May 10, 2013

The tenet that reminds us to Lean In

It's possible that I'm being overly critical with the observation that I am going to share today. It's also possible that I don't know the whole story, but I'm going with my perception, for what it's worth. Today I noticed on LinkedIn that one of my contacts listed his wife's achievement as his own. She earned a Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal, an honor given to individuals in Canada to honor Her Majesty for her service. If he had received it, I know that  he would have been included in this picture, and if not the picture, the story that accompanied it. 

Seriously, as if women don't have enough trouble being recognized for what they do, now some men feel the need to usurp their well-deserved recognition as well?

Optimist Clubs and members respect and most live by the words of the Optimist Creed. One of the tenets is "Promise yourself to be just as enthusiastic about the success of others as you are about your own." It reminds us to be a cheerleader for others. 

I know, and Sheryl Sandberg and the Lean In organization are certainly making it well-known, that women deserve champions. I encourage all men, please start with your wife, daughter, mother, sister or just a good friend. Tell them why they are great, and then tell the world as well. Your words of encouragement will help them feel good about their skills, and proud of their accomplishments. It will also help others discover their worth. 

For your next step, do the same thing at work. Help a female coworker get a promotion, raise or at least the acknowledgement she deserves for the value of the work she does every day. 

When we do this, women and men working together to help each other get ahead, we can make the world a better - and more equal - place to live. 

Oh, and in case my message was oblique, please don't steal the hard work or honors of others. That's just not nice, not to mention, it's unprofessional. 

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