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What they don't tell us!

I started working in a corporate environment when I was 21. I wouldn't trade my corporate experience for anything because I learned so much. I gained many friends too.

At the same time, there were so many things I was not prepared for. I didn't understand how complex organizations could be. Where was I supposed to learn this as a microbiologist? Organizations are full of landmines, hidden rules, and gatekeepers. Here I was, an introverted, Black female without a clue on how to be organizationally savvy. I was focused on science and being competent.

I had an advocate early in my career, Ron Johnson who is now deceased. He helped me get a few opportunities and exposure. But he didn't teach me how to be agile, a student of people, and strategic. I had to learn this on my own, and my successes as well as my failures were all part of my learning.

What if, though, someone had taught me how to think strategically, how to avoid competence extremism, how to sniff out gatekeepers, and how to bob and weave to navigate the office politics early in my career? What if?

The What If's are irrelevant now. I'm proud that I was able to retire at age 50. Yay! The skills I learned enabled me to start a successful consulting business and write two books. I currently work with some of the largest organizations in Indiana. With age has come more wisdom. I'm sharing that wisdom with other women now. I don't want women to burnout or lose confidence because they erroneously believe success and advancement are solely based on competence and hard work. Through my Power U Forward workshops, I'm helping women believe that they can succeed and advance, while still being true to who they are. I'm a living witness to what's possible!

My next workshop is Organizational Agility on October 15 at noon. Read more at

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