Tag Archives: Success

LIKED ENOUGH

IMG_0057Steve Jobs once said, “If you want to make everyone happy, don’t be a leader, sell ice cream”.

The qualities we tend to like in women (modesty, humility) are not the qualities that get professional recognition. Qualities we tend to like in men (self-confidence, assertiveness, asking directly for what you want) are the same qualities we uphold in the business world.

Caring too much about what others think of you stifles your ability to take risks and disrupts your social satisfaction. While you can’t control what other people think of you, you can control what you think of yourself and how you respond towards those who judge you.

People you work with do not need to like you.

People you work with need to respect you.

Strong leaders treat everyone well, but their actions are focused on the organization’s mission, vision, and goals rather than getting everyone to like them.

Be comfortable with the fact that not everyone will like you at work, in your neighborhood, and in your community activities; they never will.

Jesus, Gandhi, and Mother Teresa weren’t liked by everyone. So how can you and I possibly expect to attain 100% adoration? If we try to achieve that, we’ll bend and flex so much no one will know what we stand for – including ourselves. Be true to yourself and your values. It’s important that YOU like yourself and what you stand for. When that happens, others will stand with you.

Liz Weber

Your story, our platform: If you’ve got a story and would like to share it with other Femflectors, please let us know. Femflection is all about transferring learnings to help others, be they big or subtle. We want to connect with your feelings, your learnings, your reflections or your hopes for the future – in blog or interview format. Express yourself here. Get in touch with us via anja.uitdehaag@femflection.com

For more content visit our website http://www.femflection.com

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Lindsay’s In Business: PART 41: Is this TURNAROUND?

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What happens when you realise your path is entrepreneurship rather than employment? Lindsay takes up the challenge and shares an account of her journey as it unfolds…

And then – all at once, an unrelated series of pick-me-ups came in!! Is this it? Is this the start of a turnaround? Continue reading

Good Work isn’t enough! 

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By: Anja Uitdehaag 

Even if you’re on the right track, you’ll get run over if you just sit there.

~ Will Rogers ~

Much more than men, women held to the belief that doing good work – great work even – is enough to climb the corporate ladder. But the reality is, in today’s competitive work environment, being bright, hard working, and having a positive attitude aren’t enough. Capabilities like intuition, nurturing others and strong interpersonal skills are important but they won’t help you be sufficiently recognized for your work.

Success is not only about the caliber of your work.

Hard work and good work are the expected standards. You need to go above and beyond that if you want to stand out from the crowd. Visibility is just as important as ability. If nobody knows how great your work is, it’s not going to get you anywhere. If you aren’t proactive about reporting your accomplishments, you’ll never get recognized for your good work.

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Lindsay’s In Business: PART 28: First case study results – it WORKS!

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What happens when you realise your path is entrepreneurship rather than employment? Lindsay takes up the challenge and shares an account of her journey as it unfolds…

I don’t know where to start. My world has changed and I’m singing in the sun!! 😊 (metaphorically – although I could just easily go outside and do that right now)

You know when your world has really changed for the better because factually, you are fully aware what’s new, yet the way you feel about it continues to evolve. First, it’s a surprise, a high, an amazing euphoric rush and you can’t stop smiling. Then it’s a warm reassurance as the implications begin to hit home. And still, a week later, it’s gratitude that this ever came to pass…

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OVERCOMING OBSTACLES

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By: Anja Uitdehaag

“If you can find a path without obstacles, it probably doesn’t lead anywhere” – Frank A. Clark.

Life is all about having purpose, meaning and about being productive.

We all have the ability to do whatever we want with our lives. We, also, all face obstacles in every facet of life, work included.

Everyone struggles in everyday life in one way or another.

It is easy to let setbacks define us but it is also critical to learn from them. Too often people tend to focus on what is not right instead of figuring out how to make things right.

Our mind is a survival tool whose primary focus is to keep us safe and in our comfort zone. Challenge it! If you don’t control it, it will control you!

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Sylvia Ann Hewlett, “Executive Presence: The Missing Link Between Merit and Success”

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Reviewed by Femflection

Sylvia Ann Hewlett is the founding president of the Center for Talent Innovation, a Manhattan-based think tank where she chairs a task force of eighty-two multinational companies focused on fully realising the new streams of labor in the global marketplace.

Back Cover Summary:

This book is immensely practical. Hewlett teases out tactics that can help you raise your game and close the gap between merit and success. The author offers the unvarnished advice you won’t get from supportive friends and tackles head-on such touchy subjects as too-tight clothing and too-shrill voices. She shows how the standards for EP vary for men, women, multicultural, and LGBT employees, and she shares how to get meaningful feedback from politically correct bosses intent on avoiding the real issues.

Executive Presence is teachable. You can learn how to “show teeth” while remaining likable, and you can teach yourself how to dress appropriately while staying true to yourself. With hard facts and vivid examples, Hewlett shows you how to ace EP and fully realize your unique potential—no matter who you are, no matter where you work.

Some “Executive Presence” quotes:

  • “how you act (gravitas), how you speak (communication), and how you look (appearance) count for a lot in determining your leadership presence.”
  • “It is executive presence—and no man or woman attains a top job, lands an extraordinary deal, or develops a significant following without this heady combination of confidence, poise, and authenticity that convinces the rest of us we’re in the presence of someone who’s the real deal. It’s an amalgam of qualities that telegraphs that you are in charge or deserve to be.”
  • “In this regard, professionals of color may hold an edge. In focus groups we conducted, countless participants confirmed that being a minority is itself a relentless exercise in reading others in order to anticipate and overcome reflexive bias or unconscious resistance.”
  • “It is executive presence—and no man or woman attains a top job, lands an extraordinary deal, or develops a significant following without this heady combination of confidence, poise, and authenticity that convinces the rest of us we’re in the presence of someone who’s the real deal.”
  • “When companies and leaders know how to harness and leverage gender, generation, ethnicity, race, culture, and nationality, there is a significant impact on the bottom line.”
  • “There are simple rules of engagement: You need to have your voice, but it has to be very intentional – be brief and to the point, with fresh ideas. Don’t restate things someone else has said. Make eye contact with the person who has the floor.”
  • “There are three pillars, regardless of your work culture, whether you’re in Silicon Valley or on Wall Street: how you look, how you speak, and how you behave. It’s all three things, and nailing them makes you a contender.”
  • “Women have made enormous progress on the lower and middle rungs of the career ladder, but we are failing to make the leap into senior positions. Everyone jumps to the conclusion that it’s motherhood that holds women back, but often the big roadblock is the lack of executive presence.”

“Executive Presence” – the Book:

You might have the qualifications to be considered for your dream job, but you won’t get far unless you can signal that you’re “leadership material” and that you “have what it takes.” Professionals are judged on presence as well as on performance.

As such, leadership isn’t as much about what you do, but rather how you look and come across while you are doing it.

The author found that executive presence rests on three pillars:

• How you act (gravitas)

• How you speak (communication)

• How you look (appearance)

You don’t need to have all of these elements in equal measure:

Gravitas is the most important with 67% of the executives surveyed say that it matters most.
Communication comes in at 28%.
Appearance comes in at 5%.
Demonstrating confidence through “grace under fire”, the ability to make tough decisions, integrity and emotional intelligence are the important ingredients of gravitas.

Communication (superior speaking skills, the ability to command/read a room, assertiveness and sense of humor) and appearance (being polished and groomed, fit/slim, appropriate wardrobe choices) tend to be significant factors in assessing a person’s gravitas.

The book is organized into seven simple chapters that will lead the reader on the journey toward building up their Executive Presence:

Chapter 1: What is Executive Presence

Chapter 2: Gravitas

Chapter 3: Communication

Chapter 4: Appearance

Chapter 5: Feedback Failures

Chapter 6: Walking the Tightrope

Chapter 7: Authenticity versus Conformity

Each chapter contains specific examples from well-known companies, brands and people that you’ve watched on the news.

Much of the book is taken up in discussing how cultural prejudices can be overcome. The author is of the view that the best results are achieved by accentuating the strengths that make you different from the white alpha male, rather than by trying to pretend to be a white alpha male.

In order for your voice to be heard, you must first be in a position where people will listen to you. If you are at a point in your career where you are delivering solid results, but just can’t seem to get to the next level, Executive Presence could be the missing link. Regardless of where you are in your career or even to what level of leadership you aspire to, “Executive Presence” can serve as a helpful guide to ensure you can bridge the gap between merit and success.

This book is for sure also useful for leaders who are ready to have their preconceptions challenged to ensure that going forward their workplaces can experience the benefits of greater diversity.

Want to buy book

Your story, our platform: If you’ve got a story and would like to share it with other Femflectors, please let us know. Femflection is all about transferring learnings to help others, be they big or subtle. We want to connect with your feelings, your learnings, your reflections or your hopes for the future – in blog or interview format. Express yourself here. Get in touch with us via anja.uitdehaag@femflection.com

For more content visit our website http://www.femflection.com

 

Your success does not mean another woman’s failure!

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By: Anja Uitdehaag

Katherine Crowley and Kathi Elster, co-authors of “Mean Girls at Work: How to Stay Professional when Things get Personal” state: “women are complicated. While most of us want to be kind and nurturing, we struggle with our darker side – feelings of jealousy, envy and competition. While men tend to compete in an overt manner – jockeying for position and fight to be crowned “winners” – women often compete more covertly and behind the scenes. This covert competition is at the heart of mean behavior among women at work”.

Healthy competition and confidence are encouraged in boys but often seen as undesirable traits in girls. Continue reading