Friday, March 6, 2009

Tooting your own horn!

One of my mentors told me an interesting story that she heard at a women's conference at her alma mater a few weeks ago. I hope I can do it justice via a blog post but it really made an impact when I heard it in person and I automatically could relate.

If you had 200 people working for the same company in 1 room and 100 of them were men and the other 100 are women and someone got up on a podium and said the number 1 trait to becoming a CEO is knowing how to breast feed. Immediately all 100 men would raise their hands and start arguing about how they were breast fed, their wives breast feed, and how they have all this experience by witnessing women who have breast fed and can do the job right based on that.

The women on the other hand would sit there and start questioning themselves, criticizing if they really breast feed that well and none of them would raise their hand because they are so worried about tooting their own horn.
I will be the first one to admit this is a major weakness of mine. However I have not let it stop me in pushing through and striving to gain things I think I deserve. The first half of my career I relied a lot on people to promote my skills for me. I have realized over time that even though it is not attractive to be the one that is always tooting your own horn it is very important to ensure you are always communicating your value add to the right people who can get you to the next level.


  1. Dear Carol- what a great insight! I think sometimes it's especially difficult as women to "toot our own horns." We are so used to playing the role of the person that pays compliments to others. I think there is truth in needing to remind others of your value as long as it is done with class! Also, if you're not first, you're last.

  2. If you're not first, you're last.