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Did Mentorship Make Me a Dangerous Woman?

Recently, the editorial director of TEDWomen, Pat Mitchell, wrote a platform article about mentoring in which she described all mentees and mentors as …“dangerous women in the making.” This made me wonder about my own experiences with mentoring.

Did I become a “dangerous woman” because I often looked to leaders along my career path to provide me with counsel? Better yet, did I help create any “dangerous women” once I was in the position to provide counsel?

As Mitchell describes it, a “dangerous woman” is one who speaks the truth and who is fearless.

It so happens that in one of my very first job interviews in the corporate sector I would come face-to-face with someone I would consider a dangerous woman–the marketing director of a well-known national jewelry retailer and my prospective boss. So many things about this woman impressed me and even frightened me a bit, I must confess.

In the last moments of a solid second interview where I felt I performed quite well, she expressed to me her secret: That she did NOT know everything. “Lisa,” she said to me, “…one of the reasons I have my position in this company is because I have surrounded myself with incredibly talented people.” Being relatively new to the world of corporate interviews, I was surprised by this remark—surprised by the authenticity of it.