Anyone who has ever been in a boardroom meeting knows how nerve-wracking it can be, or how nerves of steel are necessary to make it out of a meeting alive. Yes, a board meeting is all about work (and often, numbers), but there is a certain pressure and harshness to it that can push a person to their limit or breaking point.
Women are often given flack for being too “emotional” or “dramatic,” yet they are not given credit when they have the nerves of steel to be at par with their male counterparts or to make it on their own. So if they don’t get it, maybe it’s time we give it to them. Maybe it’s time we celebrate the strong woman who leads with heart and a lot of grace.
Trailblazing women are everywhere, and here are some of their most meaningful quotes that can get you through difficult times.
Caterina Fake, Flickr:
“The most successful entrepreneurs I know are optimistic. It’s part of the job description.”
Sheryl Sandberg, Facebook:
“You will be defined not just by what you achieve, but by how you survive.”
Indra Nooyi, Pepsico:
“There is nothing like a concrete life plan to weigh you down. Because if you always have one eye on some future goal, you stop paying attention to the job at hand, miss opportunities that might arise, and stay fixedly on one path, even when a better, newer course might have opened up.”
Ginni Rometty, IBM:
“Growth and comfort do not coexist.”
Marissa Mayer, Lumi Labs:
“I always did something I was a little not ready to do. I think that’s how you grow. When there’s that moment of ‘Wow, I’m not really sure I can do this,’ and you push through those moments, that’s when you have a breakthrough.” ―
Arianna Huffington, Thrive Global:
“We need to accept that we won’t always make the right decisions, that we’ll screw up royally sometimes – understanding that failure is not the opposite of success, it’s part of success.”
Ann Handley, MarketingProfs:
“Be an amateur. Not everything you do has to be good, especially at first.”
Tina Fey, Comedian:
"Don't waste your energy trying to educate or change opinions; go over, under, through, and opinions will change organically when you're the boss. Or they won't. Who cares? Do your thing, and don't care if they like it."
Lisa Cash Hanson, Entrepreneur:
"Leadership is the ability to guide others without force into a direction or decision that leaves them still feeling empowered and accomplished."
Dianne Feinstein, Senator:
"Ninety percent of leadership is the ability to communicate something people want."
Marillyn Hewson, Adviser:
“Good leaders organize and align people around what the team needs to do. Great leaders motivate and inspire people with why they’re doing it. That’s purpose. And that’s the key to achieving something truly transformational.”
Grace Hopper, Inventor:
"Leadership is a two-way street, loyalty up and loyalty down. Respect for one's superiors; care for one's crew."
Stephanie S. Mead, Author:
"Strategic leaders must not get consumed by the operational and tactical side of their work. They have a duty to find time to shape the future."
Denise Morrison, CEO:
"I think leadership is service and there is power in that giving: to help people, to inspire and motivate them to reach their fullest potential."
Madonna, Singer and Songwriter:
"I'm tough, ambitious, and I know exactly what I want. If that makes me a bitch, okay."
Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Author:
“Of course I am not worried about intimidating men. The type of man who will be intimidated by me is exactly the type of man I have no interest in.”
G.D. Anderson, Feminist:
"Feminism isn't about making women stronger. Women are already strong, it's about changing the way the world perceives that strength."
Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Jurist:
“Women belong in all places where decisions are being made. … It shouldn't be that women are the exception.”
"There's something so special about a woman who dominates in a man's world. It takes a certain grace, strength, intelligence, fearlessness, and the nerve to never take no for an answer.”
Amy Schumer, Comedian:
"I am a woman with thoughts and questions and shit to say. I say if I'm beautiful. I say if I'm strong. You will not determine my story—I will."
Sheryl Sandberg, COO:
"In the future, there will be no female leaders. There will just be leaders."