This year on my show I’ve been doing a lot of career improvement segments. I usually work with Miquel McMoore at KP Companies to craft broadcasts that will help listeners improve productivity at their current job or help them get a new one. I also spoke with Melissa Greenwell, the COO of Finish Line, about how women can climb ladders and advance their careers. Miquel and Melissa agree that you have to constantly be pushing. Always be making suggestions, raising your hand, asking to do more, telling your boss you want to advance. In my conversation with Melissa, I actually asked her, “How do you know when you’re being too pushy?” I was ashamed of the question the minute it escaped my lips.
On this very day 100 years ago, the Women’s March on Washington began. Suffragettes from all over the country camped out on Lafayette Square, across from the White House, and stayed for months to campaign for equal rights for women. Some who were arrested went on hunger strikes, and three years later in 1920, women won the right to vote.
And now in 2017, I asked a female Chief Operating Officer of a billion dollar company about being too pushy. (Those suffragettes probably wouldn’t even have let me march with them!) We’ve come very far, and my question slapped us right back to 1916. Melissa was generous with her response. I could hear her smile through the phone because she knows many smart, strong, powerful, aggressive women today still struggle with ‘not leaning in enough’, ‘being too bossy’, or the worst, ‘seeming bitchy’.
Her response was perfect. Melissa said, “If you are adding value, you are never too pushy.”
So simple. I know you’re adding value (yes I’m talking to you), I know you’re feeling uneasy about raising your hand (yes, you), and I know you don’t want to seem bitchy (ugh, I hate that word). But it’s 2017, it’s your time.
Thank you suffragettes, thank you, thank you, thank you.
This week I wish you the knowledge that you add value and the drive to keep pushing.
I also want to hear your success stories, comment below or email me firstname.lastname@example.org