Monday, April 15, 2013

Nine nuggets (2)

Here are 3 more of the 9 nuggets...

Know what you want and go for it
Being clear about your goals is paramount.  
Knowing what I want can seem overwhelming so, one of the easiest ways of dealing with this is knowing and weeding out what I do not want. It then clears my landscape and options.

Women who get to the top understand that (sic – I believe she meant “what”) no one else can do for them. You need to make things happen for you rather than watch things happen to you. In her article based on this article, Lisa Quast, the former executive vice president and general manager at a $12 billion global corporation and a certified executive coach working specifically with women and their careers, said: "Take the time to clearly define your career aspirations and then conduct research to find out the skills and experience necessary to succeed in those positions. Once you have this information you can create a career strategic plan. Having a career plan in place will ensure you achieve your aspirations efficiently and effectively – just like using a roadmap helps you reach a destination."*

As women, we know quite a bit about maps - especially the key part they play in (family) road trips.

In my opinion, in addition to having a map - even if it is a mind map - it is also helpful to make the most of any detours you have as you head to your destination.

Promote yourself legitimately
You can be doing great work, but if no one knows about it, you might as well be invisible.
A former Goldmanite, Jacki Zehner, 47, was both the first woman trader to be made partner and the youngest woman to be made partner at the firm at age 32 in 1996. Zehner routinely volunteered for assignments that gained her visibility at the top. For example, she put up her hand whenever the firm needed someone to make a speech to incoming analysts or recruit at college campuses, she said. In volunteering for assignments, seek out those that will strengthen or expand your skill set or knowledge base or even just stretch you in new areas and enjoy doing the assignment(s). Once again, Lisa Quast puts it this way: "Volunteer to take on projects that will show your strengths and allow you to gain the necessary experience to move to the next level."*

Network with your peers
Many women make the mistake of seeking sponsorship from only the people above them. Some of the people you work with are going to be in charge and could help you rise in the ranks.
"It's connections with people your own age that will help you get promotions," said Amy Siskind, a former head of distressed debt trading at Morgan Stanley and the co-founder of The New Agenda, an organization dedicated to advancing women into leadership roles. Siskind, 46, was the first woman managing director at Wasserstein Perella because a friend she had worked with in her mid-20s had landed there and pushed for her hire. Networking works** work with it.

Nine Rules Women Must Follow to Get Ahead by Julie Steinberg: 

Rules For Women To Climb The Career Ladder by Lisa Quant:

Monday, April 1, 2013

Nine nuggets (1)

A few months ago someone sent me an interesting article* - I’m sharing an excerpt from it hence the reason why I refer to these as the “Nine Nuggets.” I’ll split them into 3 postings but when you can, I encourage you to take time to read the whole article.
As usual, comments (on the article) are within it in green font and italics mine.
It is no secret that many companies have set targets for increasing the number of women in top/leadership positions in various industries. In fact, I suspect that is what gave rise to the saying that: “The best man for the job is a woman.” Although it may be true in some instances, it does not give women a “hall pass” or licence to reap where they have not sown. Even the Bible warns us in Gal atians 6:7 not to deceive/fool ourselves because we will reap what we have sown...likewise you will not reap what you have not sown.  
According to Julie's article: Despite their talent, education and hard work, many women simply aren't chosen for roles that lead to greater success later. "Women often don't have the "intangible skills" needed to gain the attention of higher-ups at the company," says Elena Rand Kaspi, a former consultant to law firm White & Case and the president of LawScope Coaching, an executive career coaching company.
Getting "chosen," then, is an art that many women need to learn. FINS ( is a targeted career resource and employment website that is part of The Wall Street Journal) spoke with women executives and leadership coaches to determine the best ways you can position yourself for the next great position. Julie goes on to “talk about the rules women need to follow to help them earn more management roles in the workplace...”

Work hard
Doing excellent work is a baseline. If you don't produce outstanding results, you won't attract the notice of bigwigs at the firm who can propel your career forward. Hard work also entails knowing which skills you need to develop to get to where you want to be.
"Many people want to jump levels and get to the top by their gut feel, but what you don't know can really create a minefield for you," says Karen Peetz, vice chairman at BNY Mellon and one of three women on the executive committee.
According to Erin Duffy, 34, a former vice president at Merrill Lynch and the author of "Bond Girl," a novel that chronicles one woman's sales career on Wall Street:  "If you're not doing well, even if you're hanging out every night with the managing directors, they're not going to promote you. It's very democratic in that way." 
Do work no one else wants to do
Stepping up when no one else is will is a great way to get noticed. In 2001, Donna Milrod was a recently-minted managing director at Deutsche Bank when she offered to take on a project no one else wanted.
Succeeding in the assignment gained her exposure to the board and to senior management.

Cultivate the people in charge
Figuring out who has the most powerful voice in the room is the first key to your success. The second is devising strategies to attract their interest in your career.
Mentors are important for giving you guidance on your career. Sponsors are more critical because they're the ones banging on the table to bring you on for a new job or assignment.
Accordingly, you must treat them differently. Rosalie Mandel, a principal at accounting firm Rothstein Kass, recommends telling your mentor the good, the bad and the ugly and telling your sponsor only the good.
"The sponsor has heavy political capital and can place you into your next slot," she said. "The mentor needs to know everything about you so they can help you grow and guide you." For me, choosing a mentor is a spiritual activity - Joshua succeeeded because he was groomed by Moses, the young prophet died untimely because he followed the advice of the old prophet. So in choosing a mentor, I pray about it first  - sure don't want my hard work to go down the drain. You also need to pray about your sponsor - most times, you do not choose that person but your prayers can influence who is assigned to you - and the person assigned to you has some influence you don't have. So it is very important that your sponsor is truly on your side - not scoring own points.

These are the first 3 of the nine nuggets... I decided to start sharing them on "April Fools' Day" as a reminder that we should not fool ourselves rather focus on taking wise steps ...

Can you?

That is a question that comes up now and leaders we need to help those around us give the right answer.