She’s well known! In fact, she’s known internationally and has one of television’s largest viewing audiences at 7:00 p.m. Monday through Friday.
She’s tough as nails when it comes to interviews; challenging each and every guest seeking to get at the truth. Not only that, but she expresses her own views on current matters without hesitation or concern as to the toes upon which she may tread! In my opinion, she’s one of the freshest voices on cable news.
I’m sure you’ve guessed that “Greta” is Greta Van Susteren; hostess of Fox News “On the Record”.
As a woman in business, I could adopt any of the qualities above that represent Greta’s on screen persona and be successful in whatever I pursue. However, it’s not the “on screen” persona that got my attention and prompted this post.
Early this week, Greta Van Susteren posted a very personal request on her Facebook news feed. Nothing to do with politics or international current affairs, it was a soft plea for her followers to pray. Pray for her husband John who was facing open heart surgery. To pray for her for strength and courage since she knew nothing about the surgical procedure or what to expect.
It was obvious if one read between the lines that she was anxious about the outcome and knew both of them needed divine intervention and oversight!
I was struck by a number of things from her post that are apropos for me as a woman in business. And I share them here because I believe they are equally important and appropriate for every woman in business!
1. Vulnerability ~ Greta is a woman known for her toughness in the face of international events. Yet she threw off that persona to reveal a woman dearly in love and deeply concerned about her “soul mate”. She risked being ridiculed for being tenderhearted and ‘weak’ in the face of something very personal.
In fact, most folks would say, “Are you sure you want to be that vulnerable?” Especially with folks who only know you as the anchor of Fox News 7:00 p.m. spot? Folks who don’t know you in any other capacity, nor do you know us!
Yet her vulnerability drew me to feel I knew her – not just professionally, but as a woman without all the trappings of success and notoriety! A woman experiencing what many of us in business have experienced – a loved one facing a health crisis.
2. Transparency – Greta could have kept the situation to herself. Or she could have let Dr. Franklin Graham make the pleas for prayer as he did in a separate thread. But she chose to face a sea of followers with what appears to be little to no concern for how her genuine expressions of fear, doubt and concern might be taken by those of us who only know her as a major television news celebrity.
In so doing, Greta Van Susteren revealed something of herself as a woman – a woman valuing prayer and the One to whom we would all be praying. In our modern age, it’s often not viewed as “cool” to be a woman of faith. Especially one in the international spotlight.
Equally so for any woman in public life and business world!
But when the chips are down – a woman of faith does not hesitate to shed the spotlight for the light of divine relationship and interaction. Without a tinkers-darn about how that may be viewed by the less faithful among an audience of “admirers”.
3. Authenticity – the real Greta appeared in that simple, but not overstated request for prayer. A Greta we may not see on air. She did not belabor the situation to the point of being melodramatic which really turns others off – believer or not! While I’ve never experienced her as anything but ‘genuine’; I felt it as I read through the post.
Greta’s willingness to throw off the safe to opt for the vulnerable, transparent and authentic drew me to her as a person. A person I feel I know. Not just because my beloved person faced the same medical procedure; but because someone of Greta’s stature opened her heart, humbled her position and asked me to join the rest of her followers in prayer.
I felt I’d made a friend who trusted me with her heart in one of life’s most treacherous events!
So why is this an important reminder for us women in business? Because business is about life. We don’t shed our personal dilemma’s when we head out the office door. Whether physically out the door or via the social media door.
People want to feel they know us. When it comes to social media, being comfortable leaving our comfort zone to let others experience us as real. Vulnerable to life’s most difficult moments. Transparent about how they impact us and what we need in the way of support to manage them – and business, at the same time.
Authentically and strategically revealing ourselves and our needs without over dramatization will help others know us as women. Women beyond a business card, commercial or anything remotely related to what we do.
I suspect many of us will view Greta Van Susteren differently since she shared her heart with us. And I can guarantee that those you meet and share with online will view you differently when you take the risk to be vulnerable, transparent and authentic. As a woman before any mention of what’s on your business card!
Give it a try the next time life gets in the way of your next commercial break. You may be pleasantly surprised at the outcome!
Linda S. Fitzgerald, Visionary Partner
Champion of Ordinarily Extraordinary Women of the World
A Women’s Place Network, Inc. dba
Affiliated Women International
Empowering Women to Thrive
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[author] [author_image timthumb=’on’]https://fbcdn-profile-a.akamaihd.net/hprofile-ak-xap1/v/t1.0-1/p160x160/10933880_10152999878054264_1749306739390848122_n.jpg?oh=3b9b3e144f0b306aa0cc748b03d9dd6a&oe=55550352&__gda__=1432002183_d9a5e0b3a35fc3cfbbe66ed7bc7658c9[/author_image] [author_info]My passion is to see women become all they are designed to be – personally, professionally and most of all – spiritually. I write, teach, mentor and coach with that passion in mind. As an author and prolific blogger, I reach out to women in all walks of life, especially women of faith to empower and equip them for greatness. [/author_info] [/author]