For years now smart beautiful women have been assured that the business environment has changed – it has become more diverse and more open to women – particularly if she is looking for advancement opportunities.
These assurances have led her to believe that the women’s movement, which started in the ‘70’s, has finally triumphed. It is only when she experiences first hand the subtleties of the Old Boys Club does she come to realize that it is not as easy as common wisdom would have us believe.
Sometimes the best man for the job isn’t.Author Unknown
Still worse, with such positive assurances that things have changed, women begin to doubt themselves and wonder what they are doing wrong. Routinely we hear from women who are both frustrated and upset by the attitudes and behaviors that they are faced with.
Add to this, the fact that although corporate expectations, in most cases, meld better with the lifestyle of the average male executive they rarely align with the needs of the female executive.
The result – so far – has left working smart beautiful women caught in a double bind on the home front and in the workplace
You don’t have to be anti-man to be pro-woman.Author Unknown
In the workplace women are routinely overlooked during their childbearing years, they often start at lower level jobs, earn less than men and are less likely to achieve executive leadership roles. Even though women comprise more than 45 percent of the North American workforce, they lead only seven Fortune 500 companies.
On the upside women today are better educated than ever before and have accumulated a wealth of skills. They have become more knowledgeable, self-sufficient, and confident in their abilities. The downside is that they have not found the enjoyment or satisfaction they once imagined.
Even though women have been told they can be anything they want to be, it usually isn’t long before they recognize that the corporate world still languishes far behind where women expect it to be.
On the home front women continue to take on a disproportionate amount of both family and household responsibilities. One of the key reasons this has been difficult to address has to do with cultural expectations. Not only does our culture have concrete expectations of women, smart beautiful women have expectations of their own. Even if a woman has achieved significant distinction in the workplace, she is still expected to come home and fit into the age-old stereotypical role of wife, mother, care giver, homemaker, interior designer, cook, cleaner, entertainer, educator, finance manager, shopper, gardener, friend, daughter, etc. The list alone takes our breath away!
As women try to fill the expectations of both roles, inside and outside the home, they readily admit their tank is running on empty!
Men with little insight into – or appreciation for – a woman’s unique predicament have attributed her problem as one of time management. For years they have been alluding to the fact that all women need to do is behave more like a man. But that is not the solution!
Our compelling new book Success Strategies for Career Women offers insights designed specifically for career women. While many books talk about what you can do to improve your situation, few offer as many practical tools that you can put to use immediately. There is much more in this ebook than pithy advice. There is a self-coaching workbook portion at the end of each chapter.
Same Workplace, Different Realities
As a woman there are two things you must do if you want to participate in the game of business: understand the rules of the game and get your supports in place.Barb McEwen
You know you are skilled, even brighter than average. You work harder than most, are proficient in your job and have shown you are a dedicated to the organization. Yet others who are less capable, less experienced, get recognized and rewarded. It is sad but true that it will be exceptionally difficult to move ahead if you don’t appreciate the Invisible Rules of the game.
Smart Beautiful Women – Invest In Yourself
Our Personal Executive Coaches recognize that the glass ceiling will continue to be firmly in place until aspiring professional women are given the straight talk about the Invisible Rules of Game. The truth is that men and women often approach a broad range of career issues differently. Whether it is conveying competence, facing completion, understanding corporate politics, participating on a team, building alliances or leading others, many women unwittingly make mistakes that undermine their credibility. Lacking a suitable tutor many smart beautiful women find themselves sidelined or removed from the team permanently.
As in any sport, the rules of the game are important. You may be able to guess some of them but you’ll never guess them all. To succeed you need to play by the rules, understand what is considered ‘a win’ and know how to be viewed as a strong team player.
There is an old saying: “Star payers don’t become star players on the field, they are merely recognized there.” If you want to see where someone develops a desire to succeed you need to observe their daily preparation. Even if you have natural talent, there is a need to prepare and train. As any professional athlete will tell you, it doesn’t come automatically and it is something that is not taught in management courses. It takes coaching, learning new techniques and hours of practice.
Here’s how to tell if executive coaching would be helpful for you
What you will learn will depend on your career goals, your position, your personality and your learning style. The skills that are necessary to function well as a mid-level manager are not the same ones required to be a successful executive. Ours is an individualized approach and will give you a clear focus. You will begin to see the business world through a different lens, gain a clearer focus and greater purpose. As a result, you’ll become attuned to the needs of those above and below you, the needs of the organization and your own personal needs.
At 20/20 Executive Coaching we have exceptional coaches who are dedicated to help aspiring smart beautiful women improve their performance, increase their impact on the organization and find success on their own terms. This is a unique type of coaching, mentoring and leadership development.
Become one of the smart beautiful women – we’ll help you:
- Learn the Invisible Rules of the game
- Key into gender, cultural and age differences
- Know what the organization expects
- Smooth over difficult relationships
- Find out what constitutes a strong team player
- Understand what is important to stakeholders
- Explore your signature strengths
- Manage default behaviors
- Develop your social capital/network
- Identify your personal and professional goals
- Enhance your professional image
- Run effective meetings
- Identify ‘wins’ in the workplace
- Take losses in your stride but learn the lessons
- Embrace the power of your position
- Become a more effective communicator
- Master the skill of focusing
- Learn more about your personality and management style
- Value your brand and your reputation
- Speak so others will listen
- Create improved work/life balance
- Strategically manage your career
- Utilize your feminine side to your advantage
- Discover how to negotiate what you want
- Become adept at mastering the political terrain
It has been said, “It doesn’t matter if you win or lose, it’s how you play the game”. As executive coaches, we help our clients understand how they can advance their careers. By tailoring our approach, we’ll help you see, hear and think in ways that were not previously possible. It’s called strategic executive development.