November 21 2017
Eight years after a terrible turkey trot experience, this runner is grateful for the lesson it taught.
There’s a beautiful moment at the end of the book in which Vivien is confronted by the decisions she’s made and realizes that, without specifically meaning to, she set a positive example for young women she didn’t realize were paying attention to her. “I really want people to take away the message of hope, and that it is possible to succeed with honor,” Shaz said. “You should not compromise your morals or your integrity to achieve something. It’s difficult to do that, and it does take courage.
“Early in my career, one of my colleagues said, ‘You know, you’re a really good person. That might hurt you in being able to succeed.’ One of the things that was important to me [for this book] was showing a character who, no matter what, even though it might have been more convenient to take a different path, she really maintains her integrity. You don’t want somebody who’s going to abandon their values to accomplish a certain goal in business.”
She might never have envisioned gaining fame for her business prowess, but as one of the first female executives in the sports industry, Shaz has attracted attention in the business world for years. Her captive audience now includes her 6-year-old daughters, who will look to her as a direct role model in the years ahead. For them—and for all of her young female admirers—Shaz is cautiously optimistic about what the future holds. “I really hope my daughters don’t have to deal with some of the same challenges; but it’s also unrealistic to expect that everything’s going to be different,” Shaz said. “But when it comes to opportunities for women, there’s more of a variety and there are a lot more female entrepreneurs today. Hopefully we’ll see even more in the next few years.”
To learn more about Shaz Kahng and The Closer, visit the Ceiling Smashers website.