I have interviewed 28 women thus far on my podcast LeadingShe. Now I am even more convinced that much of what I believed to be true….is true. These women have been open and vulnerable. They have told their stories, “Here’s what happened, here is what I did which worked, or…here’s what didn’t work”. The wisdom, knowledge and advice gathered from their experiences is like gold.
LeadingShe podcast guests have had long, successful careers with plenty of challenges. There have been some common themes which are worth mentioning. One thing is ….to be successful we must be bold. Bold means being prepared to talk to your boss about that promotion you deserve. Bold means taking that new position for
which you are not sure you are completely ready. Bold means knowing when it is time to leave where you have been working because your talents and contributions are not valued. Bold means speaking up when meeting conversations clearly are not giving credit to women either in the room or not.
Here are a few recommended actions:
Take a seat at the table.
Pull up a chair, figuratively and literally. Do not sit at one of those chairs around the room next to the wall. In my interview with Trish Smitson, previous managing partner of the Thompson Hine Cincinnati law firm, taking the right seat can powerful symbolism. When the Executive Committee gathered and the senior managing partner joined them, she sat next to him, not at the end of the table. If there is a meeting to which you have not been invited but should have been, insist on being there. Or if you are really bold, find out when it is, and show up.
Just say it.
Say what needs to be said. No need to preface it with an apology or qualify it somehow. State the facts. Make your case. Have your voice. Talk to mentors or to your ambassadors about what to say if you have time to think about it. I'm guessing if this resonates with you, you know exactly what I’m talking about. Just say it.
Know what makes you happy and take care of yourself.
This is a bold move too. Perhaps you need to work less. Not everyone at your organization will like this choice. All of my podcast guests are brilliant, talented, high-performing women. Some of them reached a point in their careers in which they decided to stop pushing so hard because it was taking a toll on their health and their families. Their organizations perhaps were not aware of their discontent. Sometimes these women felt burned out, that work was taking too much of their energy. To balance their lives they chose to reduce their schedules, spend more time with family, leave careers and do other things, things which gave them joy. Being ambitious can be exhausting. Sometimes we just need to stop and rest.
Be bold. It will pay off. And don’t forget to be good to yourself.
A podcast in which executive women who are leaders in their industries, companies, and most importantly...their lives, share inspiring stories about the obstacles they've overcome to succeed in a male-dominated world. Host & Creator: Susan Branscome
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