Episode 219: Meet the Meanest Woman Alive – Linda Smith

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"Empirical studies show that companies with more women in their executive ranks and on their board of directors significantly outperform companies with fewer or no women in those positions."

Linda Smith

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Over her 40+ year career, Linda Smith has reached the summit of the legal profession. She’s litigated on behalf of IBM and Intel, and dealt with male egos as big as Michael Dell’s and Mick Jagger’s without ever breaking a stride.

Linda is also a blogger and author at MeanestWomanAlive.com. She writes about confronting gender stereotypes, self-sabotage, alpha males, and how to seize and hold on to leadership positions. She believes that women should abandon the societal norms dictated by men and use their own playbook – as well as uniquely feminine advantages – to dominate in business.

Today, Linda joins the podcast to discuss that playbook, Smashing Glass and Kicking Ass: Lessons from the Meanest Woman Alive. We talk about why a lack of women in leadership roles holds both women and great companies back, the potentially traumatic experiences that helped Linda become who she is today, and what “mean” really means.


  • How Linda became known as the Meanest Woman Alive – and why her clients love that title.
  • Why Linda thinks a lot of talented women quit, get fired, or get stuck in middle management instead of making it to the top of their field.
  • Why confidence beats competence in almost every situation – and how to take risks and successfully perform new skills, even when they terrify you.
  • The reasons business culture glorifies male egos – and how women can use their empathy, thoughtfulness, and emotional intelligence to get ahead.


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