Category: Success & Leadership

To Be a Great Boss, Focus on These Three Qualities

Fran Hauser

If you’ve ever been told you won’t be able to get ahead if you’re too nice, Fran Hauser, author of The Myth of the Nice Girl, has news for you.

You don’t have to choose between kindness and strength. You only have to focus on how you communicate—which is more important today than ever. Read More

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Four Ways to Candidly Improve Your Work Relationships

Kim Scott

It can’t be fun to be pulled aside by Sheryl Sandberg, after giving what you think was a successful presentation to Google’s Sergey Brin and Eric Schmidt, and be told that when you say “um” every third word, it makes you sound ignorant and stupid and you really should see a speech coach.

But Kim Scott, author of New York Times best-selling book, Radical Candor, was  immensely grateful for the experience—because, after seeing that speech coach, she discovered she really did say “um” every third word; and after a career of giving talks, she felt like Sandberg was the first person to point out that she had a giant hunk of spinach between her teeth. Read More

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Proven Ways to Pioneer Equity and Diversity

Group of colleagues meetingYou might want to take a deep breath before you take this in:

  • At the rate we’re going, it will take another 202 years for women to be paid as much as men, according to the World Economic Forum.
  • The percent of women CEOs on the Fortune 500 list is still less than 7 percent—despite the fact that women represent 47 percent of the workforce.
  • And, it’s all worse for women of color (despite last month’s report that the majority of Americans now entering the work force are people of color, primarily women).

Now for the good news! Research is revealing what works—and what doesn’t—in efforts to give all women a fair shot at career advancement; and Lori Nishiura Mackenzie of Stanford University Clayman Institute for Gender Research knows what they are. Read More

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Think Only Extroverts Can Lead? Here Are 5 Reasons to Think Again

Woman watching sunset alone

If anyone has ever hinted that you need to be an extrovert to be a successful leader, here’s your one-word response: Oprah.

As Susan Cain wrote in her 2012 bestseller, Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking, there are many misunderstandings about the nature—and skills—of introverts. But over the past decade, that has been changing. 

Here are five things people are now recognizing about introversion in the workplace and beyond, according to Jennifer Kahnweiler, a Conferences for Women speaker and author of The Introverted Leader, Quiet Influence, and The Genius of Opposites: Read More

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Don’t Play the Weather Girl if You Want to Be the VP

Young woman shaking hands in a business meeting

A woman gets into an elevator. She’s a hard-working executive who comes to the office early every day. One day, the CEO gets into the elevator with her. She freezes, afraid to talk and afraid not to talk. So, she chats about the weather.

Another day, she’s riding the elevator when the CEO steps in again. But this time, a male colleague also gets in, shakes the CEO’s hand, introduces himself and says: “We just had a great meeting with a new client we were pitching the other day. And, I think we’re going to get the business.” The CEO looks at him and says, “You just made my day.”

The woman, realizing her mistake, reflects: Her colleague was branding himself as the next VP while she was branding herself as the weather girl. Read More

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How to Master the Tiny Habits That Will Help You Reach Your Potential

One step at a time

When he was a teenager, James Clear got hit in the face with a bat during a baseball game. It took surgery and nearly nine months for him to be able to work on regaining basic functions, like walking in a straight line. And even then, he could only focus on developing one tiny new habit a time. But together, these tiny habits turned out to make a difference—big enough that, in college, he was named an Academic all-American.

Luckily for us, Clear also went on to be an expert in how tiny habits can help us reach our potential—insights he compiled in 2018 New York Times best-selling book, Atomic Habits and is sharing with the Conferences for Women.*

“Excellence is not really about making radical changes,” he says. “It’s about accruing small improvements over time and committing to this philosophy of continuous improvement.” Read More

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Networking is More (and Less) Than You Think

Laura Okmin

Sometimes, the most valuable lessons come from the most humbling moments. At least, it was one of those moments that gave FOX NFL reporter Laura Okmin one of her greatest insights in what not to do when networking.

As a young reporter, and the first woman to be covering TV news in Alabama, she had gotten to know Charles Barkley, the NBA champion and two-time Olympic gold medalist.

“One day, I called Charles and he answered the phone and said: “Well, well, well. Laura Okmin, what do you need?” And I went: “Well, can’t a girl just call and say hello?” “A girl can,” he said. “You just never do.…I know when you call, you need something. So, what do you need?”

Register one of the biggest networking mistakes: always having an agenda. From then on, Okmin made sure she reached out to offer something—such as, congratulations on wins and condolences on losses—more often than she asked for something. She’d learned that networking is really about relationship-building.

Here are 3 more tips from Conference for Women experts: Read More

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The Real Road to the C-Suite

Shoma Chatterjee

Shoma Chatterjee

There’s an image many of us have of who makes it to the C-Suite: Think square-jawed, 6’4″ tall, Ivy League educated, followed a linear road to success. No mistakes. Right?

Well, not exactly. According to a study of 18,000 executives who were finalists for C-Suite positions, conducted by GhSMART, a New York-based executive advisory firm: 

  • 45 percent got there after surviving at least one big career blow-up.
  • 33 percent took a giant leap that they didn’t feel ready for. “They went through all the imposter syndrome gremlins that said, ‘You shouldn’t do it.’ But somehow, they did; and that was the pivotal moment for them,” said GhSMART’s Shoma Chatterjee.
  • 66 percent started small—beginning their own business, or taking on a project in another country or region where they could see a business through end-to-end.

Read More

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What’s Inspiring Me Now

Susan LovegrenChief People Officer Susan Lovegren: “What new traditions can you create at work or home to bring people together to create common experiences?”

Susan Lovegren is an EVP and Chief People Officer at Medallia (global leader in customer experience management) and former Chief People Officer at AppDynamics, Juniper Networks and Plantronics. She has supported women in technology through partnerships with the Anita Borg Institute, Catalyst, Grace Hopper and the Watermark Conference for Women.

Over the course of my career, I have thought a lot about how cultures are born. Of course, there are the shared values, common behaviors and rituals. I like to think of rituals more as “traditions.” I am always so inspired by the unifying power of how traditions bring families and communities together in times of joy and crisis. Read More

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The Q&A

Carolyn HerzogTech leader Carolyn Herzog: “Anyone who makes us want to be a better person is the very definition of inspiration.”

Carolyn Herzog, EVP and General Counsel at Arm (the world’s leading semiconductor IP company) shares five surprising insights about leadership, women’s progress in the workplace—and what she’d want a mentor to tell her if she were just starting out.

 

Read More

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