Shannon Polson

Trailblazer. Attack Aviation Pilot. Corporate leader. MBA. MFA. Author. Mom of boys. Passionate community member.

At age nineteen, Shannon Huffman Polson became the youngest woman ever to climb Denali, the highest mountain in North America. She went on to reach the summits of Mt. Rainier and Mt. Kilimanjaro and spent more than a decade traveling the world. Yet it was her experience serving as one of the Army's first female attack helicopter pilots, leading two Apache flight platoons-- taking one on deployment to Bosnia-Herzegovina-- and a line company in Korea, that she learned the lessons of leadership she would take with her for the rest of her life.

Where did these insights come from? From her own crucibles of experience – and from other women. Writing The Grit Factor, Polson made it her mission to connect with an elite pack of tough, impressive female iconoclasts who shared their candid stories of combat and career. This decorated slate of leaders includes Heather Penney, one of the first female F-16 pilots who was put on a "suicide mission" for 9/11; General Ann Dunwoody, first female four-star general in the Army; Amy McGrath, first woman Marine to fly the F/A-18 in combat and a 2020 candidate for the US Senate – and dozens of other unstoppable women who got there first, including Polson herself.

These women led at the highest levels in the most complicated, challenging, and male-dominated organization in the world. Polson brings these voices together, sharing her own life lessons and theirs with storytelling flair, keen insight, and incisive analysis of current, relevant research.

With gripping narrative and relatable takeaways, The Grit Factor is both inspiring and pragmatic, a book that will energize and enlighten current and aspiring leaders everywhere – whether male or female. 

Watch Now: How 1 Army Veteran is Building a Community of Female Leaders



Women CFO Event: Book Club - “The Grit Factor: Courage, Resilience & Leadership in the Most Male-Dominated Organization in the World”


FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 6  |  11:00AM PT  - 12:00PM PT

Author Shannon Polson will be leading our Book Club discussing, answering your questions and learning about her latest book, “The Grit Factor”.

What does it take for women to succeed in a male-dominated world? The Grit Factor.
How does your organization lead through change, overcome resistance, and lead with authenticity and passion? What would it take for your team to find its purpose? How can your people connect to their own sense of grit? What would be different if your employees accepted the courage of ownership? 

Once you are registered for the book club event - I will be sending you questions that Shannon Polson, the author, has put together for you to think about and digest while reading and preparing for our time together on November 6th.


Insurance Services | Risk Management | Employee Benefits


Jen Scales

With more than 15 years of industry experience, Jen helps clients find the right combination of benefits solutions for their employees. As a trusted adviser to start-ups and Fortune 100 companies, she prides herself on listening to the struggles many clients face, learning about their business, and guiding them to a cohesive solution. In addition to employee benefits, Jen’s expertise includes consulting on executive liability and property and casualty insurance and risk management.

Jen is also focused and dedicated to engaging with women-led and women-owned businesses, and has created a nationwide network for female executives to gather, share ideas, and create community.


"The Grit Factor"
by Shannon Polson