Confident Like a Man

I had a meeting about 90 days ago with a knowledgeable woman who specializes in placing people on Corporate Boards. She works with individuals to build their resumes, coaches them on the types of opportunities that would make them more attractive candidates and ultimately puts them in touch with the networks where Corporate Board of Director searches take place. It’s a fascinating field and a growing need as corporate America ages and the need for succession planning takes place at all levels. We had a great meeting and while I don’t see myself seeking a role on a Corporate Board in the short term, it’s an interesting long-term prospect. As we concluded our meeting, I asked her for a realistic assessment; In 5 – 10 years would I be a viable candidate for a Board of Directors? Her reply?


My Oldest Son shows off his feminine side


Yes, you can definitely be a strong candidate. You’re different from most women I meet. You’re confident like a man.

Whoa! What exactly does that mean? Was she referring to my tendency toward short straight-forward answers? Or was their something that hinted at my capacity to argue it out in the conference room and then go have a beer with my opponent? I hadn’t put my feet up on the table nor did I take the newspaper to the restroom. But as I thought about her comment and the context in which she offered it, I realized that she meant it quite complimentary.

Okay. So what about it? How did I get confident like a man?

In thinking about it and looking at the calendar, I have to turn to the man with all the influence over such things – my Dad. While there was probably a little too much “suck it up, don’t cry, be tough” in our house, there was a heaping dose of “you can do and be whatever you want with hard work and tenacity”. And when some of those things that I worked for didn’t come easily and I was on the bench, there was always the adage “be prepared for when the opportunity does present itself”.

On this day and always I’m in awe of the man who owns the roots of my competitiveness and my character. He’s a man’s man who thrives on watching athletic competition, has caused his daughters to know that they can be whoever they want as long as they remember where they’ve come from, and then sneaks away to his computer to write a poem. It’s an amazing gift and one that I hope I can pass along to my own children. Happy Fathers Day Dad!

Huevos a la Flamenca (Dad’s favorite)

Serves 4
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/4 lb. chorizo or smoked ham or canned black beans, rinsed
  • 2 sweet red peppers, chopped
  • 3/4 lb ripe tomatoes, skinned and seeded
  • 1.5 Tbs sherry
  • 3/4 cup peas, shelled
  • 1/4 lb green beans, snapped in 1 inch pieces
  • 8 large eggs
  • pinch of cayenne
  • salt
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and warm a baking dish.
Heat oil in a skillet and soften the onion slowly. Add the garlic and push to the sides of the pan. If using meat, fry the chorizo or ham until colored and remove. Add the peppers and tomato to the pan and allow them to reduce, stirring occasionally.  Add the sherry. In a separate pan cook peas and the beans and add them to the tomato mixture.
Transfer the vegetable mixture to the casserole dish. Distribute the meat or black beans evenly. Swirl the eggs with a fork without over mixing. Add the cayenne and salt and pour them over the vegetable mixture. Bake for 10 – 15 minutes until the eggs are just set.
Leave a comment


  1. Hello My Dear!

    Was the Spanish village the home to the Santa Lucia Tribe? 🙂

    You are remarkable. I feel more than confident when I am in your company. Anything you set out to do, because of your grace and strength, you shall prosper.

    I too, am considering joining the Board of Directors at The Franciscan Renewal Center. A Masters, a college education, long-term experience in the corporate world is not a necessary experience. They are seeking people with a heart, a love for nature, for animals, for paza de bien
    (peace and good). I am thrilled and joyful to fill out my application.

    I will try your father’s favorite. Let us know what village.

    Love to all of you. Happy Father’s Day to the Strong and Graceful Fathers that have come before us, are with us presently, and will father in the future … even if it is to a frog 🙂

    Luana Webb

    • No, this Spanish village is actually in Spain – near Granada. Good luck on your application to the Renewal Center. I’ve heard it’s an amazing place.

  2. Tammy – another thing we share – an amazing dad! I heard once that the one thing every successful businesswoman had in common was a father who provided them mentoring and guiding. I know I sure did.

    I did very well in my corporate job and think the compliment you received was one I might get too. I think part of what is associated with “maleness” in business is the logical/analytical approach. I think both ways of being are helpful, but I know in a business environment I found a more rational, logic-based approach (that I think is irrespective of gender) did feel more productive and easier to me.

    Thanks for another great post!

    • Yes, it’s definitely more of a head over heart thing that is often not associated with women. Thanks Diane.

  3. A wonderful and sunny egg dish! Yummy.

    Happy Father’s Day!



  4. Bonnie

     /  June 20, 2010

    Personally, I think you are confident like a woman…but in honor of Father’s Day, it is great to see you confident like a man. Am loving your blog. Keep up the good work. Have a great day with your family. Miss you!!

  5. SAlly Mom

     /  June 20, 2010

    Tammy, I am never disappointed in your blog and look forward to Sunday mornings and hope to find you there.
    I love the woman you have become and all you have strived for creates an arena for most women to emulate and achieve.
    Your Dad has done an awesome job as a Father and I am sure is satisfied in all the aspirations he had for you. And then some!
    I know wht I am having for dinner tonite. Yum, thank you Dear heart.
    Have a Beautiful Day,

  6. You ain’t nothing like a dame!
    Nothing, in the world
    Your arguments are sound and sane . . .
    You ain’t anything like a dame! : )

  7. I agree that it was meant as a compliment. However, I’d be just as likely to describe you as “strong like a woman”–wise, intuitive, feeling and pragmatic. (Knowing you in the distant way that I do!) We’ll know we’ve really arrived when that descriptor sounds positive to men and women alike. There’s no either/or. Your father sounds like he cared deeply about your happiness and success. What a gift.

    • I agree with you and Bonnie that “strong like a woman or confident like a woman” resonate more. It just simply wasn’t the way the conversation went however. And yes, I’m blessed.

  8. Kathleen Bartolomei

     /  June 20, 2010

    My dear … you always warms the cockles of my heart, and recharge my wild brain!

    I, too, had a ‘father of daughters’! He took us camping one summer to toughen us dainty girls up. We laughed when he announced, “I’m going to teach you how to cuss, spit tobacco, and play poker!” The car was packed quicker, for sure!

    It was more typical of past camping trips when we just played Rummy and swam and hiked and sang around the campfire. But I never forgot that declaration!

    Nor the time when he came back from Shell HQ, and shared that he was respected as a leader with a gentle servant’s heart. He knew how to inspire others to ‘just be honest’ and do better than their fair share, which, at home meant helping unload the groceries or pitch in when it was simply our time in the barrel to make life better or easier for others. Our allowance wasn’t even part of the equation. It was simply a buck a week to spend and save responsibly.

    We all learned Dad’s lessons! My sisters and cousins (all girls + two boys in our generation) call it the ‘family curse’ since we all seem to be out there holding our foot in the door for others, running great organization, and turning any event into a community builder.

    As much as I would have loved to have had a brother, I’m glad Dad knew how to teach us how to use tools, whether a screwdriver to put together a bookcase, or the way to torque just the right idea, and correct the direction of a strategy gone awry, and get an organization or a community back on course.

    Thank you for the moment to appreciate a father who taught me how to become the woman I am today! How sad he never lived long enough to watch me making footprints in the sands of time!

    Btw … the brilliant template you shared opened a new conversation. More to come after meetings early this week! Mille grazie!

    • Now what could pack a car faster than spitting tobacco, cussing and playing poker? What a fabulous invitation and I do hope you will write about it.

  9. A lovely egg’s dish!!

    MMMMMMMMM,…and what a lovely written post!

  10. doodi

     /  June 21, 2010

    Thanks for liking my blog! I look forward to making those eggs your Dad likes… my kind of stuff. Go CSA! We “did in” a flock of chickens today.. Squawk!

  11. I love the idea of adding black beans to an egg dish. That looks great.

  12. What a lovely tribute to your dad! I think we don’t think often enough how certain people have influenced who we are. I know I am a mix of my mom and dad (hopefully, only the very best parts, but well, that’s a bit unrealistic!) and try to do them proud. I think as woman, we have it tough. You want to be ‘confident like a man’ but still maintain what it is that makes us WOMAN. Sounds like you’ve managed to do that beautifully! Bravo! 🙂

  13. Hi Tammi,
    I agree you’re confident like a woman. She hasn’t met all of your blogging buddies yet. We’d change her mind;)

  14. Lisa H

     /  June 22, 2010

    The compliment was given for lack of a better word. You exhibit confidence, intelligence, a great sense of humor and compassion. Your zest for life and never ending search for knowledge keeps you young and grounded.
    Like you, I was blessed with a father who encouraged his daughters to pursue our interests, not because it was a “guy” or “girl” thing, but because we wanted to learn something different or it was a skill we needed to learn for when we were out on our own (like changing a car tire). In our house the motto was “It will put hair on your chest!” when things were tough or didn’t turn out exactly as planned.
    Your father is so lucky to have a wonderful daughter. You have made each other proud!

  15. That’s an interesting statement, but effective actually (like Lisa said, in lack of a better word) 🙂

    Love your son’s photo, resembles the one where my fiancé has a flower hairpin in his hair 😛

  16. Angel

     /  June 22, 2010

    Thank you for visiting my blog and leaving your lovely comment. I hope your Dad had a happy fathers day, he sounds a wonderful man.

    My father is ex-military and very no nonsense but he has always been there for me. He used to tell my sister and I a similar thing, we could do and be anything we wanted, the only thing stopping us was the opportunity not presenting itself.

    Love your blog by the way.

    Take care,

  17. This really makes me think of my relationship with my dad who taught me to be strong and competitive…. I know I had to thanks my parents on who I am today. This post really touch me.
    The recipe seems interesting and delicious. I will have to try it.
    Have a nice day,

  18. looks like a great recipe!

  19. Its a comment on our society that men have confidence, whereas strong women are loud or aggressive. I know what she was trying to say too, but it reflected more about her own gender stereotypes than anything! I too had a father of daughters, and I miss him every day. You recipe looks wonderful, will definitely try the veggie version!

  20. Firstly, thanks for your comment on my blog! I look forward to reading more on yours 🙂

    I don’t know how I would’ve responded to that compliment. I guess that like yourself, I don’t know that I would’ve accepted it as a compliment right off the bat. 🙂

  21. I really like how you turned this into a compliment and a piece about your Dad – and took the positive out of the statement, and the picture of your son getting in touch with his feminine side added to the twist.

    Ying and yang of the universe eh (:

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