Daniela Luzi Tudor, the co-founder and chief executive officer of WEconnect Health Management, began her journey into entrepreneurship in the wake of completing a 28-day treatment program for drug and alcohol addiction. After being discharged, Tudor was given a sheet of paper with a list of 10 things she needed to do every day for the rest of her life to stay sober. That’s it.
With relapse rates in the U.S. hovering around 80%, the task of remaining sober was daunting. Tudor realized that if that post-treatment experience could be improved, it would increase the odds of recovery for others. So, she set out to create a resource that would marry technology with proven techniques to reduce relapse rates.
After meeting Murphy Jensen, a former French Open Tennis Champion also in recovery, the two launched WEconnect, which has gone on to develop software focused reducing relapse rates. The company’s app and data dashboard allow clinical teams to monitor and assist individuals recovering from substance abuse, targeting the critical first year of recovery.
As CEO, Tudor has raised more than $11 million from investors, grown WEconnect to become the first incentives-based recovery-program app to be offered through a major U.S. insurance company and helped thousands of people in recovery with the app. As part of the latest Daring Woman interview, Tudor offers insights into obstacles faced by women striving to achieve leadership roles and ways to overcome them, her views on mentors and networking, and also shares some advice for the upcoming generation of female leaders.
What are the most important characteristics of a good leader and what leadership traits are overrated?
The most important characteristics in a leader are humility, transparency and compassion. The most overrated leadership trait is being overly aggressive. It doesn’t get you results, and most super-aggressive leaders are driven by their own ego, not confidence.
As a woman, what is the most significant barrier to becoming a leader?
Our own self-confidence. As a woman, it’s important to realize that no one has everything figured out, but as long as you stay curious, open to learning and adaptable, you are entitled to go after being a growing leader in your organization.
How can women achieve more prominent roles in their organizations?
Ask for what you want, back it up with data and set boundaries where boundaries are necessary.
What key lessons did you learn from a woman who has inspired, mentored or sponsored you?
I learned so much from my mom. She always taught me to be resilient and to never give up on my goals in life. Most importantly, she taught me to live with integrity and respect myself.
What advice do you have for the next generation of female leaders?
Work on your inner growth and put self-care first. That will provide you with the foundation to identify your mission and dreams. From then on, do not wait and jump in with two feet!
How important is networking and how do you expand your contacts?
Networking is important when initially starting a business. It’s crucial to cast a wide net and find mentors in all of the separate areas that pertain to both your personal and professional growth. Asking for help and support is the quickest path to success to identify your blind spots and find the resources you need.
Once you are growing, it’s important to stay focused on the business and go from a wide net to specific high-quality mentors. I initially expanded my contacts by attending a lot of tech and investment events, even when I was tired or didn’t feel like socializing. Now, I ask my close circle of mentors and advisors for what we need and go after their recommendations.
What would you do differently in your career?
Nothing. I am absolutely and 100% on the path that supports my mission: to create products and experiences that connect humans and humanity in an impactful way. More importantly, every mishap or mistake I’ve made, has led me to this point.
Where will we find you on a Saturday afternoon?
Producing electronic music tracks, reading a book, going to meditation classes, on the phone with mentees helping others on their entrepreneurial journeys, or spending time with close friends.
What would be the title of your autobiography?
“From Silence to Resilience: A Journey of Recovery Turned to Help Others.”
We’d love to hear from more women across all industries who are challenging the status quo. Does it sound like you? If it does, click here and fill out our questionnaire.
Daring Women Q&A responses have been edited and condensed.