Friday, March 28, 2008
This week an issue surfaced which so resonated with me that it has reignited a passion that was in danger of flickering. It began with a fiery post by Connie Reece, whom I have since designated the "Queen of Fierce." Please read her original post, 5 White Men Talk About Social Media and the follow-up 4 White Men Exploit Social Media.
A common thread from Connie's readers was the issue of self-promotion. We may have come a long way baby, but women still struggle with the issue of tooting their own horn.
My first post-college job was in human resources and I had a female boss, Liz. I will never forget her wise words: "Women promote themselves in baby steps. We will not move to the next level until we are confident that we can do everything outlined in that level's description. Men on the other hand promote themselves to the level of incompetency. They take big risks and if they don't know something, they call a friend and ask for help."
Liz's words still hold true for many women today. I learned to take risks in my corporate career but I find myself learning the lessons all over again in my own business, and I am not alone. Many women lived through the era were you had to "act like a man" to be heard. Emotion and femininity had no place in the workplace. Over the years, we learned that "leading like a woman" actually had advantages. A healthy balance of warmth and warrior have skyrocketed women and men to success.
Women are great at supporting others but we still fall short when it comes to waving our own flag. It is time for that to change. Self-promotion does not have to be aggressive or obnoxious but it is vital to the health of your career or business. Do you have knowledge, skills and abilities that have value?
Do you have expertise that can help someone else? Do you have a solution to someone else's problem or need? If so, you should be passionately spreading the word so that you can help as many people as possible. Welcome to self-promotion.
Far too often, I have missed opportunities because I failed to wave my own banner. I shortchanged myself and thought somehow that I was not "good enough" or "well known enough" to blow my own horn. While I will not promote myself to the level of incompetency, I do plan to shout a little louder about what I have to offer. While I'm shouting, I'll also be spreading the word about other fierce women and men. So today marks the beginning of Fierce Friday. Each week, I'll share with you the remarkable talents of those fierce enough to wear the crown.
So to kick off Fierce Fridays it's only fitting to spotlight the Queen and her fierce team of men and women. Every Dot Connects is taking social media to a new level by creating connections through conversation. I invite you to visit their site, share your comments digg or stumble a post or two, and please share the good news with others.
Until next Friday, remain FIERCE!