Dorothea Grimes Farrow, on The Art of the High Wire


Dorothea Grimes was a candidate in our very first Executive Leadership Program back in 2000. She continued her leadership journey contributing to the program as one of our coaches and returning as a panelist. At our latest ELP alumni panel, Dorothea spoke to us about the art of leadership, and the authenticity it demands. Here is an excerpt from her inspiring talk:I like to build great works of art – I am an engineer.  To see things go from a to b – is a work of art.  To encourage other women – is art.  To take initiative and be recognized and supported – that’s a work of art.  An artist has to be authentic. When I am not authentic people know it. You have to live by a script.  When you are authentic people see a reflection of their greatness in your eyes.
Being authentic is a journey.  There was a woman whose coat was stuck in the subway door.   Someone came over and said, “When your life is in danger…. You better make some noise.”  I am not saying to speak without a filter, but as a mature adult, asking how do I bring my authentic self?
I serve up the truth in short simple phrases, unscripted.  When my boss was blasting me, I learned to say  “Ouch that hurts.”  When I did that our whole relationship changed.  Our relationship changed.  “Oh, I am talking to a person there, Dorothea ….. who said ouch.”  It became more authentic.
Being authentic means gender intelligence – the reality of gender intelligence.  Having the courage to show up as a female- appreciating all that it brings with it.  It empowers me, it puts courage into others – that’s my work of art.
Men will be promoted on their potential and women on results. It’s acknowledging the realities of the workplace.  As women we are standing firmly on sand.
More from the wise and wonderful Dorothea
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