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Amazing Leadership Brands: Erin Moran McCormick, Founder “Year of Action”

image of Erin Moran McCormick and Christine Tieri at 2017 Worcester Women's Leadership ConferenceI had the incredible opportunity to interview Erin Moran McCormick at this year’s Worcester Women’s Leadership Conference. Originally from Worcester, Erin proved to be an inspiring guest who captivated our audience with her stories of working in a predominantly male field, planning for the future (or sometimes just winging it), and leading women from a place of confidence.


It takes guts to quit your job at 50 and venture into a year of unknown. When Erin Moran McCormick made her decision, she didn’t do so lightly. She was providing for a family, the economy was terrible, she had battled cancer, and at one point ended up in the ER due to work-related stress. Around that time, she rediscovered her old journals from her time in Paris. At 25, Erin had also quit her job and ventured over to Europe to live and work. Decades later, those journals stirred the desire to rediscover the attitude of opportunity and possibility she had as a young woman.  


Erin is very aware of her own need and the need of other leaders to overcome the lizard brain. That part of the limbic that so expertly uses fear to shut down any actions perceived to involved risk. How does she do it? One step at a time. With each step, the voice of the lizard diminishes. And while Erin has taken what most would view as huge steps in life — quitting a job (twice), moving to Europe, rising to the C-suite in the tech field, starting a company, writing a book — Erin views them as necessary steps in conquering fear.


As the founder of “Year of Action” and Director of the Center for Innovation & Entrepreneurship at UMass Boston, Erin spends her time empowering entrepreneurs, especially women, to push back against the inner limitations of fear and outer limitations of stereotyping. Working in several male-dominated fields, she’s personally overcome these struggles and has learned the freedom and fulfillment that comes from a life of bold actions.


Erin’s leadership brand is built on the balance of making a place for herself while also allowing others to excel at their jobs. Her brand is synonymous with courage and confidence and building the momentum required to achieve remarkable things. Although she’s an executive, author, and entrepreneur, Erin hasn’t forgotten the day she started as a temp and the only female employee at a company of 18. Now she passes along the same principles that guided her to where she is today.    


In answering which famous brand she would be, Erin explained she would be Spanx — the undergarment company started by a female and focused on giving back, both financially and by empowering women through building confidence in themselves. The brand is a perfect fit for Erin, pardon the pun.

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