InBox : The rules for women

Despite great deal of energy spent on trying to balance the gender make-up of senior management teams, men still receive more promotions than women.
But you can overcome the odds, says Herminia Ibarra, faculty director of the INSEAD Leadership Initiative and founder of the Gender Diversity Initiative, reported on the SmartBrief business website.
Here are her tips:
• Anticipate transitions. At certain point in your career, you will be expected to move beyond managing and will need to show leadership capability to move into the senior ranks. Instead of simply ensuring efficiency, planning and organising staff, you will need to create vision for change and then inspire your team to bring it to fruition. Look out for these role shifts.
• Development isn’t just about your skills. You won’t succeed in senior management if you rely solely on what got you this far, says Ibarra. Two common hurdles for high-potential women include adopting 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 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. M

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