For too long women have been forced to figure out how to survive on their own. I wrote my book, SKIRTS in the Boardroom to equip women with the tools necessary to chart their own course. S.K.I.R.T.S. is actually an acronym that represents the characteristics that today’s woman must have to thrive in the boardroom, which ultimately represents any place of power that is male-dominated—a place where decisions are made and where you have a chance to show what you’re made of. While it may change at different stages of your life, the boardroom is your playing field. It’s also a place where the good ‘ole boys’ network has, and continues to, flourish. It is time for the ladies to take their seats in the executive suite.
So how do you position yourself to thrive in and out of the boardroom? Here seven savvy qualities that today’s S.K.I.R.T.S. must possess to go to the next level. (Pay attention, fellas—you can learn some fabulous tips, too!)—Marshawn Evans
KNOWLEDGE: There is absolutely NO substitute for knowledge; I don’t believe in “faking it ‘til you make it” because, eventually, a lack of knowledge always comes back to haunt you. Besides, the more you know, the better you do. The better you do, the better you want to do. You dream bigger and BIG things happen. To be competitive, you must be aware of changes in the marketplace. What you don’t know may not directly hurt you, but your competition surely will!
RESPECT: Respect is the gift that keeps on giving – the more you invest, the greater your ROI (return on investment). It is always a smart investment. The tendency with women is having misplaced trust and a lack of trust – particularly with other women. Respect is earned. Once you earn it and learn how to keep it, the world is your oyster. Lose it and you lose your ability to maximize your potential and capitalize on your greatest resource – relationships.
TENACITY: The world is moving so fast, in so many opposite directions, you have to absolutely hustle, persist and stay abreast of ever-changing trends and information. Tenacity has six dimensions. It is the sum total of your desire, drive, determination, dedication, diligence and discipline. The biggest fallacy is that the best comes to those who wait. Wrong! Those who wait play with the scraps leftover from those who hustle!
SUBSTANCE: Substance is what’s left when all the degrees, the pedigrees, the fashion and the lipstick are stripped back to reveal the real you waiting – in some cases hiding – beneath. Whether your style is soft, subtle and sweet or stern, sensible and savvy, your substance is the essence of who you are. Many executives and entrepreneurs give substance the short shrift; however, today’s woman must make this the cornerstone of her life and career.
So ladies, tell me, what other keys are critical to being able to work your skirt? I look forward to hearing from you.