In general terms, it’s always harder for a woman to get ahead in business than it is for a man. Though in present day, the number of women at the top of the business food chain is greater than it has ever been before, there are not many businesswomen that serve as effective role models. The term feminism has evolved to become a hate-it or leave-it blanket term that distracts us from our ultimate individual goals for success.
There are, however, a select few women that have mastered the stereotypical “men’s world” of business on their merits alone. They haven’t needed to employ any techniques like “leaning in” to become successful. Their intelligence, sex appeal, and control of the world around them empowers them to be shrewd and highly successful. This type of woman might only live in the fictional world where rest of us can only hope to her be one day. These are # reasons why women in business, and the men too, should take notes from Claire Underwood.
Claire and Frank form the perfect partnership. Even above infidelity and lovers’ quarrels, Claire’s loyalty always lies with Frank. The two are open and honest with each other without ANY exception. This communication and understanding leads to coordination both in their personal and professional lives that is unwavering; when together they set their eyes on a goal they are unstoppable. Claire’s ability to avoid all petty insecurities in her relationship allows her the clarity of mind to ensure both herself and Frank are reaching their full potential. And while in the business world where partnerships with a significant other is usually a no no, Claire is the exception.
Claire isn’t the kind of woman you want to cross in business or in her personal life. She’ll fire half her employees, without remorse, for the good of her organization, or she’ll plot against her own husband when he strays from their objective. Her ability to make decisions without an emotional attachment makes her an efficient manager and a decisive pragmatist. She’s ruthless, but by now we’ve all realized that Frank wouldn’t be the dangerous man he is without his even more dangerous wife to push him.
In Claire’s line of work, not everything goes according to plan or works out the way she intended. However, where one lead ends, she always finds another way to reach her goal. Even when she is forced to throw a charity event on the front steps of a venue she wasn’t allowed in amidst a protesting union, she used her husband and other connection to throw everything together last minute; she even won over the protestors in the end. Quitting is unacceptable and never an option, and while some entrepreneurs would quit at meeting their first few failures, Claire remains stoic with only the glimmer of determination and plotting behind those icy eyes.
Women in business are often criticized for looking either too sexy or dressing to masculine- there’s just no winning. Claire is the perfect balance of what style should be in the workplace. Her elegant and fitted outfits are high fashion, but her short hairstyle and the way she carries herself, never submissively, only speaks to graceful professionalism. Not all women in business have to look dainty – a mix of great style and a masculine feature or two is the recipe for power and respect in women. And ladies, this means there’s never a good excuse for wearing clothes that don’t fit properly or aren’t ironed!!
Claire understands the importance of networks– it’s all about having something that no one else has and everybody wants. No one, however brilliant, can be successful always flying solo. It takes connections and influence to accomplish goals, but it’s not just about asking and taking favours. When Claire needs something from someone, she always brings something of value to the table. You must give in order to get; everyone, men and women alike, can learn from such a simple strategy.
Manipulation is, in the simplest term, sales. To reach her goals, Claire sells her approach to people to gain what she needs. A master manipulator can sell something to someone that they don’t need or don’t even know they’re buying. If you’re being manipulated properly, you shouldn’t know it’s happening and Claire has mastered the art second to none. A female entrepreneur faces the same challenge – convincing someone they need something that they don’t know they need yet.
Claire is always five steps ahead of you. If you think you can one up her, you are wrong. If it seems like she’s given up, you’re also wrong. Claire’s timing is impeccable and her logic never fails. She constantly surprises us with her tactics, as any good businesswoman should. And if someone has wronged her in the past, she won’t let that incident interfere with her ambitions, nor Frank’s.
While all of these attributes make Claire an amazing and successful woman in every part of her life, she’s human. Claire doesn’t hide behind a façade of strength to accommodate for the flaws that make her human. Instead she uses these things to her advantage, because no matter how strong you are, it’s important to remember you’re human as well. Claire is passionate, emotional, and has needs just like the rest of us. But these are all qualities that allow her to reach her full potential.
When Claire was confronted with her sordid past on abortion and sexual assault on national television, she spun her story into a political campaign and took down a four star general responsible for her assault. True, she did twist and omit parts of her story, but in the end she used a terrible part of her past to get justice and created something to help many more. Knowing your weaknesses is one thing, but using them to your advantages makes you dangerous.
Claire never dwells on things that aren’t useful to her. It can be a former lover or a traumatic past, but the woman never lets anything get to her. In the business world, a company or an idea may only be as strong as the chief executive projects themselves to be. It influences company morale, can affect the decisions of a potential investor, and determine what your own choices might be. Keeping a cool head is what most do, staying icy is Claire’s speciality.