Career Lessons from the Mouth of Gabrielle Giffords

People who know me, know that one of my favorite quotes is this:
"No one cares the storms you encounter, they only care did you bring in the ship."
In the context of business, this means that no one cares about the problems you're having as you work to get your job done. In other words, there's no whining in business.

I find a way to work this into most of my programs because I encounter far too many women who, when asked how they are, launch into a complaint about how overwhelmed and busy they are. This is a career derailer for this reason: if you can't handle the job you have, why should you be considered for a bigger job?

That's why this morning's headline in Huffington Post caught my eye, "'Hi, I'm  Good': As Giffords Starts to Speak, Doctors Work to Help Brain Rewire Itself."

Can you imagine! Here's a woman who could choose to complain about many storms, but her choice was not to. Instead, when talking with her brother-in-law Scott Kelly as he orbited the international space station, she said she was "good." No complaint crossed Gabby's lips.

So, take a lesson from Representative Gabrielle Giffords (D-AZ). At work, when someone asks  you how you're doing, avoid complaints. Fussing about the amount of work you have doesn't make you sound important, it makes you sound incapable. Instead, consider one of these 3 strategies:
  1. Graciously self-promote about a recent accomplishment. For example, "I'm doing great. We just wrapped up the xyz project on time and on budget and it's going to make a difference to this quarter's top-line revenue."
  2. Report on progress on an important project. "I'm doing great. My team is ahead of goals on the abc project."
  3. Describe a strategic conversation. "Great, I just met with about opening up the market in Central America."
And, if you're wondering why I chose the photo above instead of one of her more professional photos. For a couple of reasons. One, I know from my own experience as a rider that to be any good you have to become the "lead mare." Second, riding is immensely therapeutic and so I hope that the rehab facility gets Gabby on horseback asap!

Lead ON!
Susan Colantuono is CEO of Leading Women and author of No Ceiling, No Walls.
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Anonymous said...

Gaabrielle looking young

sigsoogca said...

Most men want their wives just to stay home and take care of their kids. Well, this is the truth that we must admit, ladies.

Women owned businesses