Chapter FiveBe Assertive, Not Aggressive

I was recently honored at a dinner for my role in building The Humphrey Group. All evening employees, clients, family, and friends delivered toasts and accolades telling stories of my entrepreneurship. Then, at the end of the event, a friend went up to the front of the room and stunned me by telling the audience, “I have known Judith longer than any of you have, and she is the most aggressive woman I know.” This came like a thunderbolt, particularly because this individual was a longtime friend. And though she meant it as a compliment, it fits with the fact that people—both men and women—often stereotype women as “aggressive” when they have asserted themselves in some way—in their careers or their personal ...

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