Chutzpah, a Yiddish word that used to have a negative connotation, is a virtue in the modern business world, at least for some of us. A man with ‘chutzpah’ is bold, determined, utterly self-confident. Probably he’s a great salesman.
Meanwhile, women are still wary of showing chutzpah. We’re forever worried about being considered pushy — or worse. Women with chutzpah make enemies, we think: ask Jill Abramson, the (former) executive editor of the New York Times.
But without chutzpah women are disadvantaged. I see this often in political candidates. They have charm to spare, but charm gets precisely no one elected. Political candidates want to win. What provides the muscle behind that desire? Chutzpah. It’s the nerve to ask for what you want.