Portrait of Grit and Grace: Penny Chenery Tweety

silk_optStonesIf you want to see a magnificent integration of gritty toughness and graceful dignity, watch Diane Lane’s portrayal of Penny Chenery Tweety in the movie, “Secretariat.” Horseracing was and is an industry dominated by men. Yet in the 1970’s, Mrs. Tweety achieved tremendous success in a man’s business.  If Lane’s portrayal is at all realistic, Mrs. Tweety inspired respect by addressing difficult issues head on. She took courageous risks and stood unshakable in her principles and intuition even amidst doubt and resistance from nearly everyone in her circle.  That’s grit.  Yet she also engendered devotion through the care and dignity with which she treated everyone around her – from the richest man in America to Secretariat’s groom to, apparently, Secretariat himself.

What about you?

  • What are the values and principles that you hold most dear as a person and as a leader?
  • What does it feel like to stand for those, even in the face of resistance?
  • What do you have to call upon to take that stand?
  • How do you stay rooted in your principles, while still remaining open and flexible?