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Along the way, you will have the opportunity to take the time
to think through and answer the Your Turn questions in
order to stay on the road to success. Transfer your responses
for each Your Turn exercise to the My All Profile Summary
booklet at the back of the book as a handy reference.
For a more in-depth look at any or all of the topics, take the
time to read the recommended books at the end of each
Interspersed throughout this book are inspiring and
motivating stories from successful women who share how
they discovered what it meant for them to
have their all
The Six Essentials comprise the Toolkit that will ensure
you successfully reach your destination of
having your all
A Toolkit for Your Journey
Standing in Your Power:
Be the Change You Want
The most common way people give up
their power is by thinking they don’t have
Pulitzer Prize winning novelist
Standing in Your Power
WOMEN HAVE A CURIOUS RELATIONSHIP WITH
view that power equals control, specifically control over
others, is not one that women easily embrace.
Some believe that power
is a masculine trait, which gives a negative connotation when a woman is in
the position of giving orders to others; however, many have the healthier
view that power is gender neutral and its influence makes meaningful things
These women are clear about who they are and what is
important to them. If women reframe their definition of power as
meaning influence, developing the right strategic relationships,
accomplishing goals, and making a difference rather than assuming
control over others, then these positive definitions may turn around
the perception of power from a negative attribute to a positive one.
What does it mean to stand in your power? It means knowing who
you are and what’s important for you in order to make good choices
and understand the associated trade-offs. Regardless of what anyone
tells you, every choice has a trade-off. It might be choosing between
something healthy versus unhealthy to eat, “Do I eat that square of
chocolate or a piece of fruit?” Other choices may be, “Do I stay late at
work to finish that project so I can have the weekend free? Or do I
make it to my daughter’s soccer game on time?” Remember that
Laurie Anne Goldman, CEO of Spanx, Inc. said, “You
can have your
, just not every day.”
Standing in your power comes from being clear about your
personal Core. Your Core is comprised of your personal mission,
vision, and values. (These concepts are described in the next chapter.)
An individual should have a mission, vision, and set of values just
like companies. In fact, if your personal Core is aligned with the core
of the organization where you work, then you are able to bring your
whole self to work with passion and purpose each day.
Women driven to success need to stand in their power in order
to be successful. We’re often pulled in many directions with
expectations coming from all sides. Knowing your Core helps you
focus on living the right life and negotiating the options based on
that right life. Women who try to be Everything-to-Everybody sacrifice
their own needs, wants, and wishes—and often their health. My story
Jane S. Goldner
is only one example. Another comes from one of my workshops. A
recently divorced woman reported that her son asked her a simple
question, “Do you like fish?” She realized that she truly didn’t know.
After all the years of catering to her family she never even thought
about the foods she liked to eat. How many women eat on the run,
don’t exercise, and sacrifice their “me time” to meet everybody else’s
needs? Do you?
The old adage that money is power is meaningful now that
women are becoming financial powerhouses with their earning and
spending abilities; the average woman’s view of that type of power
may be shifting. According to Catalyst research, women control $12
trillion of the $18 trillion in consumer spending. They make many of
the spending decisions like buying a house, arranging vacations,
selecting a car, and purchasing electronic equipment. According to
Ameritrade, women will control $22 trillion in assets by 2020.
Women need to stand in their power so they can change the
current statistics that indicate:
• Women who off-ramp for two years have 18% less earning
power; after three years, they have 37% less earning power.
• Women typically hold 50% of front-line management
positions in many large companies. That number often drops
to 6% at the senior executive level.
• Only 6.7% of Fortune 500 top wage earners are female.
• Two-thirds of male senior leaders have children; one-third of
women senior leaders have children.
• Women do twice the amount of housework and three times
the amount of child rearing as men.
Standing in your power allows you to move from being reactive
to being proactive. Being proactive shifts you from wishing things
would happen to visioning what you want to happen and acting on it.
It allows you to focus on taking risks that may make you
The Catalyst Group, “Statistical Overview of Women in the Workplace,”
Standing in Your Power
uncomfortable, instead of avoiding risk and being frustrated. The
bottom line is to stop being a victim of others’ expectations, and
create desirable and realistic expectations for yourself.
Your Own Expectations
I can’t imagine at the end of my life wondering if I should have
lived my life differently. I’m not talking about things we would have
done differently if given the chance, but major choices that impact
your life journey. Standing in your power is making the right choices
, acknowledging the trade-offs, and being okay with those
decisions. The biggest consequence of not standing in your power is
not living the right life. Women who don’t stand in their power tend
to overextend their time and resources to accommodate and
acquiesce to others’ demands. It could be their boss, significant other,
children, friends, other family members, and/or community relation-
ships. The result is that these women live their lives according to
others’ expectations, becoming Everything-to-Everybody…except
Women diffuse their power by trying to be Everything-to-
Everybody and doing it all perfectly. Some workplace examples
• Saying yes when your plate is already overflowing, and then
not asking for clarity on prioritization.
• Not delegating because it either takes too long to explain the
process to someone else, you don’t want to bother someone
Jane S. Goldner
else, or you believe you are the only one who can do a task
• Continuing to spend more time perfecting something when
it is right and acceptable to go.
The concept of standing in your power is true not only in the
workplace but also outside of work.
Buying into stereotypical beliefs such as: “I’m the wife, it’s my
role…” or “I’m the mother, it’s my role…” leads to the Everything-to-
Everybody syndrome. I went back to full-time work outside the home
when each of my sons was eight weeks old. I made it very clear to my
husband that home was not my other full-time job. It was a shared
responsibility (except when I was trying to be perfect as demonstrated
in My Story). My husband was, and still is, the better cook so he
usually cooks dinner. He doesn’t like to clean up the kitchen and
wash dishes so I generally do that chore.
I wasn’t born with an iron
in my hand. When my husband and sons needed something ironed,
they learned how to do it themselves.
Women need to develop the skills of delegation, negotiation, and
constructive confrontation. (These essential skills are a part of the
Toolkit you will find later in this book.) A spouse should be a
significant partner at home. As Sheryl Sandberg stated in Lean In, the
most significant decision that you will make is who will be your life
partner. I heard about Sallie Krawcheck, former President of the
Global Wealth & Investment Management Division of Bank of
America, who convinced her husband that when their toddler called
“Mommy” in the middle of the night, the child really meant parent
of either sex. The responsibility of sharing doesn’t stop with the
nuclear family; it also applies to extended family and friends as well.
Ask your neighbors, friends, and families for support when you need
it. For example, like many Baby Boomers, I help care for an elderly
parent. I choose to spend Friday afternoons with my mother-in-law,
but I know I can call on my husband or other siblings to step in when
I have a client commitment.
Standing in Your Power
The difference between how men and women view power may
have its origins in how cave people lived. Men hunted; they went for
the kill. Women were gatherers, a more collaborative activity.
Translated into business negotiations, for example, this means men
go for the win in full battle armor with the attitude that “I win as
much as I can and you lose accordingly.” Women tend to search for
win-win results through identifying common interests and goals and
building relationships. While the workplace norms may be somewhat
shifting toward collaboration, power in negotiation is lagging behind.
To stand in their power, women need to develop the skills of
delegation, negotiation, and constructive confrontation both at home
and in the workplace. (These essential skills are a part of the Toolkit
you will find in Chapter Four.) Women should also learn that real
power comes from within, not from an official title or position.
Have you ever thought about your beliefs concerning power and
your relationship to it? Does your definition enhance or limit your
The next chapter continues your journey as you learn essential
skills women need in order to stand in their power, beginning with
defining your Core.