Tuesday, March 31, 2009

A different point of view...

I received an email yesterday from one of our newsletter recipients on why women leaders don't succeed. His first email to me was that he had worked many women in leadership and he has never seen it worked. He also mentioned that there was ONE REASON for it and when he said that, I, of course, I said tell me more. Below is his perspective on why women leaders fail...

They try to be everything at one time.

I have never seen it work before.

A good wife, a good mother with small children, and a professional business women in upper management.

Some thing has to give.

I know from experience because I was a single dad with a 10 year old daughter, and no family close by.

I did solved the problem.

I would be in meeting out of town at our corporate headquarters, and the few women in upper management would start squirming at 4:30 PM.

How much longer will this meeting be going on.

Many times they were late, and I wanted to get finish that day so I could fly home the next day.

You can't be all things to all people.

It's always good to have an alternate point of view. Thanks for sharing my friend and thanks for being a member of the Contagious Community.

Stay Contagious,

Monday, March 30, 2009

Women and Leadership

What we women bring to work is contagious! Even when we try to lead, we bring with us so much of the programs, stereotypes, and feelings that have filled our generation's gender with good stuff and bad.

Are you bringing guilt to the office over trying to do it all and not being able to?
Are you bringing feelings of inadequacy to the office when you still remember the dishwasher that hasn't been emptied, the kids that have to be fed later, and the clothes that need to be washed?
Are you just fine and confident that you are good leader at the office and yet wonder where your personal life went?

Are you able to separate who you are from what you do or haven't gotten to yet? We women often walk around looking for our invisible Wonder Woman jet that will allow us to get 500 things done if five minutes! It's true and many times we do it, but at what price. I don't have the magic answer, but I do have a few ideas. As the owner of an invisible jet, matching wrist bracelets and the cool Wonder Woman outfit and cape (okay, not really) I can tell you that women lead differently and sometimes, if given the chance, even better than they give themselves credit for.

Give up the guilt - even if you have to do it for lent and let's learn to lead together. Come together to our contagious community. In fact, join us at the Contagious COnfidence Conference for Women in Orlando on May 13th and let's see if we can shatter the flippin' glass ceiling and go out there with less guilt, less lack of confidence, and more power to lead than we ever thought possible.

Be there or be square. :) In fact, check it out: www.contagiousconferences.com.

I know you can do this! In fact, if I can do it... so can you!
Women, here's to your contagious leadership!

Thursday, March 19, 2009

WOMEN: You CAN lead!

Women make three choices in leadership:
- they take it on agressively and never look back, not worrying about being called a Big B Word
- they take it on and try to play by a bunch of men's rules or fit in or seduce the boy's club
- they don't take it on at all

As the nearly bald blonde exercise chic used to say: "STOP THE INSANITY!" There has got to be a better way. Can't a woman be a leader and still be feminine. Can't a leader be a woman and still be effective without being called a "witch"?

Are we ever going to get over the fact that just because a woman stands her ground, stands up for what she believes is right and conducts business as business - she is not to be called or seen as a bitch? Enough already.

Women, we are just as guilty on this front. We call other women this label. In fact, we do it sometimes before our male counterparts start slinging the mud. Are we being our own worst enemy here in proliferating the stereotype? Yes, we are and it's time we let go of it. Let's learn how to lead without worrying so much about the labels. Let's focus more on the skills insead of the stereotypes. Let's get promoted because we earned it and not because we were brave enough to bare cleavage or begged for job based on gender.

Women: you CAN learn to lead and the only rules you need to know are your own. You CAN lead and not be lumped into this overly feminine, nicey nice category. Boss's have to be bold and brave sometimes. Your gender doesn't have to prevent it, in fact with our ability to empathize, lift others up, and separate issues (that almost sounds like a bra commercial) we should be darn good at leading! I think it's time we got started doing what we should be good at.

Here's to your leadership, contagious or otherwise,

Sunday, March 01, 2009

Leading as a Woman

Women: How do we do it? We are expected to juggle a million balls in the air, but not allowed to act as if we have any...it sounds a bit direct, but it's true. We can do it all, but the moment we become more than a little firm in declaring our needs or declaring boundaries, we are called lovely words most of which begin with B, and none of which are BOSS. Leading as a Woman doesn't have to be so challenging, but we have to recognize what we are doing first.

We women seem to make one of three choices in becoming major leaders in business:
  1. We reach for leadership and climb the latter, not caring how we look or what we're called
  2. We reach for leadership in a demure and feminine way, careful of our image and the danger we run in being accused of having ridden our broom to work.
  3. We choose not to reach for leadership because we don't want to risk our credibility or reputation.

In our next Contagious Confidence Conference for Women: Leading in Tough Times, we will include not only the fundamentals of leading in a difficult time and a difficult age filled with change, but also the skills we women require to lead in our own way. There will be no talk of riding a broom, worry over being called a big B word, and no rules for playing with the big boys or seducing someone to get ahead. We'll explore the danger in begging of power instead of earning it and refusing to take your power because of what someone might call you when you get it!

Central Florida: This One's For You and the future of your leadership may depend on your attendance. Be there or be square. (okay, that's old, but it's still true!)

See you on May 13, 2009! Leu Gardens, Orlando, FL
Register now at www.contagiousconferences.com