Search Books:

Join our mailing list:

Bookmark and Share

New Articles

The Mystery Murder Case of the Century
by Robert Tanenbaum

Which Brass Ring for You: Popularity or Success?
by JV Venable

Autistic Students: Are We Asking Them to Do Their Best While They Feel Their Worst?
by Janet Lintala

The Enemy Within
by Jason Riley

by Anna Godbersen

view more>>

Recent Placements

Henry Mintzberg
This Management Legend Just Dropped Some Surprising but Brilliant Advice: Quit Doing Just 1 Thing and You'll Be a Much Better Leader

Bart McDonough
Value Walk
The Reality Of Real Estate Wire Transfer Fraud: Overview Of Cyber Risks

Oren Jay Sofer
Spirituality & Health
5 Core Practices for More Meaningful Conversations

Renee Linnell
Daily Beast
How a Tango Dancer Spent Five Years in an Abusive ‘Energy’ Cult

Steven Ujifusa
U.S. Naval Institute
Behold the Clipper Ships!

view more>>

S.K.I.R.T.S. in the Boardroom: A Woman's Survival Guide to Success in Business & Life Excerpt from S.K.I.R.T.S. in the Boardroom: A Woman's Survival Guide to Success in Business & Life

by Marshawn Evans

Bookmark and Share

S.K.I.R.T.S. in the Boardroom

I was raised around a lot of guys. I was the only girl. My brothers and cousins even started a club called BAM -- Boys Against Marshawn! Most of my mentors have been males. This has made me an extreme alpha personality, and very competitive. Some women, and many men, view this competitive nature as a threat. It wouldn't be in a man; it would be revered and praised. But as a woman, the alpha personality can often be seen as a liability. If I were to believe this, it would demean all that I've worked so hard to accomplish -- and undermine all my future success.

Too many women are forced to navigate the perilous terrain of the corporate jungle with no guidance. For too long we have been forced to figure out how to survive on our own. The objective of Skirts in the Boardroom is to equip you with the tools necessary to chart your own course and fulfill your purpose. I will share with you the untold stories, secrets, and strategies that I, and some of America's top business professionals, have learned over the years. My hope is that this survival guide will help you to dream bigger dreams, and to dare.

Before we begin this journey together, I must share with you the meaning of the word SKIRTS. It is more than just a garment. In the 50s, the word "Skirt" was often used to refer to a pretty girl -- like the word "chick" or "dame." Skirt can also mean "an edge" or "to miss." It's more complex than it first appears. The word has a history. It has evolved over the years, and has multiple meanings.

Wearing skirts, particularly in the business world, has been the subject of much debate. Just like women. We are more than what we wear; more than a word. We are more complex than we first appear. We have a rich history and have evolved with changing times. And, our presence in the business world will always be the subject of much debate. In the context of this book, S.K.I.R.T.S. is actually an acronym that stands for women embracing:

Sisterhood:Women need to mentor and support each other's growth, while also learning to work together. So, I don't mean sisterhood in the soft, fluffy sense. I mean in the strong, focused sense. There is nothing wrong with soft and fluffy, but it's not a legitimate basis for professional success. Feminine is fine -- nothing wrong with that, either. Heck, I still prep for a client meeting the same way I prepped for a Miss America interview. You can bet that my hair and make-up will be on point. I'm saying that there is tremendous value in helping other women learn the tricks of the trade as well. I'm not threatened by another woman's success -- even a competitor -- I see it as a challenge to improve myself. As the saying goes, if you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together. That is what sisterhood, and this book, is all about.

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!

Integrity: Ultimately, living a life of character, one defined by integrity and directed by values, is about living a life worthy of your calling. You were created to build trust, show respect, set standards and display honesty. What I call "next level living" or a lifestyle of success becomes possible when we finally understand and embrace the fact that character is part of our calling.

Respect: Respect is the gift that keeps on giving -- the more you invest, the greater your ROI (return on investment). However, respect is neither to be given -- nor taken -- too lightly. It is always a smart investment. As women we have a tendency to have misplaced trust and a lack of trust -- particularly with other women. Developing a reputation as a person of integrity is invaluable. Respect is earned. Once you earn 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. In this book, I treat respect as the foundation on which success grows.

Tenacity: To succeed at anything these days -- in business, love, life or the boardroom -- you must absolutely be tenacious down to your very core. 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!

What is 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 business authors, let alone CEOs, give substance short-shrift; I make it a pivotal part of the SKIRTS in the Boardroom message, perhaps because it is the cornerstone of my own life.

I challenge you to keep each of the six core SKIRTS principles in mind as we develop together, chapter-by-chapter. This book as well as our "Skirts in The Boardroom:  Set No Limits Summit" is about growth and guidance for dynamic women.  Women just like you. It's fun, yet focused. I hope you will make a commitment to yourself to reflect upon the themes presented in each chapter by visiting at the end of each chapter's "Set No Limits" reflection. So, embrace your inner-skirt, and let's get started!

The above is an excerpt from the book  S.K.I.R.T.S. in the Boardroom by Marshawn Evans
Published by John Wiley & Sons, Inc.; December 2008;$24.95US/$26.95CAN; 978-0-470-38333-9
Copyright © 2008 Marshawn Evans