The stats are just awful: while women account for more than half the college graduates and more than half the PhDs, we make up less than 20% of top management in almost every industry you look at. Now draw a circle and estimate three percent of it. That is the percentage of CEOs who were women in 2008. (Continued below...)
MIX Maverick Joanna Barsh explores the differences between women and men when it comes to leadership.
So what’s holding us back? The pipeline argument still holds water: it is going to take many more years for those young women grads to work their way through corporations that value “pilot hours.” Still, that doesn’t tell the whole story.
Our research suggests that women just don’t seize the chance. Some of us hold ourselves back, waiting for enough experience to gain the confidence to raise our hands. Some of us never made the connections or could not find the key to unlock the networks and forge the powerful personal connections that help accelerate people to the top. Fear of failing is a powerful constraint, and while I don’t argue that women have it more than...
A few months ago, in one of our Centered Leadership learning sessions, a Latin American executive approached me with an insight that had deeply affected him. “In our transformation meetings,” he said, “we always talk about how they have to change. I realize I have to change myself first if I want them to change. Why should they change? They have to see me changed. But we haven’t done that because we spend all our time talking about them.”
Self-awareness is one of the three elements that makes Centered Leadership a distinctive approach for leaders who face large scale change challenges. The self-aware leader can recognize his own emotions—positive and negative—and he knows the triggers for when he is hijacked by them. He recognizes his own sources of meaning, and how to use them as fuel. He explicitly designs his network and he watches his sources and uses of energy, recognizing how much energy it takes to catalyze an organization.
Are you self-aware? Try these questions on yourself or on your team and let us know the results:
If you had nothing to prove to anyone and no constraints, what...