With Mary Barra being named the first female CEO at GM and Janet Yellen taking the helm for the Federal Government, there is no denying the fact that women in leadership business roles are increasing. Sure, the pace of advancement might not be as fast as we would like it, but the upward trajectory indicates a move in the right direction. Following are three (3) tips for facilitating our upward mobility and presence in the C suite during 2014.
- Stop asking for permission to succeed. Yes, you read that correctly. Women seem to defer to men when it comes to creating opportunities to lead in the work place. By solving a problem that had been plaguing your department/company for some time is a sure fire way to fast-forward your promotion into a leadership role. Women seem to ignore an opportunity to take the bull by the horns and create a solution to a work problem without being assigned the task. If you ask for permission to demonstrate your leadership skills one of two things will more than likely happen; permission will not be granted or somebody else (usually a male) will seize the opportunity while your request slowly climbs up the corporate food chain, waiting to be addressed by management.
- Make your work contribution known to those who can advocate for your advancement. Many women allow others to take credit for their work believing this makes them a “team” player. This is insane. Allowing others to be given recognition for your hard work and intellectual prowess doesn’t make you a team player or help advance your career. All it does is allow your work and role to be potentially undervalued and ignored. Promotions at work begin with self-promotion (in a politically savvy way of course).
- Go to happy hour instead of being the last one to leave the office. Gaining access to the right people via informal networking opportunities such as happy hour, especially when upper management is present, will do more to catapult your career into a leadership position than slaving away at the office being the “good girl.” Of course I am not suggesting you ignore deadlines but let common sense be your guide. Do you have more to gain by staying behind working in isolation or is your work and advancement better served by gaining access to the right people, in the right venue at the right time?
Don’t fall into the trap that many women do into thinking that their work will speak for itself. It won’t and it is your responsibility to make sure your contribution to your team and company is acknowledged. A light hidden under a bushel throws off no light! Get it?!
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