Shonda Rhimes – Image from Billboard.com

Yes, I know that I’m a tad bit late in posting this, but a few weeks ago screenwriter Shonda Rhimes killed off her central and much-loved character, Dr. Derek Shepherd, on her hit TV show Grey’s Anatomy.

There was, as expected, lots of shock around this decision — and fans are still trying to wrap their heads around the loss of McDreamy weeks later.

But what struck me most about the Grey’s Anatomy season finale wasn’t the death of Derek. It was that, had one woman stood up to her boss, Derek Shepherd would still be alive.

As we watch Derek mentally narrate the last 20 minutes of his life while unable to speak, we’re introduced to a female ER doctor who makes the suggestion to her male superior that they perform a CT scan. The doctor immediately shoots her down. Derek knows that she’s right, but can’t speak up to let them know.

Then, Derek acknowledges that her recommendation is being dismissed because she’s a woman.

In his mind, Derek keeps urging the female doctor to stand her ground. The look on her face suggests that she really does want to, but her lack of confidence and self-security in her role makes her hold her tongue.

Finally, a skilled male neurosurgeon comes into the room and asks why didn’t they do what the female doctor had suggested. At this point, it’s too late.

It may not have been a life or death situation, but as a working woman, how many times have you just gone with the flow because your male coworker’s voice had a bit more authority? How many times have you made a suggestion that was overlooked, and didn’t speak up because you didn’t want to ruffle any feathers?

Every time we step away from our values, our self-confidence takes a hit. When we fail to speak up, we’re hurting ourselves. We’re killing our careers.

My grandmother used to tell me, “When you know what you know, you know. Nothing else matters.”

Stand up for yourself. If your boss doesn’t value your voice, it’s time to find a new employer. You worked hard for your knowledge. You have a voice and it matters.

Don’t be a killer. Don’t bring death to your career because you’re afraid to speak up — especially when you know that you’re right.

If your fear of speaking up is keeping you from enjoying a Passion-Filled Career, join me on the Path To A Passion-Filled Career LIVE Online Career Training.  We’ll spend time breaking through your personal barriers to get you to the career YOU deserve.

The first class is launching Monday, June 01 at 9 PM EST.

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