Profiles tells the stories of young women who use the language of success to advance their ideals and emerge as leaders in their respective fields. To tell your story, contact Phyllis at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Erica Bryant, journalist
Carefully chosen words can change the world. Phyllis Mindell taught me this lesson when I was 15 years old and she sits on my shoulder as I write columns for the Democrat and Chronicle newspaper in Rochester, New York.
As a columnist, I aim to inform, inspire and persuade. My work matters most when done on behalf of the powerless — lead-poisoned toddlers, children languishing in dysfunctional schools, mentally ill people who are mistreated by the criminal justice system.
In such cases, powerful language is critical. If I ever wrote a sentence like this, “I think we should make landlords clean up lead hazards to protect children,” a little Phyllis would show up on my shoulder, frowning…
Business communication and the rigorous, organized thinking required for client engagements came fairly easily (with my Well-Read training and years of breaking down texts). However, Microsoft Excel skills were much tougher to acquire, which made it lucky that a charming analyst was willing to give me Saturday Excel tutorials. He quickly became my boyfriend, my partner and my rock, and, at long last from my family’s perspective, my husband. Our years have been filled with laughter and growth, luckily always together…