The leading question in a recent book authored by leadership expert Sally Helgensen and leadership coach and bestselling author Marshall Goldsmith is “You want to take the next step in your career . . . but you’re not sure what’s holding you back?” Well, it could be you!
Today, we will start a series of Mentoring Mondays articles that feature excerpts from Sally and Marshall’s book entitled “How Women Rise : Break the 12 Habits Holding You Back From Your Next Raise, Promotion, or Job.” These habits or behaviors develop over time and you may not even be aware of what is standing in the way of your success. These excerpts are the result of actual case studies from interviews with top women executives.
Habit #1: Reluctance to Claim Your Achievements
“When asked about the greatest strengths of the younger women in their firms, the female partners almost unanimously cited their ability to deliver high quality work. ‘The Women go the extra mile when you give them assignments;’ ‘They are extremely conscientious, crossing every t and dotting every i.’ They are meticulous. You can count on them to get the job done.
When asked to reflect on why they struggle with claiming their achievements, two responses surfaced nearly every time: ‘If I have to act like that obnoxious blow-head down the hall to get noticed around here, I’d prefer to be ignored, and I have no desire to behave like that jerk;’ or ‘I believe great work speaks for itself. If I do an outstanding job, people should notice.’ There is a problem with these two approaches. If you feel uncomfortable drawing attention to your achievements, it’s often because your reference group – other women, a former boss, a repressive culture, etc. expects you to be modest and self-effacing.”
A bit of advice, “don’t become invisible.” Who can tell your story better than you? This may be the time to put ‘I’ in ‘team.’ Learning how to market oneself is not boasting and it could lead to bigger and better things.
If you are interested in securing your own copy of the book “How Women Rise,” I encourage you to visit www.hachettebooks.com.