I read quite a few professional development books but other than Lean In, I haven’t read too many that focus on female development specifically. This past week I finished How Women Rise and it really changed the way I think about a lot of things.
What I took away as the overall theme of the book is that what got you to where you are won’t continue to get you to where you want to be. “What worked in the past doesn’t help you build for the future. For that, you need a healthy ability to trust, willingness to take considered risks and a big vision of what the organization could become.” The authors share quite a few stories of women who got to executive level positions and then struggled to hold their own because they were doing the same things that got them there. I personally related to this because I feel like I am closing in on that place in my career, where what traits and skills got me to where I am now won’t be as beneficial in my next role.
Another great idea from this book is to “think of every job as both a job and a bridge to whatever comes next.” This relates back to the article I wrote on the Hot Shot Rule. Once you become complacent in where you’re at, you’re not going to go forward. It seems that the biggest theme across all of sport is to be innovative. How can you be innovative when you just sit back and focus on the now and not the future?
Here are also a few actionable lessons I learned:
Your elevator pitch should be “Three clear and succinct sentences. He mentioned his present job, said his goal was to lead a telecom investment team in South Asia and noted his ties between his country of origin and the region he hoped to work in as well as two key relationships that would be useful.”
Share your success without being arrogant. A common difference between women and men is that men will often take full credit of things, sometimes more than they deserve. Women will often disperse credit, more than they should. If you have this problem, “give your team or coworkers credit for a joint success while articulating how you supported or strengthen the team’s efforts.” Use “I” statements!
And finally, be present. “The key component of leadership presence is to be fully present.” You can’t be a good leader if you aren’t fully involved and aware of what is going on around you.