We already knew that Shonda Rhimes—Scandal, How To Get Away With Murder, and Grey’s Anatomy‘s showrunner a.k.a. television’s Queen Midas for those who are still uninitiated—was an inspiration. Her 2014 Dartmouth commencement speech, which provided us with great advice like “Perfect is boring and dreams are not real. Just … do,” was in heavy rotation for weeks.
But Rhimes recent conversation with Elle magazine’s editor-in-chief Robbie Myers has us even more in awe of her boss lady know-how. During their chat, Myers mentions how women are interested in learning how to acquire power, and then figuring out what to do with said power once they have it. Rhimes’ response is full of just-on-time words of wisdom for anyone who has ever doubted their power or ability to succeed (bolded text is our emphasis / where we got our lives):
“I think power is useless unless you know you have it. I’ve seen that a million times. And I feel like it happened with me for a while. I was always like, Why are people behaving this way? And now I know they were trying to treat me as if I were powerful. But because I was not ready to be powerful, I was like, What’s happening? The minute you realize or accept the concept that, Yes, I am a powerful person—guess what? The people who need to treat you that way to get things done—the business guys, and the money guys, and the finance people—they fall in line.
“I realized I was never going to get any further than I was if I just allowed myself to be the very nice girl who wrote stuff. And I had other things that I wanted to do. All of the things that are possible are never going to happen if you’re busy waiting for someone to give you something. You have to take it.“
The interview goes on, but we kept coming back to this section. The idea that power is not something given to you, but a quality that you can command, was… well… powerful. How many of us have felt like we needed confirmation of our value, our worth from a co-worker, an employer, a friend, or a loved one? How much more would we be able to get done, how much more accomplished would we feel if we worked from a place of “I got the power” instead of “I’m waiting for the power”? In saying that the power is already within us, just waiting to be acknowledged and harnessed, Rhimes is saying that we are all capable of having a Shondaland of our own creation—we just have to do it.
We don’t know about you, but that message really lifted our spirits. And made us even more excited to read Shonda’s book, Year Of Yes: How to Dance It Out, Stand In the Sun and Be Your Own Person, which is slated for release on November 10.
The Type Of Mentor Every Working Woman Needs
mater mea feature: OWN Vice President Endyia Kinney-Sterns