In her new book, Empowered, Serena shares her personal story of “thrival,” not just survival. She talks about the importance of education, self-sufficiency, resilience, purpose, perseverance, and triumph. Despite multiple significant challenges, Serena has persevered and triumphed, living her values and purpose. Her formula for success includes forgiving those who have caused pain and harm, not because they were right, but because it doesn’t serve her purpose. Serena stated, “Once I let go of the past that held me back, I could define success on my own terms. This was incredibly self-empowering. Now I have the greatest power, which is the power to empower others. That is what this book is all about.” 

She encourages her readers to practice three disciplines: be authentic, strive every day and in every role to contribute and learn, and truly live your values. “Be authentic” is not a trite, simple phrase. It means to first do the work to understand your strengths, opportunities, hopes, and dreams and be confident enough to not be perfect, but to be human. Next it takes awareness and focus to always look for ways to contribute and stay open to learning. Always add experiences and skills to your tool kit. Finally, the only way to truly live your values is to consciously define them and then align your time, energy, and money with these values and regularly audit yourself. 

Serena’s inspiring journey serves as a reminder that we are not a product of our history, but rather the realization of how we frame our history. When you frame yourself as the hero of your story, rather than a victim, you take responsibility and claim your power. Know that you have the power to decide who you are and how to manifest yourself. Serena’s story is one of resilience, purpose, and triumph and serves as an inspiration to us all.

Empowered: Frame Your Narrative. Own Your Power. was published by Aurora Corialis Publishing in 2024. Get your copy of Empowered here:

Serena Sacks-Mandel is an author, leader, and consultant with over 25 years of experience in Fortune 100 corporations, including IBM, Walt Disney World, and Microsoft. She has held various leadership positions, including C-level management consultant, manager, director, VP, and SVP in technology sales, project management, and consulting. In addition to her corporate experience, Serena has also spent 10 years in public education, serving as chief information officer for Florida Virtual School and Fulton County Schools, and has received multiple international, national, and state awards for her work.