How to Reach Your Full Potential as a Leader | Phyllis Newhouse | Purse Power


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Ep. 164 - Phyllis Newhouse - Are you using your full life potential to make the greatest impact in the world? Are you supporting other women around you to be even better at what they do? Phyllis Newhouse has discovered the two and merged them to continue making a lasting impact. Phyllis Newhouse is an entrepreneur, retired military senior noncommissioned officer, mentor, Founder and CEO of Xtreme Solutions, Inc., and Founder of ShoulderUp. A pioneer in cybersecurity, she is the first woman to win an Ernst & Young (EY) Entrepreneur of the Year award in the technology category. In this episode, Phyllis explains how she realized her full potential in leadership plus her passion for supporting women leaders. Listen in to learn how you can use your full life potential to make the greatest impact in the world. You will also learn the power of supporting other women and walking with them every step of the way.

Key Takeaways:

  • How to realize your purpose and exercise your potential to be who you want to be
  • How to increase your level of potential by not putting roadblocks you can’t overcome
  • The power of living out your potential to achieve what’s unimaginable
  • How to be a responsible and empowering leader who leads by example and maintains consistency

"Know what you're serving for and what you stand for because it's not just a matter of serving on a corporate board. There has to be an alignment with your core value system and principle." -Phyllis Newhouse

In this episode you’ll discover:

Phyllis on how her family, military, and entrepreneurial backgrounds influenced who she now is [1:20]

How she chooses to see racism challenges as just cultural issues to persevere [4:56]

The turning points when she exercised her full potential and become a leader [7:07]

How we let our stories get in the way of achieving our greatest potential [10:43]

Why the current leaders need to allow the younger generation to start leading [16:46]

How to support other women as a woman instead of helping [21:32]

Why organizations need to first exercise diversity and inclusion inhouse before preaching it [24:54]

Three actionable steps you need to take to be a responsible and empowering leader [27:07]

How to acknowledge and learn to live with disappointment to move ahead in areas of your life [29:16]

The power of holding fellow women’s hands and never letting go [32:50]

Phyllis on where to find resources on building supportive sisterhood [35:48]

Why you should listen and understand when it comes to some racial questions [37:41]

How Phyllis speaks to her 9-year-old to continue doing great things [42:35]

How to remain authentic if you want to serve on a board as a woman  [44:23]


Phyllis Newhouse is the Founder and CEO of Xtreme Solutions, Inc. and the Founder of ShoulderUp. Passionate about women-led businesses, Newhouse teaches aspiring entrepreneurs to recognize and capitalize on their leadership skills and empowers others to operate in greatness.

​From growing up as the youngest child in a family of modest means to her days as a U.S. Army officer and her time in the US Army. Newhouse, a service-disabled veteran, has constantly relied on hard work, ethics, her love of technology, and a desire to make a difference to become recognized as one of the top leaders in technology.

While serving in the United States Army on various assignments, she has always focused on our National Security. She established the Cyber Espionage Task Force. Although offered a senior-level position, she decided to shift her focus to entrepreneurship and founded Xtreme Solutions, Inc. (XSI) in 2002. Today, XSI offers a wide range of IT expertise and provides industry-leading, state-of-the-art information technology, and cybersecurity services and solutions. XSI has employees in 42 states, with 40% of its workforce made up of veterans.

Newhouse doesn’t just advocate for her cybersecurity clients, she is also an avid supporter of women in business. In 2019 she founded ShoulderUp alongside Academy Award-winning actress Viola Davis, a nonprofit dedicated to connecting and supporting women on their entrepreneurial journeys. Through ShoulderUp, Newhouse encourages women to speak up, stand up and shoulder up, allowing them to see themselves in a different context, teaching them to grow their influence, encouraging them to increase their economic power and create their own, powerful legacy. Newhouse hosts Leadership Inspirational Talks (LITalks), addressing the ShoulderUp audience directly to develop leaders through their spiritual and inspirational journeys.


In 2017 and Newhouse became the first woman to win an Ernst & Young (EY) Entrepreneur Of The Year® award in the technology category. She was admitted into the 2013 class of EY Entrepreneurial Winning Women, and in 2019 was inducted into the Enterprising Women Hall of fame. Additionally, XSI received inclusion in the Inc. 5000 list in 2013 and 2014 and has been recognized as one of Women’s Presidents’ Organization’s (WPO) 50 Fastest-Growing Women-Owned Companies in the U.S. consecutively for the past six years.

Phyllis has been featured in Entrepreneur, Inc., Atlanta Business Journal, Tallahassee Democrat, and more.


Newhouse was elected to the board of the Technology Association of Georgia (TAG) in 2019. She is currently a member of the Business Executives for National Security (BENS), and she is a member of the WPO where she proudly serves on the Executive Board. Newhouse also serves on the Board of Directors of Girls Inc., a nonprofit organization that encourages all girls to be "Strong, Smart, and Bold."


She received her degree from John F. Kennedy University and currently resides in Atlanta, Georgia.


Phyllis Newhouse Website

Xtreme Solutions Website




Forbes Article


Karen Jenkins

Catherine Crosslin

Carolyn Sue Williams


Donna Miller is the founder and CEO of Purse Power, Let's Share the Journey. Purse Power promotes women led, women owned businesses by providing a Google extension which allows everyone who visits your website to locate nearby businesses.

Let's Share the Journey holds calls at 10 AM Central every Friday to learn from national leaders to share expertise, ideas, and support. One week a month features Zoom Room networking. We support Donna's endeavor and have provided the speaker calls in a podcast format. Please join her on Friday mornings! You can register for the calls here.

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