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Shannon Polson | Leader, Veteran, Real Grit

"Leaders know to listen first."

Photo Credit: shannonpolson.com


S H A N N O N   P O L S O N

Trailblazer. Attack Aviation Pilot. Corporate leader. MBA. MFA. Author.

 

As one of the first women to fly the Apache helicopter in the U.S. Army, Polson's career spans almost a decade as an Army officer and attack aviation leader around the globe, as well as 5 years leading and managing in the corporate sector at Guidant and Microsoft. Polson is committed to leadership for lives that matter.

 

"I am passionate about empowering leaders at all stages of their careers. I am passionate about sharing stories that change lives. I am passionate about creation with the written word and I art. I am passionate about contribution."

 

Shannon never stopped looking for challenges. For over two years, she interviewed women in the vanguard of their military fields as part of what she has called The Grit Project to better understand shared stories and lessons in leadership in grit to inspire other leaders in ways she would have liked to be inspired herself. The Grit Institute is a culmination of that work toward the mission of collecting and providing resources for leader at all stages of their careers.

 


Join inspirational women Tuesday, August 7 at Bankers Life Fieldhouse for Inspiring Women Night with the Indiana Fever & Shannon Polson as their featured guest before they take on Seattle Storm!


 

We asked Shannon some questions about herself, her inspiration and about things we all think about.

WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU HAVE FOR WOMEN IN THE WORK FORCE OR WOMEN STARTING AN ORGANIZATION OR THEIR OWN BUSINESS?

The Grit ProjectRead The Grit Project!

These women broke into fields that weren’t usually ready for and overcame a lot of resistance. You’ll need to connect to your own grit for success in any endeavor, and that means doing the work to understand your own story and your own purpose.

Also: join The Grit Institute. I’m breaking out the top learnings from the women in the Grit Project in an online course meant for you!

SIGN UP FOR EMAILS ON SHANNONPOLSON.COM TO BE THE FIRST TO KNOW WHEN THE GRIT PROJECT COMES OUT

 

EXPLAIN YOUR VIEW OR APPROACH TO A HEALTH WORK/LIFE BALANCE

I’m having a hard time with this right now. Make space for the big rocks, as Covey says.

 

WHAT WAS YOUR VERY FIRST JOB?

I worked all through my childhood babysitting and I also sold greeting cards and wrapping paper door to door. The door to door sales is one of the best experiences I had for most everything later in life, by the way. I will always support a kid selling something if the kid makes the pitch, but not if the parent does it.

 

WHAT'S YOUR MEETING MUST HAVE?

A good agenda and consent agenda in advance. Also my moleskin notebook.

 

FAVORITE SOCIAL MEDIA PLATFORM? 

I’d like to say Twitter, but honestly I get the most traction on Facebook and LinkedIn.

 

HOW DO YOU KEEP YOUR SCHEDULE STRAIGHT?

Google calendar!

 

WHAT BEVERAGE KEEPS YOU GOING?

Butter coffee and an almond milk latte every morning.

 

WHAT'S YOUR THEME SONG/GET MOTIVATED/AT-BAT WALK UP SONG?

Ha! I have a blog post about why you need a fight sonG—mine is Danger Zone by Kenny Loggins. I play it every time as I prep for a speaking event!

 

WHAT THE BIGGEST TIME-SUCKER IN YOUR DAY?

Email and social media black holes.

 

WHAT'S THE BEST WAY TO BLOW OFF STEAM?

Boxing! I tried it for the first time a month or so ago and absolutely loved it! I wish we had a gym close to where I live.

 

CAN YOU SHARE AN INTERVIEW TIP?

Always make the interview about the interviewer. How are you going to help them meet their goals by what you offer? Also, have three takeaways you want to be sure to include decided on before you go in.

 

WHAT'S YOUR WORKPLACE PET-PEEVE?

Unnecessary meetings and people who aren’t looking out for the team.

 

WHAT'S THE BEST PIECE OF ADVICE YOU'VE EVER RECEIVED?

That’s a hard one. Save ten percent of everything yu make no matter what—that was my dad. Also: when you’re taking risks, you’re going to fail. You’re going to fall. Get back up and keep going. That’s what makes a winner. Getting up again and again and again.

 

 

P O L S O N ' S   B O O K S

NORTH OF HOPENORTH OF HOPE

Polson's debut memoir follows her adventure down a remote Arctic river retracing the last trip of her father and stepmother and coming face to face with their loss.

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The way the wild gets insideTHE WAY THE WILD GETS INSIDE

Essays exploring Polson's experience in the Alaskan wilderness and the charged relationship between humans and the wild.

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the road aheadTHE ROAD AHEAD

This collection of stories from veterans who have served as part of "The Forever War" includes Polson's "Brown Bird," her first published fiction.

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