Global Leadership Speaker and Premier Work-Life Balance Speaker
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Fear Strong Women

There is a saying, “Only weak men fear strong women.” Well, weak women fear us, too. So do some strong men or women who think that they lose something when we win something. In order to truly succeed, we have to readjust our styles without losing our essence. Readjust my style? Wait a minute! Why should I readjust my style if I am a mustang who lives to be true to myself? Isn’t that hypocritical?

Learning to be strategic and diplomatic is not destroying the self, but preserving it. Self-preservation is everything if we want to be effective because we have to come to operate in a way that lets us continue to operate. One of my mentors, a woman who is especially adept at survival, reminded me, “First and foremost, you must survive to fight another day.” What good is a mustang who vanishes in her own dust cloud, never to be seen again?

This never means selling your soul. It means doing what you’ve got to do so you can get the job done. Change your approach, change your tactics, but don’t change your self.

Competent, powerful women can terrify incompetent or insecure rivals. People who are so set on criticizing or bringing down others who threaten their own standing or progress can resort to being destructive, cruel, and absolutely untrustworthy. So, what do you do when you pose a threat? Just keep on keeping on. “I’m very threatening to people,” said Carly Fiorina, former CEO of Hewlett-Packard. “So be it. I try not to throw that up in people’s faces.” I remember being struck by how casually Fiorina wrote that kind of tension off. So. Be. It. All this time, all we’ve needed to do when we hear others muttering about our being castrating bitches or undermining our work is say, “So? And your point is?”

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