Keep the Fire Burning!

Climbing the Ladder

How to Network with Authenticity

Networking-Event-ConnectingI was doing a speaking engagement recently on the topic of leading with authenticity and a woman walked up afterwards. She had a dilemma. She wanted to be able to leverage her network to grow her customer base but felt inauthentic asking her network for help.

A lot of women leaders I meet have good networks but they have a hard time calling on their networks to help them. Why is that? They say it feels “icky”. They feel like if they use their relationships to help them in their business or careers they are being inauthentic. I believe there is a gender expectation that we all need to become more aware of. The gender expectation is that women are supposed to be caring, cooperative and relationship-building – for the sake of relationship-building. Thus, often when a woman wants to leverage her network for advancing goals, it causes her to feel “icky”. On the other hand, many men are happy to use their networks for mutual benefit. They benefit by networking “strategically”. This of course, has nothing to do with authenticity. It has everything to do with the unconscious gender expectations we take on. Authenticity is about connecting with values and a sense of purpose that inspires each of us rather than conforming to gender expectations of who we should be.

So I decided to talk to my good friend Kathy Hatala, SVP at Speakeasy, who is masterful at the art of building and leveraging relationships and doing this with great authenticity. I certainly learned a lot from her in this interview. I hope you do as well.

The Insider’s Guide To Getting Sponsored

SponsorWant to get choice assignments? Want to make more money? Want to have a bigger impact? Get sponsored.

Only 13% of women leaders have sponsors according to data from the Center for Talent Innovation.  How do the rest of us get the right sponsors? Sponsors are the people several levels up in the organization who have political clout and influence to get us promotions, the right assignments, and visibility. While mentors can give advice, sponsors get us promoted. We need both. Sponsors generally find us, but we can certainly take action to be visible and raise our hand. To get the inside scoop on how people really decide who they sponsor, I spoke with several people in leadership roles and those in HR who have the inside scoop on how this actually happens.

Five Ways To Reignite Your Career Passion

Does this situation sound familiar? You work hard to climb the corporate ladder. You burn the candle on both ends to get there. When you get to the corner office or the next rung in the corporate ladder, after the initial euphoria of meeting your goal wears off, the grind remains.  At various points in our careers it is easy to burn-out. According to a Gallup survey, 71% of US employees are disengaged.  Research shows that engagement levels are not just linked to productivity but also health and well being.

It’s easy for us to disengage, leaving our full passionate selves at the door when we enter our workplaces. We ask ourselves “Is the effort worth it to continue to climb the corporate stair master?” The answer to the latter question is very personal. However, one thing is pretty clear. As women leaders, our passion for what we do is a big part of our success and fulfillment, as well as our power. As one of my favorite poets, Rumi says “Respond to every call that excites your spirit.” So how do we reignite that passion for what we do?

Confessions of a Former Sponsor – 7 Ways to Get Sponsored To The Top

In 2011, Women CEO’s in the Fortune 500 made up 14% of the CEO’s according to Catalyst, flat vs. the prior year.  Lack of sponsorship appears to be a key factor driving insufficient advancement of women based on a Catalyst study. Men and women have equal number of mentors. However women miss out on sponsors (people who have the power to promote and often use that power and influence to advance careers and opportunities for others). So, the obvious question is: “How do I Get a Sponsor?”

Got Sponsors? Here Are 3 Tips to Get One

The recent HBR article and Catalyst Research talks about the difference between mentors and sponsors. According to the research in the article, men and women generally have equal access to mentoring but men get greater sponsorship and therefore promotions.

Ever wonder where to find sponsors? They’re all around you, and here are 3 tips to find one near you.