When Cari Coats was just 25 years old, she thought she had made it in her dream career. She was a cohost on a nationally syndicated television show with great ratings. Then one day her cohost quit leaving the network an opportunity for a new hire. Cari was confused to find that the man they had hired had far less experience and credentials to show for himself but was being started with the same salary she earned herself.

When she brought this issue to the forefront in the late 1980s her boss informed her, “A lot of little girls who would like your job Cari.”

The next day she resigned, in what she calls a gritty and graceful manner. Cari’s journey led her to the Orlando Chamber of Commerce and then to the second person hired in the professional sports startup franchise- The Orlando Magic. 16 years later she was one of the highest ranking woman in professional sports.

Cari Coats Grit & Grace

Today she’s living her authenticity out as the co-founder and managing partner of Accendo Leadership Advisory Group, a leadership strategy firm with advisory services for leadership development.

She encourages starters to “put your leader on shout,” and lead with grit and grace.

She is a champion for women, serving on the board for Bajalia International group, a woman-owned, fair-trade wholesale distributor of artisan goods sourced from underdeveloped nations, as well as Athena PowerLink Orlando, a mentoring program for high-growth, women-owned businesses among many others.

She reminds all the boss ladies, “We are not men in skirts!” and that being a woman in the corporate setting is a unique and beautiful thing to claim and be. Her journey has been full of intuitive moves that include her femininity rather than shying away from it. “You don’t have to leave female behind.”

So go ahead Dear Rockstar, spend some time with Cari Coats- a woman who rocks whatever she touches. And let her resiliency and determination inspire you.

You were born for this, and the sooner you own your truths, the sooner you’ll find success in life and in your ventures.

Find Cari on LinkedIn.

Cari Coats with Mayor Buddy Dyer, Grit and Grace
More Episodes

Grit & Grace: My Mantra