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Show them you’ve got the goods

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in Best-Practices Leadership,Leaders & Managers

Katharine Jefferts Schori is an oceanographer and an instrument-rated pilot turned Episcopal priest. Amazed to become Nevada’s bishop after being ordained only six years, imagine how she felt a few years later to be elected as the presiding bishop for the entire Episcopal Church.

Amazed, maybe, but she was not surprised that church members would try something new and elect a woman leader.

Schori does realize, of course, that certain members don’t accept her precisely because she is a woman. But she’s not worried.

“My experience has been that face to face, human beings build relationships, and that gender is much less of an issue,” she says.

That’s because 30 years ago, she was named as chief scientist on an oceanographic research voyage. “The captain wouldn’t talk to me because I was a woman,” she says. “That lasted about 15 minutes. We got over it.”

Why? Because she knew her stuff.

Lesson: When you find yourself in a new leadership position without enough street cred, show ’em what you’ve got.

—Adapted from “Amen to Women,” Cecile S. Holmes, Pink magazine.

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