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Leadership: reaching the top of your career

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The question on which this talk revolves around is:

Why are there so many women mired in the middle and what has to happen in order to take them to the top?”

There is a missing 33 percent of the career success equation for women and it’s understanding what this missing 33 percent is what’s required to close the gender gap at the top.

In order to move up the rankings in most organizations, you have to be known for your leadership skills. What exactly are leadership skills?

 “Leadership is using the greatness in you to achieve and sustain extraordinary outcomes by engaging the greatness in others” said Susan Colantuono.

Three elements of Leadership:

  1. Personal greatness;
  2. Engaging the greatness in others;
  3. Business,strategic and financial acumen.

Well, there are primarily three reasons that there’s this missing 33 percent in the career success advice given to women. When organizations direct women towards resources that focus on conventional advice, there’s a notable absence of advice that relates to business, strategic and financial acumen.

Much of the advice is emphasizing personal actions that we need to take, like becoming more assertive, becoming more confident, developing your personal brand and virtually nothing said about the importance of business, strategic and financial acumen. This doesn’t mean that such advice is unimportant, but it’s not the advice that gets women to break through from the middle to senior and executive positions.

For example, one executive from the Global Company said

“I had two protégés: a man and a woman. I helped the woman build confidence and the man learn the business…I didn’t realize that I was treating them any differently.”

Whether we`re women or men, we all have our own mindsets about careers in leadership and this unexamined mindset won’t close the gender gap at the top.

What do we have to do, if we want more from our careers? We have to focus more on developing and demonstrating the skills we have and show that we understand our businesses, where they’re headed and our role in taking it there. That’s what enables that breakthrough from middle management to the top.

This talk is a must see if you want to find out more about the missing 33 percent and how to become more effective at your job and close the gender gap at the top.

More about Susan Colantuono

She is the CEO of Leading Women, a management consulting firm that empowers women. She works to uncover hidden gender bias and to help managers and executives think more deeply about the role gender plays in the workplace. She is the author of No Ceiling, No Walls: What women haven’t been told about leadership, which takes a close look at the conventional wisdom keeping women from rising from middle management.

Watch this incredibly entertaining TED Talk and find out how Susan Colantuono shares a simple, surprising piece of advice you might not have heard before.

Video source: S. Colantuono (2013), The career advice you probably didn’t get, TED Talks

The Business Environment: Motivation, Rewards & Incentives
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