Happy International Women’s Day!
Whether we’re forging our own paths or following the footsteps of those who’ve gone ahead, strong, trailblazing, innovative, risk-taking women can push us beyond our expectations. In fact, women inspiring women help encourage women to continue to fight for their rights.
Today, on International Women’s Day, the LeadershipYOU team celebrates the power of women by featuring four lessons we’ve learned from leading inspiring women around the world:
Lesson #1: Be Persistent.
Inspiring women go after goals with a full heart.
The only way to accomplish a goal, or make a dream a reality, is to go after it with a full heart. Be persistent in your approach. Take risks. Put yourself out there. If one person tells you “no,” find someone else who will tell you “yes”.
Maya Angelou was a poet, memoirist, and civil rights activist. This inspiring woman’s words connected and resonated with the world. She lived her life through this belief, “nothing will work unless you do.”
Her everlasting persistence led her to publish seven autobiographies, three books of essays, several books of poetry, and was credited with lists of plays, movies, and television shows spanning over 50 years.
Professor Sarah Buel, a woman game changer featured in our upcoming book Outliers in Law, talks about obstacles she faced as a young single mother who chose to escape life with an abusive husband.
When applying for a job as a legal assistant after leaving her abuser for good, she had this to say to the hiring committee:
I know I only have a high school diploma, but I know what it’s like. I will fight harder than anybody else. And I am so hungry to learn.
Because of her passion and persistence, she got the job.
Professor Buel’s persistence carried on throughout her life and earned her many accomplishments. She earned a college education, a law degree and is now a professor at Arizona State University’s Sandra Day O’Connor School of Law.
Lesson #2: Refuse To Be Intimidated By Male-Dominated Industries
Women and men share the same capabilities.
Malala Yousafzai is a Pakistani activist for female education and the youngest-ever Nobel Prize laureate. Determined to go to school, Malala stood up to the Taliban with a firm belief in her right to an education.
Do not wait for someone else to come and speak for you. It’s you who can change the world.
Girls were banned from attending school throughout much of the Swat Valley, Pakistan. However, Malala refused to be intimidated by a male-dominated control mechanism. Her voice and determination grows year after year, as shown by the progressive developments of the Malala Fund, an organization that, throughout education, empowers girls to achieve their potential and become confident, strong leaders in their own countries.
Dr. Robin Blackstone, a physician highlighted in Ingredients of Outliers: Women Game Changers, agrees that women need not fear male-dominated professions or hobbies.
When asked about being intimidated in the male dominated world of surgery, Dr. Blackstone had this to say, “In many ways, I chose to ignore it because I don’t have time for it.”
You go girl! We love women inspiring women.
Lesson #3: We Must Build Each Other Up, Not Tear Each Other Down
There is nothing more powerful than a group of women committed to support one another.
Each person’s life clock ticks at a different time, thus determining the peaks and valleys of their individual journey. One woman’s success does not and should not highlight another woman’s failure. Rather, women inspiring women should be our goal.
Nationally recognized feminist, journalist, and social and political activist, Gloria Steinem says, “People are linked, not ranked, with each other, with nature, with the universe.”
Oftentimes, the support, encouragement, and assistance received from other women are the driving force behind powering through adversity.
Ingredients of Outliers: Women Game Changers showcases Dr. Angela Nuzarello’s thoughts on the significance of building each other up.
Dr Nuzarello says:
Appreciate the people who make you look good on a daily basis. Anybody who’s successful has so many people around – whether it’s family members or other people you work with. There are a lot of people who make me look good a lot of the time. It’s important to make sure you appreciate those people and let them know how much value there is in what they do.
Lesson #4: Be Your Biggest Cheerleader
Understand the value of your worth
Obstacles women face have their own unique sets of challenges. As women, we need to be our own biggest cheerleaders. We need to advocate for ourselves. We need to believe strongly in our abilities. And we certainly need to know our worth.
Anne Frank, a young Jewish girl forced in hiding during World War II to escape from the Nazis, remained strong and resilient through the power of her written words.
I know what I want, I have a goal, an opinion, I have a religion and love. Let me be myself and then I am satisfied. I know that I’m a woman, a woman with inward strength and plenty of courage.
The Diary of Anne Frank was published June 5, 1947 and Anne Frank’s story continues to move readers all around the world.
If you can’t believe in yourself, why should anyone else believe in you?
Chapter three of Ingredients of Outliers: Women Game Changers is dedicated to Christine Jones, CPA, attorney and powerhouse. She believes, “people treat you the way you let them treat you.”
Jones’ words strike a chord, and remind all of us to understand our worth. Only allow others to treat you with respect and dignity.
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We are grateful for these inspiring women and the countless others who lead for change.
Post comments below and tweet us @johnshufeldt with empowering lessons you’ve learned from inspiring women.
Read Ingredients of Outliers: Women Game Changers for more about six remarkable women whose bravery, innovation, and charisma pave the way for future generations.
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