Women Heroes Soar High in Box Office

The holiday season is a time for families to join together and go see the latest box-office hit. Last weekend was no exception. The box office report announced The Hunger Games: Catching Fire broke a November record with its hero, Oscar winner Jennifer Lawrence as its star.

Catching Fire made history with its $16.1 million debut — only three films have opened higher. Yes, the novel based film broke a record with a woman portrayed as the hero as its star. But, what does this tell us about women as the headliners in the media?

Only a few minutes into the film we begin to see the familiar face of Katniss Everdeen — strong, intelligent, and courageous. Women as heroes are an image parents can be proud to show their children.

If more women and men support films whose female characters are presented in a positive light, perhaps negative stereotypes and traditional gender roles depicted in film, music videos and other forms of entertainment will end for future generations.

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Information Sciences isn’t Just for Men

Marissa Mayer once said, “I refuse to be stereotyped,” an unsurprising statement as she works in the very heart of an industry in which women are virtually absent. Mayer was Google’s first woman engineer, and she is now the CEO and President of Yahoo. Needless to say, she has certainly beat all stereotypes.

It’s no secret that technology is taking over. Technology is prevalent everywhere, in every industry and in every company. Our future depends on technology.

Colleges and universities are beginning to offer more and more computer science and engineering courses to please their ever increasing amount of applicants interested in such fields. However, this pool of applicants is extremely male-dominated. According the National Center for Women and Information Technology. Women earn 57% of all undergraduate degrees, but only 18% of computer and information sciences undergraduate degrees.

What does this say about our society when women are so absent in an industry that already dominates our culture?

Moreover, the computer industry has a steady supply of well-paying and steady jobs, yet very few applicants qualified to take such jobs. Still, according to the Washington Post, only 5.7% of women work in the computer industry. Consequently, these stable and well-paying jobs are mostly given to men, while women are still twice as likely to work in jobs with poverty-line wages.

Why is this so? Because, as quoted by Sheryl Sandberg (COO of Facebook), we still live in a society where GAP sells t-shirts “that [say]  ‘Smart Like Daddy’ for boys and ‘Pretty like Mommy’ “ for girls.

Media teaches girls to value beauty and looks over their own intellect, which directly correlates with women’s lack of confidence in the mathematical and engineering fields.

International Computer Science Education week is from December 9th-15th. In honor of this week, we should make it a priority to spread the work about the ever-lacking women workers in the engineering and computer science fields, and continue to work towards a society in which women can program in peace.

This blog was written and submitted by Vision 2020 Junior Delegate Madeleine Cheyette of California.

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Report Gives Dollar Amount to Domestic Violence in Tennessee

When a dollar figure is attached to a problem, it draws special attention. That’s one of the many important results accomplished by the Tennessee Economic Council on Women with its recently released report, “The Economic Impact of Violence Against Women in Tennessee.”

The report, based on statewide surveys, nine public hearings throughout Tennessee, and available crime data, puts the cost of domestic and sexual violence and human sex trafficking targeting women at $866 million each year, paid for largely through tax dollars, healthcare premiums, charity and lost productivity in fields like law enforcement, medical care, social services, and private enterprise. What this tells us is that domestic and sexual violence, while they may occur behind closed doors, affect everyone.

Prevention is one of the keys to breaking the cycle of violence that is passed from parent to child by abuse experienced or witnessed. Educating the next generation to value and respect each other is the best hope for a violence-free home and safer world.

This is a sobering but important report, produced under the direction of TECW Chair Yvonne Wood and TECW Executive Director Phyllis Qualls-Brooks, and it serves as an inspiration for other states to address the scourge of violence against women.  Vision 2020 is fortunate to have Wood and Qualls-Brooks serving as Delegates.

Lynn H. Yeakel

Founder and Co-Chair of Vision 2020, a national initiative to advance women’s economic and social equality

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Vision 2020 Regional Congress

Vision 2020 Regional Congress in Tennessee


The Vision 2020 Regional Congress panel was convened Sunday, October 27.  Vision 2020 is a national coalition of organizations and individuals united in the commitment to achieve women’s economic and social equality. Vision 2020 held their regional delegate conference in conjunction with the Economic Summit for Women this year.
The session covered the work of Vision 2020 and it’s five national goals to be achieved by the year 2020. You can see the goals at http://www.drexel.edu/vision2020/goals/national/
The session also covered the Tennessee Vision 2020 project which focuses on Women on Corporate Boards and Women in Executive Leadership.
Vision 2020 Regional Congress--Tennessee Economic Summit for Women
The women in the photo are left to right:
Sarah Meyerrose, President of ION, Vision 2020 Ali
Katy Sheesley, Co-Chair CABLE Women on Corporate Boards
Lisa Shacklett, Chair CABLE Women on Corporate Boards
Ruth Johnson, Board member, FirstBank
Pat Pierce, Vision 2020 delegate from Tennessee
Yvonne Wood, Vision 2020 delegate from Tennessee

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New Education Initiative Kicks Off with “Remember the Ladies!”

Vision 2020 is pleased to announce the launch of its Education Initiative with “Remember the Ladies! An Essay and materials about Alice Paul and the passage of the 19th Amendment.”  These materials shine a light in an engaging and entertaining way on a central event in American constitutional history – the right of women to vote – and on the struggle and perseverance of the leaders of that struggle. This lesson was created to celebrate Constitution Day on Tuesday, September 17.

Through lessons and materials like these, the Vision 2020 Education Initiative will pursue our Education Goal:  to educate young people to value gender equality, shared leadership, and civic engagement. The stories of our historical leaders – and explorers, scientists, inventors, teachers, athletes and others – will help young people understand their past and prepare for the future.

Initially, we plan to develop and post one lesson per month related to a holiday or day of observance that occurs that month.  In October, the lesson will focus on women explorers and adventurers in observance of Columbus Day. In November, we will connect to Veterans’ Day. The lessons will be accompanied by a short essay on the subject that Vision 2020 partners and friends may include in their newsletters, FB posts and websites with a link to the more robust lesson. This strategy will extend the reach of the lesson beyond the traditional classroom as well as raise awareness of the lessons and promote their use.

With the generous support of Wells Fargo, the Founding Supporter of the Education Initiative, Vision 2020 is developing long-term plans for this special project. We look forward to creating a full inventory of holiday-related lessons for different grade levels for classroom and out-of-school use. We also look forward to developing Vision 2020 content that teachers can use to supplement their regular social studies curricula; for example, women spies in the Civil War or the role of women in the settlement of the West.

Finally, young people are not the only intended audience. We will develop materials and resources that are interesting and entertaining to citizens of all ages. Together, our nation will “Remember the Ladies!”

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“Remember the Ladies!”

This is the message Abigail Adams urged on her husband, John Adams, as he sat in the Continental Congress in 1776, deciding upon the course for a new nation.[1]

But the ladies were not remembered in 1776 in the Declaration of Independence, nor in 1787 with the adoption of the new country’s Constitution, nor when the 15th Amendment to the Constitution was adopted in 1870 granting the right to vote to all men, regardless of “race, color or previous condition of servitude.”

The “ladies” finally took matters into their own hands.

As we observe Constitution Day on September 17 and especially as we celebrate the 50th anniversary of the historic Civil Rights March on Washington in 1963, it behooves us to “Remember the Ladies” who struggled, marched, protested and even went to jail to obtain this most basic civil right for the women of America.

Today, Susan B. Anthony is probably the best-known American suffragist.  After all, she has a U.S. dollar coin in her honor.

Susan B. Anthony Coin

She and her suffragist sisters Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Lucretia Mott and Lucy Stone campaigned tirelessly throughout the second half of the 19th century for women’s right to vote in individual states and before the U.S. Congress.

But by 1900, women had the vote in only four western states. By 1910, the women’s suffrage movement was stagnant.

It took a slight, quiet Quaker woman from New Jersey to turn up the heat.

Alice Paul was a radical. She founded of the National Women’s Party in 1915 after being thrown out of the more conservative National American Women Suffrage Association.  Having learned political protest strategies from the militant suffragettes in England, Paul took the fight for women’s suffrage to the streets.

In March 1913, 28 year old Alice Paul organized a public march in Washington D.C. for the day before President Woodrow Wilson’s first inauguration. More than eight thousand women and men paraded down Pennsylvania Avenue behind a yellow banner declaring, “We Demand an Amendment to the Constitution of the United States Enfranchising the Women of this Country.”

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Many in the crowd of more than 250,000 mostly men, became ugly, grabbing banners, toppling parade floats and spitting, pinching and groping women marchers.  The police did nothing and the federal cavalry had to be called to restore order in the city.[2]

Paul and her suffragists used cross-country automobile caravans, railroad whistle stop tours, posters, pamphlets, petitions and political cartoons to make their point.


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Neither did they hesitate to embarrass President Wilson. During a 1914 presidential speech to Congress, Paul’s suffragists unfurled a banner from the front row of the visitors’ gallery, reading, “Mr. Wilson, what are you doing for women’s suffrage?”

Paul and her National Women’s Party continued to press Wilson and the Congress for national suffrage.


Starting in January 1917, Paul took her fight to the gates of the White House as the first cause ever to do so.  Paul and her “Silent Sentinels” maintained an almost constant vigil for months in front of the White House.


Paul specifically declined to reduce her political agitation for suffrage on account of the U.S. entry into World War I in April 1917.

In June 1917, the White House picketers greeted a visiting Russian delegation with signs that read, “Tell our government that it must liberate its women before it can claim free Russia as an ally.” After this so-called “Russian Incident” the White House changed its laissez-faire attitude towards the suffrage picketers and the first arrests were made for “obstructing traffic.”

After a “Kaiser Wilson” banner was unfurled on August 14, 1917, an angry mob of government workers and sailors responded by assaulting the picketers.  Police did not intervene.


Picketers continued to be arrested through the fall with longer sentences imposed.[3]


Finally, in jail, Paul and others decided to implement a strategy Paul had learned in England – the hunger strike – refusing to eat as a protest of their detention.  Prison officials responded by force-feeding the hunger strikers with forcibly inserted nasal tubes.[4] Paul herself was held in solitary confinement and even placed in a psychiatric ward.[5]

The National Women’s Party was able to turn the barbaric treatment of Paul and the other jailed suffragists into sympathy for their cause and embarrassment for President Wilson.[6] Responding to public pressure, finally, Wilson announced his support for the federal suffrage amendment. With his support, Congress passed the amendment in June 1919 and it was ratified and signed into law on August 26, 1920.

It seems inconceivable to us today that women would not have the right to vote, to control their own wages, to own property in their own names or to be admitted on equal terms to schools, jobs and professions.  But without the struggle, perseverance, suffering and dedication of Alice Paul and her fellow suffragists, it might have taken much longer to obtain these rights.

And so, we honor and “Remember the Ladies.”


Who were the Ladies of the 19th Amendment?


  1. Abigail Adams,[7] the woman who urged her husband, John Adams, to “remember the ladies,” had six children and is one of only two women to have been both a wife and mother of a U.S. President. (Married to John Adams, the second president and mother to John Quincy Adams, the sixth U.S. president.) (Extra points! Who was the other first lady also to be the mother to a president?)


2.  Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Lucretia Mott were two women active in the anti-slavery movement along with their husbands.  When they were denied seats on the main floor and the right to speak at the World’s Anti-Slavery Convention in London in 1840, they began to plan a convention to address the rights of women.

That meeting took place in 1848 and was called the Seneca Falls Convention. It produced the Declaration of Sentiments[8] and is considered the start of the long campaign for women’s suffrage.

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3.  Susan B. Anthony was the first woman to be honored by having her likeness appear on a circulating United States coin. In 1978, President Jimmy Carter signed the Susan B. Anthony Dollar Coin Act into law and on July 2, 1979, the U. S. Mint officially released the Susan B. Anthony coin in Rochester, NY, Susan B. Anthony’s hometown. In the years 1979 to 1981 almost 900 million coins were produced.  (Extra points!  Who is the only other woman ever to appear on a U.S. dollar coin?)[9]

4.  Alice Paul was extremely well educated for her time or even for today. She graduated from Swarthmore College in Pennsylvania with a degree in biology in 1905.  She studied at Columbia University in New York and received both a Master of Arts and Ph.D in sociology from the University of Pennsylvania. She also received three law degrees:  Paul received her law degree from the Washington College of Law at American University in 1922. In 1927, she earned an LL.M, and in 1928, a Doctorate in Civil Laws from American University.

5.  Inez Milholland was the lady wearing the dramatic white cape who lead the suffrage parade on March 13, 1913 astride a snow white horse. She was an ardent activist for women’s suffrage and other causes. She was also a lawyer, having received her degree from New York University Law School.   She insisted on an active speaking schedule for women’s suffrage despite suffering ill health and collapsed while making a speech in Los Angeles and died only a month later.

6.  Ida B. Wells was one of a number of African American women who were active in the suffrage movement.  In the planning for the March 1913 parade, Alice Paul asked the African American delegation to march in a segregated group in order to pacify the delegations of women from the south.  Ida B. Wells agreed but then joined the main parade in progress marching with her home-state Illinois delegation.Wells was also an active campaigner against racial discrimination.  At the age of only 22, Wells refused to give up her seat and the conductor and two men dragged her out of the car. Wells sued the railroad and won receiving a court settlement of $500.  In April 1887, however, the Tennessee Supreme Court reversed her the ruling.


Sojourner Truth was born into slavery in 1797 in New York with the name Isabella Baumfree. She gained her freedom with the New York Anti-Slavery Law of 1827.  Isabella became an itinerant preacher and in 1843 took a “free” name of Sojourner Truth. During this period she became involved in the growing antislavery movement, and by the 1850s she was involved in the woman’s rights movement as well. At the 1851 Women’s Rights Convention held in Akron, Ohio, Sojourner Truth delivered what is now recognized as one of the most famous abolitionist and women’s rights speeches in American history, “Ain’t I a Woman?” [10]


8.  The “Silent Sentinels” were the many women who took turns holding banners outside the gates of the White House from January 1917 to June 1919 calling publicly on President Woodrow Wilson to support freedom and equality for women. This was the first time that a cause had used the now common tactic of picketing in front of the White House with signs and banners. While at first the president and police allowed the activity, eventually the police and administration decided to put a stop to it with arrests for “obstructing traffic.” [11]

9.  Lucy Burns was the co-founder of the National Women’s Party along with Alice Paul. They met in a London police station after both being arrested for demonstrating for women’s suffrage in London. There after they became close friends.  Lucy was one of the women arrested in November 1917 subjected to the Night of Terror in the Occoquan Workhouse.  It was reported that guards beat Lucy Burns, chained her hands to the cell bars above her head and left her that way for the night.


[1] “I long to hear that you have declared an independency. And, by the way, in the new code of laws which I suppose it will be necessary for you to make, I desire you would remember the ladies and be more generous and favorable to them than your ancestors. Do not put such unlimited power into the hands of the husbands. Remember, all men would be tyrants if they could. If particular care and attention is not paid to the ladies, we are determined to foment a rebellion, and will not hold ourselves bound by any laws in which we have no voice or representation.” http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history/abigail-adams-urges-husband-to-remember-the-ladies

[3] November 15, 1917, Night of Terror at Occoquan Workhouse: Under orders from W. H. Whittaker, superintendent of the Occoquan Workhouse, as many as forty guards with clubs went on a rampage, brutalizing thirty-three jailed suffragists. They beat Lucy Burns, chained her hands to the cell bars above her head, and left her there for the night. They hurled Dora Lewis into a dark cell, smashed her head against an iron bed, and knocked her out cold. Her cellmate Alice Cosu, who believed Mrs. Lewis to be dead, suffered a heart attack. According to affidavits, other women were grabbed, dragged, beaten, choked, slammed, pinched, twisted, and kicked. http://womenshistory.about.com/gi/o.htm?zi=1/XJ&zTi=1&sdn=womenshistory&cdn=education&tm=8&f=20&su=p284.13.342.ip_&tt=2&bt=3&bts=33&zu=http%3A//www.moondance.org/1998/winter98/nonfiction/alice.html

[4] Force-feeding scene from the movie Iron Jawed Angels (Caution: this scene is graphic and disturbing) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pO70ZjZ0wrw

[5] Accuse Jailers of Suffragists, Lawyer and others Charge 30 Prisoners at Occoquan Treated Brutally, 1917,  http://query.nytimes.com/mem/archive-free/pdf?res=F5091FFA3A5E11738DDDAE0994D9415B878DF1D3

[6] Judge rules Occoquan confinement illegal. Accuse Jailers of Suffragists, Lawyer and others Charge 30 Prisoners at Occoquan Treated Brutally, 1917,  http://query.nytimes.com/mem/archive-free/pdf?res=F5091FFA3A5E11738DDDAE0994D9415B878DF1D3

[7] Read more about Abigail Adams: http://www.biography.com/people/abigail-adams-9175670

[8] The Declaration of the Seneca Falls Convention, using the model of the U.S. Declaration of Independence, forthrightly demanded that the rights of women as right-bearing individuals be acknowledged and respected by society. It was signed by sixty-eight women and thirty-two men. http://www.fordham.edu/halsall/mod/senecafalls.asp

[9] Sacagawea on the dollar coin: 1999-Present.  http://www.usmint.gov/about_the_mint/fun_facts/?action=fun_facts8

[11] White House picketing clip from HBO’s Iron Jawed Angels: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G811_Ej7LiQ; See also, Suffragists Will Picket White House, NY Times, http://query.nytimes.com/mem/archive-free/pdf?res=9806E2D61438EE32A25753C1A9679C946696D6CF

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What About Women Lawyers Who Are Still At It?

Editor’s Note: This blog was written and submitted by Vision 2020 Louisiana Delegate Donna D. Fraiche.  She serves as the of Chair of Louisiana Health Care Commission and is also a practicing healthcare and public policy lawyer and Chair of The Women’s Initiative of a 650-person multi-state law firm, Baker, Donelson, Bearman, Caldwell & Berkowitz. 

Donna Fraiche headshotThe American Bar Association Presidential Task Force on Gender Equity and the Commission on Women in the Profession published its report in 2013, authored by Vision 2020 Delegate Lauren Stiller Rikleen entitled:  “Closing the Gap—A Road Map for Achieving Gender Pay Equity in Law Firm Partner Compensation,” citing a 2012 blue ribbon Task Force on Gender Equity, the report showed that women lawyers are disproportionately paid lower despite being at the same level as their male counterpart.  This disparity does not improve with longevity on the career path.  The study finds that bonuses, compensation and advancement are rewards for business origination and more men than women tend toward business origination production.  Do men work harder at origination of clients than women?  Do men tend to unabashedly take more credit and fight for more credit than women?

What can women, who seek career advancement, increased compensation and law firm leadership opportunities, do to address the correlation between successful client development and career success?

Who am I to suggest how this study can be used to promote change?  Writing a blog requires that I bear my soul and tell you a little about myself.  When I entered law school, there were many more men than women.  I looked to the left and looked to the right.  They were everywhere.  It did not seem to matter much then.  Frankly, I enjoyed the attention.  Now there are as many women as men in law schools and graduating in close to the same proportion.  But do women lawyers stay the career course and become partners or managers of law firms?  In the single percentage digits do we find women lawyers serving as leaders and substantial owners in their law businesses.  But the creep to the top has been far slower than the entry-level numbers of women.  I have spent the better part of my life as a partner or an equity owner of law firms.  In fact, three years out of law school—pregnant with my first child—I made the leap from law firm to my own firm.  My clients chose to come with me.  I managed the practice and business without choice.  So, I saddled up and set off to the “rodeo.”  A few rocking horses and complicated nanny experiences later, I sold my firm to a much larger multi-state operation and have been a partner or shareholder (equity owner) in subsequent firms ever since.

I eye-witnessed and worked through some tremendous changes in the health care delivery system in this country.  While representing healthcare clients with complex legal needs, I climbed through a broken glass ceiling and tread carefully as other women scratched their way up or gave up somewhere in between.  I chose a route that actually chose me.  It was important to recognize how I was able to originate business and how I could keep that business in order to produce enough work for others to participate.  Eventually, the client base and team to support the work grew. I could not say “no” to these parallel efforts that included board service, political participation and social/professional networking.  When asked to volunteer time through management and leadership efforts, I found visibility in the community.  I tried to and succeeded in attaining leadership positions in national professional associations like the then American Health Lawyers Association as its first woman president.  These early efforts helped to create who I am and the lawyer I was able to become.  But that personal success was never enough for me.  I recognized that to make a difference is to make a difference in the lives of others.  By advancing with my law firms to positions effecting compensation and advancement of others, I had a real chance to make a difference.  That growth was not in a single silo or a vacuum.  The success was achieved through an interface with contributing time, money and effort to relevant parallel efforts.  I was able to contribute to policies and decisions effecting men and women by serving on the management board or on other decision-influencing committees.  I participated in the process of determining which lawyers would get and the basis for compensation increases, bonuses, and advance to ownership levels.  I recommended both men and women professionals for advancement.  I never considered gender as a factor for advancement, unless all the statistics and intangible performance measures were equal.  It was important for me not to seem to play favorites based on gender.

I have seen interesting dynamics of success in both men and women in my profession over the last, almost, 40 years, but what I feel is truly noteworthy and baffling is that male lawyers become partners or equity owners in greater numbers than women, despite that over the last couple of decades, women and men enter the legal profession in close to equal proportion.  Why do men own businesses and the majority of women work in and for their company?  Why are advancement hurdles steeper to climb and not slip for women and minorities than men?  Are men better and more productive lawyers and workers than women?  Are men better at sticking to and achieving their advancement goals?  Do men consciously or worse than consciously—unconsciously promote men over women?  Is there a kind of inattentive blindness to promotion that favors men?  Are men better at getting and keeping clients?  These questions are intended as rhetorical for an audience that may nod to the assertions.  But, until men and women truly figure out why men are “succeeding,” getting paid more, and serve in more roles of authority than women, nothing will change.

Many authors on the subject of women advancing in their careers find a common thread that cannot be refuted:  women tend to be more tentative and risk adverse than men.  For example, in a meeting setting, women often sit back and listen—waiting for someone else to take the lead, venture forward and be remembered.  Women are careful.  Women often tend to wait to be addressed.  Do men assert themselves more than women?  Do they express more confidence in relationships with clients than women?  Sadly, and this must be asked, “Do men work harder and produce more objective results?”  Women who do assert themselves are often characterized as aggressive and ambitious, perhaps obnoxious and difficult to deal with—not team players.  I supervise both male and female lawyers.  I have male and female partners.  My relationships with men and women have little to do with their gender and everything to do with their respective production, profitability qualities and capabilities.  Having experienced the panoply of characteristics of professionals in the work place, I will suggest what qualities make for successful relationships in business and ultimate career advancement.  I hope that this effort will encourage more women who want to move forward in their careers to self-evaluate their qualities and characteristics, as well as how they are perceived by leadership in order to advance.

I hope to reach out to women professionals and encourage them to get and keep clients, stay the course and make a difference to the world by making a difference in their world.  There are as many women lawyers in the early career stage as there are men.  But the women need to be encouraged to take their brilliant, analytical achievements to the next level—become the best lawyers, best firm leaders, best client developers, best producers, best managers, best board members and best community activists possible to make the needed changes happen.  Lawyers are loaded with education, tools, networks and financial ability to make a difference.  But will they use these gifts to make a difference and to change the leadership statistics and change the policies to make a better life for children and better climate for business?

Here are a few suggestions:

  • Be a winner—want to win.  Win cases, win positions, win elections, win loyal friends and supporters.  You cannot win a game unless you understand the rules, the strategy and practice.  Devote the time to become an expert at winning.
  • Do not give up—it is exhausting to be torn constantly among competing interests, such as business, family, community obligations.  Turn obligations into joyous, rather than regretted, occasions.
  • Identify your team and ask them to assist and trust you to take them to the next level—you cannot manage a successful operation, transaction, piece of litigation or a family alone.  Learn the joy of delegation—empower others who assist you to be a part of successes.
  • Manage your resources—over-extension will only cause frustration and thwart success over time.
  • Let others take your credit—the point is to get the project or the mission accomplished.  The goal is to reach the goal not to get credit for the goal and not to feel the personal disgrace of defeat.  Everyone will know what you personally contributed to the success of the effort.
  • Volunteer for the tough job but use the easy win to finally reach the top.
  • Work harder than the next person—work harder than everyone.
  • Write well, articulate clearly and let your voice quietly shout—you will be heard even when you whisper.
  • Look cool and effortless in your effort—you will be remembered.  When someone conjures you, the last thing you want in their mind’s eye is to look disheveled, angry or complacent.
  • Finally, let people remember you as “scary smart” . . . . “so smart, she is scary”—but not pedantic.

These tips are not intended to be profound; they are intended to be well-founded principles.  They worked for me.  They continue to work for me along with a great deal of good fortune.  You will soon find that if there is room at the top, you will get there the right way—even if it is the hard way.  If there is no room at the top, squeeze gently until you get there.  You will get there if you want to get there.

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