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LEADERSHIP IS A PROCESS OF SOCIAL INFLUENCE, WHICH MAXIMISES THE EFFORTS OF OTHERS TOWARDS THE ACHIEVEMENT OF A SHARED GOAL.
Thursday, October 14, 2010
Here is some advice from Positive Leadership on how women can best make the transition to senior management:
Anticipate transitions. At a certain point in your career, you will be expected to move beyond managing and will need to demonstrate leadership capability to move into the senior ranks. Instead of simply ensuring efficiency, planning and organising staff, you will need to create a vision for change and then inspire your team to bring it to fruition. These role shifts can be difficult to see. Watch out for them.
Development isn’t just about your skills. You won’t succeed in senior management if you rely solely on what got you this far. Two common hurdles for high-potential women include adopting a strategic perspective and managing stakeholders. Big-picture thinking and learning how to create influence through coalitions and networks are key to leadership success. Get on assignments that are key to the success of your company, as well as cross-functional projects that bring together diverse stakeholders from across the company.
Watch out for identity traps. Another common trap for women during the transition to senior management is that they fall victim to their natural leadership style. You’ll need to knock off the micromanaging, learn how to delegate and cultivate the ability to influence without authority.
Authenticity is also about your future self. It takes 15 seconds for a person to form an opinion about you. Think about how you want to be perceived and manage your image accordingly. Keep in mind that it is particularly difficult for women to be perceived as both competent and warm. Networking can also be a challenge for women, but growing your strategic network is essential. Cultivating mentors is also key to future success in senior management.