wish I’d Known This: 6 Career-Accelerating Secrets for Women Leaders.

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