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Posts about Career (3)

Recipes for Mentoring Success: CAKE and PIE

In general, it is a mentor’s job to help her protégé position herself to achieve career success and the protégé’s job to work with her mentor to achieve career goals. When it comes to career success, our research indicates that men and women speak differently about mentors and their roles. Understanding this difference will help engage managers and executives as better mentors (and women as stronger protégés).
7 min read | Susan Colantuono
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The Missing 33% Leadership Career Mentoring

Network! 6 Essential Tools for Building Strategic Relationships

"Acquaintances...represent a source of social power, and the more acquaintances you have, the more powerful you are."    Malcolm Gladwell in The Tipping Point
4 min read | Susan Colantuono
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The Missing 33% Leadership Career Networking Strategic Relationships

Leadership Lessons: Lipstick, Diamonds and Gucci Aren't Enough!

Lipstick, diamonds and Gucci won't advance women in their careers. Nor will useful, but insufficient, advice on work/life balance, resilience or authenticity. Women are given abundant advice on how to look and how to be, but it only gets them so far. There's a not-so-little hidden secret that women aren't being told about career success.
2 min read | Susan Colantuono
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The Missing 33% Leadership Career

Leadership Lessons: To Succeed in Life and Work

Not long ago I came across a very active discussion on ForbesWoman with this "burning question:"  "What are the top 10 things you think all women need to learn to master to succeed in life and work?" Here's what I observed about the replies.  As you might expect the VAST majority of the answers had to do with enhancing personal greatness. Solid gold advice such as: believe that you're capable, take control of your life, discover your purpose, learn constantly, appreciate life, know your priorities and master emotions. The second most common answers had to do with engaging others. These were significantly fewer of these comments which included: network strategically, delegation, ask for help, and teamwork. There was virtually no guidance on the importance of developing and demonstrating business, strategic and financial acumen - out of 63 commentaries - many with multiple answers, there were about 3. I am disheartened by this because remember the question was what do women need to master to succeed in life AND WORK.    Shanti Feldhahn points out in her book, The Male Factor, that women and men view the world differently - and this discussion illustrates her point. Women view the "work world" as a smaller circle within a larger "personal world" circle. The assumption derived from this view is that if we constantly work on enhancing our personal greatness we will inevitably succeed at work. Men view the "work world" and the "personal world" as separate circles, each with its own set of rules. And while to me this is a less appealing construction, to ignore it in our search for career succes is perilous. While it is true that honing our personal greatness will lead to success in life, it is simply not true that enhancing our personal greatness will naturally lead to success in work. As you know by now, success at work requires the development and demonstration of business, strategic and financial acumen. But that's not what I added to the discussion. My contribution to the discussion was that among the top 10 things all women need to master to succeed in life and work is this:   To understand the difference between personal, professional and leadership excellence and act to develop all three. Here's what I meant and why this advice is so powerful. Imagine 3 concentric circles.  At the center is personal excellence. Personal excellence is the core of what we need to navigate career and life successfully. All the advice about personal greatness is important here and working on this is fundamental. I know a woman who has twice run away from tough feedback. While she will continue to achieve a certain level of success...it's obvious that she is limited because she hasn't embraced the feedback. The second circle surrounding personal excellence is professional excellence. Professional excellence involves mastering one or more domains of action for example engineering, human resources, scientific research and/or parenting. This entails acquiring the body of knowledge, staying current and honing related skills such as your interpersonal skills. As I'm writing I'm thinking of Lynn Elsenhans, CEO of Sunoco who took increasingly responsible positions in industry organizations as she progressed in her career. The third circle is leadership excellence...and, as you know, this draws on personal excellence/greatness (including professional skills) but requires that you go further to hone business, strategic and financial acumen - not to mention strong engagement skills. This calls to mind Anne Mulcahy who as she assumed the responsibilities of CEO of Xerox was aided in developing financial acumen by an employee in the finance department. Or of Ginni Rometty, who received mentorship on developing external strategic relationships in the months before stepping into the CEO role at IBM.  As I point out in No Ceiling, No Walls , putting on the mantle of leadership is absolutely necessary for success at work - no matter your level. The demands of today's volatile marketplace means that everyone is paid to lead - to use her personal greatness to achieve and sustain extraordinary outcomes by engaging the greatness in others. By all means, lhone your personal greatness or excellence. And continue on. Cultivate your professional excellence and your leadership excellence. These together will help you succeed in life and work.
3 min read | Susan Colantuono
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The Missing 33% Leadership Career

Leadership Encounter of the Grizzly Kind

Riding toward our campsite at the head of the Gardiner River in Yellowstone National Park, Vickie points across a valley to the top of a hill. "There’s a Grizzly up there," she says.
6 min read | Susan Colantuono
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Leadership Career

Leadership Lessons Straight from the Horse's Mouth

A few years ago I sat down with an executive coaching client (let's call her Jeanne) who was a new Director of HR. As we discussed her leadership goals and challenges, Jeanne told this story, "Last week my COO walked into my office and said, 'I've had it with George. I want him fired. Make it happen.'" Jeanne went on, "I wasn't comfortable with the demand, but because the COO is my primary customer, I went ahead and did what he wanted."
2 min read | Susan Colantuono
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Leadership Career

Leadership Lessons: Can You Lead a Horse to Water?

You've probably heard the saying, "You can lead a horse to water, but you can't make it drink." In other words, a horse that's led to water will drink only if it's thirsty.
2 min read | Susan Colantuono
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Leadership Career

Leadership Lessons: Invisibility, Humility and Self-Promotion

A while ago, as I worked in my home office, a small herd of young deer came over the stone walls. Two entered the yard. A nibble from the ground here, a nibble from the ground there. Delicate steps, ear-twisting listening, noses seeking the scent of danger. Zip, gone a few tips of lily leaves, a few hydrangea leaves, a few rose leaves. After they left, there was no sign that they had been here. No bare spot of grass, no absent frond of lily leaves, no stripped branch of hydrangea or rose. I was struck by how carefully they steward the land from which they take their sustenance - a lesson I try to live daily as I seek to simplify the material part of life. And then, struck by the invisibility of their presence, I thought of this quote about leadership from Lao Tzu, the father of Taoism. 
6 min read | Susan Colantuono
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Leadership Career

Leadership Lessons: Delivering Your Core Message

Christine walked into her coaching session and before she even sat down she said, “I’m very nervous about a conversation I have to have with Jack who is constantly making disparaging comments about his co-workers.”
5 min read | Susan Colantuono
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Leadership Career

Leadership Lessons: For Career Success Think Beyond Fashion-Forward

Fashionistas would have women believe that what we wear, the accessories we use and how we look are keys to executive presence. Why? Because that’s how they sell products - and most of us know by now that women make or influence 85% of all consumer purchases. But in the context of executive presence, this emphasis on personal appearance can lead women astray. Appearance isn’t the same as executive presence. Presentation skills aren’t the sole factor in executive presence. And, further, executive presence is different from personal presence. So what aren't women being told about executive presence.
3 min read | Susan Colantuono
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The Missing 33% Leadership Career