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The Refined Collective Podcast

Aug 24, 2020

Dr. Sasha Shillcutt is a nationally renowned cardiac anesthesiologist and has witnessed gender-bias in her field. She’s also seen women withdraw and conceal their leadership. We ended up having a completely different conversation than we had planned because we started chatting about the idea of ‘bossiness.’ Do you ever stop and think of how many times you say “I’m sorry” throughout the day to make others feel more comfortable and diminish your own experience? We dive into why that is.


It’s Okay to be Bossy

  • We chat about how our tendency to apologize for everything dims our own light .
  • “We constantly have to ask ourselves: do we have permission to be ourselves today?”
  • Even if we call someone out on inappropriate behavior, we can fall into saying, “I’m sorry, but…” Dr. Sasha now says, “Can you repeat that?” You shouldn’t have to apologize to make someone else feel better about their inappropriate behavior.
  • “Being bossy saves lives. Taking action saves lives.”


Two Strategic Ways to Lead Like a Boss

  1. Leading statements
  • When you’re going into an assertive position, this is what you have to do: for the next five minutes you’re going to clearly define where you see [whatever project you’re working on] and you’re doing it this way so you can share clearly your stance.
  • If you anticipate getting emotional, say, “I’m not upset; I’m just super passionate about this.”
  1. The next time you’re in a room where a woman asserts herself, affirm her!


Four Ways to Negotiate Like a Boss (Even When You Don’t Know What You’re Doing)

  1. Know your non-negotiables and your bottom line
  • Get clear on the things that you will NOT do
  • Be willing to walk away from something good because you know you’re worth something amazing
  1. Realize your power
  • Start talking with women about how much you’re making
  • Sallie Krawcheck, the CEO and co-founder of Ellevest shared, “61% of womenwould rather talk about their own death than talk about money.”
  1. Know what the other party wants from you
  • How do you know what the other party wants?
  • What are the 3 highest goals for me this year?
  • How do you optimize yourself in those 3 areas?
  • There’s power in being the candidate that negotiates
  • As women, we just feel grateful we got the job
  1. Think long-term
  • This breakthrough will support future women
  • “I’m not just negotiating for Sasha, I’m negotiating for my family, my daughters coming behind me, my friends who are women. I’m negotiating for all of them and that empowers me.”



  • Keep up with Dr. Sasha Shillcutt at com and on IG at @becomebraveenough.
  • You can buy Dr. Sasha’s book, Between Grit and Grace: The Art of Being Feminine and Formidable, here.



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