ARIANNA’S THREAD. The rules of life and leadership of the founder of the media portal The Huffington Post Arianna Huffington
The career path of Greek-American journalist Arianna Huffington, the founder of The Huffington Post Media Group, has been a bumpy one, and her experience varied and instructive. It can be called a “roller coaster”, because the ups and downs followed one after the other, not giving an opportunity to rest and gain strength.
Huffington published successful books, knocked over the thresholds of editions, receiving three dozen rejections in a row, then fought in 2003 for the post of governor of California with Arnold Schwarzenegger and lost. Then she took the fifth place with an underweight of only 0.55% of the vote and was very sad about this.
Nevertheless, Arianna Huffington has always found that very saving thread leading to success. She entered her name in the golden thirty of the most influential women in the media and not only, flashing her trademark smile from the covers of glossy magazines.“Money and power by themselves are like a two- legged stool – you can balance on it for a while, but eventually you are going to topple over. And more and more people – very successful people – are toppling over”. This phrase Arianna Huffington uttered at the very beginning of her career. She left her native Athens because she began studying at the University of Cambridge in England. In 1972, the girl received a master’s degree in economics.
Arianna was actively filled with knowledge and made new useful acquaintances. In the 70s, she already began her career as a publicist and a journalist, tried to take part in all civic events and was always in sight. For example, while still improving her English, a young Greek woman became the first foreigner to become the president of a discussion club.
“I must admit that our culture still does not accept powerful, flamboyant, straightforward women,” said Arianna Huffington. “We identify power with masculinity, and even ruthlessness – all these are traits with which women are afraid to identify themselves, because then we will be called “cheeky”, “intrusive” and “harsh”. It is not surprising that women are often afraid to come forward, take the situation into their own hands, express their point of view”.
Soon she published a book The Feminine Woman, in which she spoke out negatively about feminism and LGBT people. The book caused a sensation, and Arianna Huffington became notorious.
And she even spoke about this: “Today, “insolent” women are no longer declared witches, we just call them “hysteric”. And if they demand what society finds unpleasant, difficult or dangerous, we reject their point of view as irrational or overly emotional”.
Soon, in 1980, Arianna Huffington moved to the United States and immediately realized that all her British achievements were behind. In America, you had to start your journey anew. Arianna did everything like the first time – she wrote a book. But that time – about the life of Maria Callas, an American singer of Greek origin.
Having received a calling and a pass to high society parties, she meets her future husband, millionaire Michael Huffington, who made a fortune in the oil business. And if at first Arianna fiercely defended the views of the Democrats, now she has become a supporter and mouthpiece of the Republican Party. After all, Michael was in it.
“We strive for wealth, expecting that it will help overcome fear, but sometimes relentless pursuit of money is just a manifestation of other fears,” Arianna Huffington expresses self-irony.
When she finished work on the book about Picasso, a scandal erupted. However, very different sense than Mrs. Huffington expected. A certain Lydia Gasman caught the overly proactive writer of plagiarism and called her an “intellectual kleptomaniac”.
She illegally used pieces from an unpublished dissertation by Gasman in her work. Despite the fact that the billionaire’s wife stole years of work from her, the offended woman generously refused to sue.
The story is said to have negatively affected Michael Huffington’s career and cost him a Senate seat. “Fearless women are united by the understanding that much is still ahead and there will be even more obstacles, even more risks, even more failures, that they have to gain even more weight, rejoice in the next success, plant new trees,” Arianna wrote in her next book and began to work with even more zealously.
She has now immersed herself in developing her political blogging site and news aggregator, The Huffington Post, which opened in 2005. With the sale of it to the American media group AOL for $ 315 million, it became a thriving Internet company. Arianna Huffington not only retained the leadership of the resource, but also continued to publish books.
“I worked eighteen hours a day, seven days a week – I was developing my business, expanding my audience, looking for investors. But I realized that I was not in control of my life”. The grueling work finally exhausted her: due to chronic lack of sleep and exhaustion, Huffington lost consciousness, fell, broke a cheekbone and damaged an eye. This is how her “lightest” book, Thrive, appeared.
She continues to be active, recording TED videos, but now they will be about the health of a woman leader, finding herself, the importance of sleep and rest, meditation. “We are so diligently seizing on free minutes in order to squeeze in even more meetings, conferences, business trips that we cease to exist in the “here and now” mode. We plan our life, but we don’t live it,” says Huffington.
It looks like she can finally legally rest on her laurels and devote herself to relaxation. After all, the brainchild of Arianna Huffington – the site Huffingtonpost.com – has already entered the top hundred most visited resources on the world Internet and even received the Pulitzer Prize.