Why would a woman choose to wear high heels? In the literal sense, they make your legs look longer, elevate your presence (seriously!) and hide the fact that you haven’t had time to get your dress hemmed.
Flats, on the other hand, are comfortable and reasonably fashionable, and you can walk in them all day long and into the night. You don’t have to think about your flats, whereas your high heels keep your attention, one way or another.
High heels and flats are also metaphors that you can use to figure out how to present your best self on every occasion.
A few weeks ago, I attended the 20th anniversary of the Women Presidents’ Organization in Orlando. Over 850 women business owners took over the Ritz Carlton Grande Lakes. I have attended this meeting for years, but this one was different. The energy level was heightened beyond anything I have experienced before.
As I was leaving Saturday morning, I had a few minutes to reflect on the meeting, the energy and the value of our meeting. Clearly, we had all chosen high heels over flats.
Walk with me in my heels, and discover three things that you may experience:
1. You’ll Exude Confidence in Everything You Do
The Foundation of the WPO partnered with Rollins College’s Crummer Graduate School of Business and JPMorgan Chase & Co to present Build Your Business, a day of service for WPO members. I volunteered on a whim.
Then my friend self-doubt showed up. A little voice inside me questioned, “How could you be qualified to mentor women business owners?”
I did what any professional woman would do – I put on my high heels, representing my best self, and walked confidently into the room. It was the most fun and most rewarding experience I have ever had.
2. You’ll Commit To The Experience
Conferences and professional meetings can be intimidating. Again, your high heels will take you a long way! You can certainly convey confidence, expertise and professionalism by what you wear, but there is more. Take a deep breath and introduce yourself to other people. They don’t know anybody either and will welcome your approach.
After an educational program, get in line to meet the speaker. While you are waiting, introduce yourself to the others in line and talk about what you enjoyed most about the presentation. When you finally get to greet the speaker, simply offer a handshake and thank her warmly for sharing her time and insights with the attendees.
3. You’ll Have Fun, Be Yourself And Keep It Together
For the first time, WPO hosted a cocktail party for all 850 women. The DJ, watching us walk into the ballroom on the last night, chose to put on his high heels (metaphorically, of course) while we put on our flats. He played dance favorites, old and new, for hours, while we kept on dancing. When the dance floor got too crowded, we just joined him on stage, singing, dancing and laughing together.
Choose Your Shoes
So which shoes did you put on today?
I have days when I am heads down, trying to figure out how to build the best case possible to win a complex property tax appeal. On those days, I choose my flats, which represent my confidence, expertise and ability to do world-class work.
But on the days when I step out and represent my brand and my company, I choose my high heels. They help me represent and project the self-confidence, professional presence and expertise that I want present to the world.
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