What It Takes To Get A Seat At The Table

The infamous table. A space occupied by movers, shakers, decision makers and influential leaders. Some of us are women with seats at the table.

Many are working tirelessly to get their seat. Others are watching in awe and wonder and cheering for the women who made it.

Whether in a corporation or a community organization, let’s agree that a seat at the table is a powerful position. One where ideas and recommendations are raised that create the future and set off waves of impact from the choices made at boardroom tables.

People aspire to get a seat there because they understand this might well be the place where change begins. Where people are included. Where diverse points of view are heard.

Getting to the table is one ideal.

Occupying the seat for the greater good is another. And it’s the latter that needs to be in mind when one decides to embark on the path of getting her seat at the table. One must first ponder the question: what will you do with your seat?

Now, let’s consider what it takes to get there.

KNOW YOUR PURPOSE.

Setting intentions is often the first key to success, especially when it comes to climbing corporate ladders. A personal mission that aligns with an organizational mission can be a sturdy anchor.

When you know why this seat is important to you and how it contributes to your legacy, you are more inclined to navigate the often rocky pathways to the table.

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HAVE STRONG AMBITIONS.

Desire, like passion, can fuel your journey and keep you on course. It takes initiative to build your brand by demonstrating your capabilities and forming strong alliances. Ambition keeps you going when you are questioned and tested by those in opposition. It also is recognized and affirmed by those cheering for your success.

BE CONFIDENT.

Self-doubt and negative self- talk can be stumbling blocks. If allowed to loom, such questions like “Do I deserve this seat?” or “Am I good enough?” can chip away at your esteem. Getting a seat at the table requires a strong belief in yourself and trust in your abilities. These attributes often develop over time through experience, reflection, and evaluation.

DEMONSTRATE A WINNING TRACK RECORD.

From small wins to big gains, women who consistently show they can achieve positive outcomes are those who get seats at the table. Their track records are pervasive with success stories showcasing innovative ideas, risk-taking decisions, and influential leadership.  Women often balance grace and grit, agency and attitude, as well as confidence and conflict in their seat at the table. Getting a seat at the table is possible. By focusing on these steps, it can help get you on the right track. x

Evelyn Summerville is an executive, leadership & life coach. She harnesses the experiences and lessons learned during her time as Director of Marketing Research & Analysis for a Fortune 500 firm to support leaders in fast tracking their success. In doing so, Evelyn empowers people to

live and lead with purpose, passion and excellence

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