Most Powerful Women

A tough boss's secret behind her style

May 15, 2013: 11:24 AM ET

Christine Quinn, the mayoral candidate contending to become the first woman in charge of New York City, isn't shy about displaying her true self to the public. She proved that this week by disclosing that she battled bulimia and alcoholism for 10 years until entering a rehab clinic at age 26.

That revelation is stunning—particularly in light of what Quinn, 46, said on Monday at the Fortune Most Powerful Women dinner about learning to accept her own style: loud, volatile, hot-headed and lots of other things that leaders, especially women, are not supposed to be.

This two-minute clip of Quinn talking with me will make any tough boss feel a little better about her--or his--style of leadership:

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About This Author
Pattie Sellers
Pattie Sellers
Senior Editor at Large, Fortune
Executive Director of MPW/Live Content, Time Inc.

Pattie Sellers has written more than 20 Fortune cover stories including "Marissa Mayer: Ready to Rumble at Yahoo," "Muhtar Kent's New Coke," "Oprah's Next Act", "The $100 Billion Woman" (Melinda Gates), and "Gone with the Wind" (Ted Turner). She co-founded Fortune Most Powerful Women and oversees the Fortune MPW Summit, the preeminent gathering of women leaders in business and beyond—and programs such as Fortune MPW Entrepreneurs and the Fortune-U.S. State Department Global Women Leaders Mentoring Partnership. Pattie also develops Live Content across Time Inc. Her blog, Postcards, is about how power players lead and navigate their careers. Pattie won Time Inc.'s prestigious MVP award for her performance in 2012.

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