The Lesson That Inspired Karalyn Smith Early On In Her Career

There’s power in taking a seat at the table. One of my mentors taught me an important lesson about advocacy early in my career. She looked around a conference room and noticed that while the company’s executives and partners sat around the table, all of the junior level associates, including myself, stood along the back and sides of the room. She motioned us over and invited us to pull up a chair, seamlessly changing the dynamic by making room for everyone around the table. This instance has always stuck with me and helped me realize that everyone in the room has something valuable to contribute; we deserve a spot at that physical or metaphorical table. It also taught me that as leaders, to give someone the tools to advocate for themselves, we must consciously and outwardly support them, giving them the confidence to pull up a chair.

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