Elizabeth Keller was the Senior Vice President in a global role at a leading software company and the highest-ranking woman in the company. Despite years of glowing reviews, accelerated promotions and positive reinforcement, she felt she had gone as far as she could go at her company. Her next promotion would put her on the Executive Committee in a C-level role, but that promotion never came.
She believed she had over-performed on every measure she could think of and still wasn’t given the job. Finally, when she felt completely defeated, she gave up. “I could see it was never going to happen for me,” she said, “so I left.”
Lots of women feel that way. It’s such a loss. Beth’s company lost an extremely dedicated, talented, respected leader who could have done great things there. Beth felt she had to go somewhere else, even though she loved her company.
That’s a lose/lose situation. But it’s not the end of Beth’s story…
Corporate executives and women in leadership aspire to see more women in the executive positions of their companies (including themselves).
Women want to lead.
In many cases, their companies want that, too. Companies that attract and develop executive women gain amazing benefits. Companies with higher numbers of women at senior levels have shown results in:
- Increased revenues,
- Greater innovation,
- Stronger leadership.
Finally, in a marketplace where women make the majority of financial decisions, a balanced team more accurately reflects the customer base.
In many organizations, women are not advancing.
Despite an appreciation for talent and diversity, the representation of women dwindles at each level of leadership, causing a loss of talent, a lack of balance on the leadership team, discouragement among women, attrition, and poor public perception.
For women in leadership, the problem is exacerbated. Unable to break through to the next level of success, they start to wonder whether what they’re putting into their success is worth what they’re getting out of it.
The secret is out: women know how to succeed.
Women are in the position to empower themselves to advance as leaders. A change in perspective, a new set of strategies, and access to real, practical solutions are all available now more than ever before. We’re figuring this out. After trying to have it all, be it all, and do it all – all the time – we have learned some lessons over the years about what works and what doesn’t in advancing as business leaders while leading a happy, healthy life.
You can be successful in a way that works for you.
You can be a successful, overachieving, results-oriented business leader at the seniormost levels of your organization. You can leverage your talents, stay aligned to your values, make the most of your time, and still have some of that time left over for you.
- You feel excited about your work again – committed, engaged, and leveraging your talents to the fullest – because you know you’re valuable and that you get the very best results.
- You finally do get the promotion you deserve.
- Your salary goes up, you earn more respect, and you feel the full power of your authority at work.
- Best of all, you get your life back. You become a mom again, a friend, a sister. You go to lunch with the girlfriends. Spend Saturday mornings with your kids. Your boundaries are clear. The guilt is gone.
- You feel focused. You feel lighter.
You finally made it.
The New Advantage: Practicing Personal Leadership
Women excel in leadership when they practice personal leadership. Here’s what women in highly successful leadership roles are learning they must do:
- Form networks of power, advocacy, and sponsorship.
The more connected you are to powerful networks and champions, the more you’ll be included in the important conversations, be given new opportunities, develop well-rounded and important skills, and continue learning as a leader.
- Align their personal goals with their professional goals.
When you integrate what you love and what you do, the more motivated and inspired you’ll be. You’ll feel better able to optimize your time. The stress goes down and the satisfaction goes up.
- Navigate challenges and embrace opportunities.
There are secrets to succeeding in corporate culture that women have to learn for themselves. From executive presence to the ins and outs of feedback and performance, the more you know about the hidden underpinnings of the culture, the better able you are to successfully work within it.
- Know their own value – and communicate it.
You are very powerful. The more women understand about what they bring to the table of leadership, and the better able they are to clearly articulate it, the more respect they earn, the better the opportunities become, and they end up opening doors for themselves that previously were closed.
- Acknowledge bias where it exists.
We can’t talk about women in leadership without at least acknowledging some of the bias that is out of our control. However, by raising your awareness, you can actually start to chip away at some of the barriers that have held women back.
When women lead, they create win-wins for their companies and themselves.
When Beth started taking personal leadership of her career, she became Executive Vice President and finally the CEO. She also became a visible success story and a role model for aspiring women, while companies like hers with a balanced leadership team became known as best places for women to work.
She learned how being a woman in leadership can be a win/win.
Advancing women isn’t a woman’s issue. It’s a business issue.
What Clients Are Saying:
The New Advantage “combines extensive insights from research with a genuine desire to create a valuable program that ensures higher performance and personal reward. I learned to aspire and to be confident enough to go for a huge new role. I learned to see myself bigger. I feel completely energized and excited to be in a more prominent and powerful leadership position.”