Credit Due: Taylor Swift’s Advice About Power and Female Friendship

Gloria Feldt
4 min readApr 23, 2024


Issue 257 — April 22, 2024

I’m listening to Taylor Swift’s new album, The Tortured Poets Department, looking for inspiration for my more-or-less weekly column, “The Sum.” As in the sum of the week, what it means or what I learned about my favorite topics — women, power, and leadership — from whatever happened during the past week.

The last couple of weeks for me were all Beyonce all the time with the release and immediate race to the top of the C&W charts of her album Cowboy Carter. (How many versions of dancing to “Texas Hold ‘Em” have you seen on social media so far? I’m obsessed.)

Then this past week was Taylor Swift all the way.

When I stumbled upon this Thread post by Wharton School professor and author of some of my favorite books on organizational leadership, Adam Grant, it made me think less about the music and more deeply about the much-touted friendship between the two music megastars.

I certainly agree with the premise. As I wrote in my book Intentioning: Sex, Power, Pandemics, and How Women Will Take The Lead for (Everyone’s) Good, successful leaders need to believe in the infinite pie rather than assume a scarcity of resources.

To Grant’s last line “Giving credit to others doesn’t undermine you. It elevates them,” I would add that giving credit also elevates you, because:

a) It shows your generosity and humanity which in turn attracts people to you;

b) There is no finite pie of credit to be earned or shared.

c) Both parties benefit from the amplifier effect. The more there is, the more there is.

Taylor Swift and Beyoncé amplify each other. And Intentional Women Lift Each Other Up.

There are many ways to do this. You don’t have to be a celebrity to make a difference for other women and yourself by amplifying each other and giving credit where it is due. As grateful as I am to Beyonce and Taylor for role modeling mutual support, female friendship, and how to amplify each other’s talent, the reality is that many or most of us don’t have their cultural icon and influencer status.

So here is an example most of us would find relatable.

When I asked Dr. Nancy O’Reilly, Clinical Psychologist, Author, Philanthropist, Founder of Women Connect 4 Good Foundation if there was ever a time when she was discouraged about whether she could achieve her intention, she replied, “When I was working on my doctorate, there were eight of us women in the program and we called ourselves the psych sisters. When one of us thought we weren’t going to make it, we always had the support of the others. Many people dropped out of the program — their names would suddenly be gone from their mailboxes — but because we had each other’s support, we were able to make it through.”

Dr. Nancy shares my belief that it’s important for women not just to help other women individually but to advance women’s equality in society overall. She started her foundation because she had felt so often that she didn’t have a voice and she wanted to use what she had learned to help other women who were struggling to find their power, position, purpose, or voice.

“There is something amazing when a woman helps another woman,” she says. “Every single day, lift another woman up. It can be small or big.”

You can download Dr. Nancy’s “The Lift List” and get 52 weeks of simple actions that will “help you step into your power, increase your impact, and build an environment where every person is valued, respected, and equally compensated. Our action goes further together.”

Looping back to connect with Adam Grant’s comment that no one is really self-made, Swift has said admiringly that Beyonce is a “great disrupter” of the music industry. “She taught every artist how to flip the table and challenge archaic business practices.”

Beyonce, winner of the most Grammy awards of all time, showed her respect when she came immediately to Taylor’s defense after Kanye West interrupted her concert.

To the media’s penchant for pitting the two against each other as though they were contestants for that assumed finite pie of fame, Taylor observed, “Clearly it’s very lucrative for the media and [fan] culture to pit two women against each other, even when those two artists in question refuse to participate in that discussion.”

And here’s one last piece of advice from Taylor Swift, who knows her power and the power of the infinite pie:

“Never be so politе you forget your power.”

GLORIA FELDT is the Cofounder and President of Take The Lead, a motivational speaker, a global expert in women’s leadership development and DEI for individuals and companies that want to build gender balance. She is a bestselling author of five books, most recently Intentioning: Sex, Power, Pandemics, and How Women Will Take The Lead for (Everyone’s) Good. Honored as Forbes 50 Over 50, and Former President of Planned Parenthood Federation of America, she is a frequent media commentator. Learn more at and Find her @GloriaFeldt on all social media.



Gloria Feldt

Gloria Feldt is a New York Times bestselling author and co-founder and president of Take The Lead, a nonprofit women’s leadership organization.