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Power Profiles
About Suzanne Douglas Harris
How they did it: Best practices of highly successful women

The Power Profiles interview project began as an effort to understand the experiences of successful women -- to hear how they “did it,” in order to adopt some of their most successful approaches. Within the first few conversations, it became evident that among a particular set of women, their backgrounds, personal stories and individual styles were extremely diverse. Yet, despite their uniqueness, certain common traits emerged – ways of responding to situations and people; dealing with adversity; setting and achieving goals. These are their unifying traits:

1. Live and Learn
Each woman was, whether by nature or nurture throughout her entire life, continually seeking and seeing learning opportunities – in her 20s, 30s, 40s and beyond. Each was actively present in her own life, and consciously drew on her own experiences and on those of the people closest to her. She put her life lessons into practice.

2. Great Expectations
Each was able to articulate expectations for herself and maintain them as goal posts. At every stage of life, these may have been updated or adjusted, but there was always an overarching plan for reaching beyond the horizon.

3. Stubborn Streak
Each confessed to having a stubborn streak. In fact, this was not pure stubbornness, but rather a resolve based on self knowledge and self confidence, and tempered by well-developed negotiation skills.

4. Keep it Moving
Successful women push themselves out of their comfort zone. They connect with others easily and with purpose. Their natural curiosity propels them to try new things even if they feel they may not “be good at it.”

5. Speak Up
Each had learned effective self advocacy and honed the skills needed to make a point, get recognition, and be heard and present “at the table”.

6. Get Enough Oxygen
No one was shy about admitting that personal balance is crucial. Remember that we must put the oxygen mask on ourselves first – or we will not be able to tend to others.

7. Pay it Forward
Saying “thank you” in many ways -- to those along the path and then paying it forward is central to success!