Push Past Your Fear: Why Being Courageous Helps You Achieve More Success by Elisa Schmitz
Desirée Glapion Rogers didn’t plan on being a trailblazer, and being one didn’t always come easily. But her courage led the way. In fact, fearless is one of the first words she uses to describe herself. As the first African American woman to run the Illinois State Lottery, the first African American woman to become president of a major gas utility, the first African American woman to serve as social secretary for the president of the United States, the first non-family-member CEO of Johnson Publishing, and now as CEO of Black Opal Beauty, Desirée has been shattering glass ceilings her entire career. And that took plenty of courage.
Being courageous means you feel afraid, but you push past that fear and act anyway. It’s important to listen to your fear but not be led by it. The more action you take, the less fear you feel. It’s by doing what you’re afraid of that helps you build courage. And with that newfound courage, you can achieve more success.
“I carried myself with confidence,” Desirée says. “I was not afraid to reveal what I didn’t know or to ask for help.”
People who are courageous act because they believe what’s on the other side of their fear is worth the risk. Their motivation to achieve the thing they want is more powerful than the fear they feel of not achieving the thing. When faced with the choice of holding back because of fear or moving forward despite fear, courageous people move forward. And Desirée’s courage is what fueled her success.
I’m honored that Desirée shared her inspiring story in my new book, Become the Fire: Transform Life’s Chaos into Business and Personal Success. As the featured “Flame” in the chapter on being courageous, Desirée explains how she relied on her motivation to take on increasing levels of responsibility and leadership. She shares many insights learned from her experiences on the road to becoming a CEO, to encourage women from all walks of life to achieve their own success.
Desirée attributes her leadership success to overcoming fear and taking on risk. “Don’t be afraid. Go for what is in your gut.”
You can read more about Desirée, and get many more of her insights, by ordering your copy of Become the Fire (foreword by Mary Dillon, former CEO of Ulta Beauty and current CEO of Foot Locker) for yourself or for someone you think may benefit from the stories and lessons shared by her and this diverse group of highly successful leaders:
- Paula Boggs, former chief legal officer of Starbucks
- Laura Desmond, former CEO of Starcom
- Talita Ramos Erickson, chief legal officer and chief D&I officer of Barilla
- Sarah Hofstetter, president of Profitero
- Angela Martinez Korompilas, former CEO of American Hotel Register Company
- Kim Oster-Holstein, founder and CEO of Kim & Scott's Gourmet Pretzels, Twisted Alchemy
- Winnie Park, CEO of Forever 21
- Jules Pieri, founder of The Grommet
- Emily Smith, CEO of Wild Sky Media
The book's publication date is October 11, just seven days from now! To join us for the virtual launch event via Zoom, please click on this registration link. I hope Become the Fire inspires you to be even more courageous!
Photo of Desirée by Heather Houston.
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