Saying Yes to High Visibility Projects – Five Steps to Visible Success

Saying Yes to High Visibility Projects – Five Steps to Visible Success

No matter whether you are just starting out in your career or about to retire, saying “yes” to high visibility projects should be at the top of your list of priorities. For those starting out, it indicates willingness and motivation. It helps mark you out as a future leader. For mid-career leaders, taking on high visibility projects can accelerate your progression, open up additional responsibilities and opportunities and signal your interest for executive leadership roles. And for those considering retirement, and thinking about a different kind of future, high visibility projects can provide a lasting career legacy while also acting as a beacon for younger leaders. High visibility projects are important – particularly for women – as a HBR article by Shelley Correll and Lori Mackenzie points out, for those wanting to succeed in a corporate environment, visibility is the single most important factor: More than technical competence, business results, or team leadership ability — these leaders agreed — visibility is the most important factor for advancement But before you can say “yes” to a high visibility project, there is some work that needs to be done. Let’s take a look at the five steps to visible success: Start with a small success: We all like to make a “splash”, but taking on a large challenge also comes with risk and additional pressure. Volunteering to present at the national sales kickoff, for example, will put you squarely in the line of sight of your organization’s leadership. They will know your name, voice and the way you move on stage. They will scrutinize your presentation and speech – and this...
Leveraging Female Talent to Drive Innovation

Leveraging Female Talent to Drive Innovation

One of the most significant factors limiting the growth potential of countries around the world is the fundamental participation and engagement of women in their workforce. The second annual research study by Mercer on gender diversity in the workplace suggests that eliminating the gap between male and female employment rates could boost countries’ GDP by up to 34%.  How do we get there? We need to leverage the talent of women to drive innovation in our businesses – and this goes beyond lip service. It needs to become a strategic imperative. How Investing in Female Talent Produces Dividends To capitalize on innovative thought, businesses need to invest in a diverse workforce which includes funding, supporting, and mentoring female talent. These investments pay rich dividends for companies as a recent Babson College report shows that “businesses with a woman on the executive team are more likely to have higher valuations at both first and last funding (64 percent higher and 49 percent higher, respectively).” The Harvard Business Review report agrees that women are essential to growth and innovation: … employees who work for companies [that acquire and support female employees] are 45% more to likely report that their company improved market share in the last 12 months. And they’re 70% more likely to report that their company captured a new market in that time frame. Hiring a diverse workplace is the first step to harnessing female innovation, but businesses also need to foster women’s ideas. The Harvard Business Review further reveals that the “full innovative potential of women” remains largely untapped within corporations largely because the leadership doesn’t know how...
Women in Leadership: Raji Kumar and the Dallas Medical Center Turnaround

Women in Leadership: Raji Kumar and the Dallas Medical Center Turnaround

When it comes to women in leadership, there are many cases where women show unique and valuable leadership styles based in both their gender and cultural identities. Raji Kumar, CEO of Dallas Medical Center, is a great example of bringing a fresh style of leadership to her executive job and in so doing, turning a failing hospital into one of the area’s most disruptive, innovative and successful hospitals. Previous Leadership Kumar inherited Dallas Medical Center in a very bad position. The previous leadership had focused on getting the latest technology and newest cutting edge medical systems, but were easily overwhelmed by the gigantic purchasing power of nearby competition. Relationships with nearby physicians were frayed, reducing the probability of any physician referrals to Dallas Medical Center. The year Kumar took her position as CEO of Dallas Medical Center, the hospital was going $2 Million deeper in the hole every single month, and an entire floor had to be shut down because of rooftop leaks. Innovation and Renovation Kumar used the style of leadership coined by Sally Helgesen as The Female Advantage to find needs in her community, build relationships with physicians and staff and turn around the hospital so that in 5 years the hospital went from losing $2 Million dollars a month to being over-budget the same amount. In Helgesen’s bestselling 1990 book, she described how men and women approach work in fundamentally different ways, many of which can benefit women. Specifically, she wrote about how women are often better suited to running organizations that “foster creativity, cooperation and intuitive decision-making power,” obvious necessities for companies of today. And...
Take Steps to Crack the Glass Ceiling

Take Steps to Crack the Glass Ceiling

We still have some way to go before we can honestly claim to have shattered the glass ceiling. That invisible barrier between minorities and women that prevents access to the upper rungs of the corporate ladder still requires our attention and action. The Economist’s glass ceiling index for 2015 reveals that the United States ranks below the OECD average, behind Germany and Australia and well behind countries like Finland, Norway and Sweden which rank highest. The Glass Ceiling Index combines data on higher education, labor-force participation, pay, child-care costs, maternity rights, business-school applications and representation in senior jobs. It draws on data from a range of sources including the OECD, European Commission, World Economic Forum and others. Each country’s score is a weighted average of its performance on nine indicators. The interactive version of this chart allows you to see how the weightings can modify the results, showing how that a focus on specific factors can transform a whole country’s performance. You can hover over each country to delve into the figures for each country – and when we do this for the US, the data is revealing – especially when we contrast it with some of the other countries in the list. Let’s extract the data for a few countries: USA Canada Britain Finland Higher ed gap 5.0 11.3 2.2 12.9 Participation gap -11.5 -7.0 -11.4 -2.5 Wage gap 17.9 19 17.5 18.7 Exec positions 42.7 36.0 34.3 32.0 Board roles 21.2 18.3 22.6 32.1 Childcare cost 35.1 29.3 45.7 22.5 Paid maternity 0.0 8.0 11.7 14.1 GMAT exams 38.3 38.5 27.4 53.6  Women in parliament 19.3 25.2...

Check Out MyVenturePad.com and SocialMediaToday.com

Recently, I had an opportunity to talk with Brian Roger of Social Media Today and its sister site MyVenturePad.com.  Brian writes for these online, B2B social communities on topics that help companies use social media to connect with and build deep relationships with customers and prospects.  Brian and I had a great discussion about leadership which can be heard on MyVenturePad by clicking here.  In addition, I was fortunate enough to be named "Blogger of the Week" on Social Media Today and that article can be viewed here. Many thanks to Brian and the others at these two sites for showcasing for all of us some of the great ways that social media can be used to foster dialogue, build awareness and relationships and ultimately drive business. Nina Nets It Out: Be sure to learn about social media tools and the capabilities they can afford you in connecting with customers, partners, employees and the like. As I’ve always said, communication is crucial in business and these technologies empower all of us to be able to communicate in more ways and hopefully more...

A Brief Discussion with Michael Gallagher, President – The Stevie Awards®

In November 2008, I was humbled by being named the winner of the 5th Annual Stevie Awards for Women in Business in the “Best Executive – Service Businesses – More than 2,500 Employees”.  This was truly an honor and I can only again point to and congratulate the fabulous pool of competitors within this category, not to mention all of the other categories that were awarded.  To stay involved beyond receiving the award, recently I spoke with the founder and President of The Stevie Awards, Michael Gallagher.  I welcome you all to listen in to this podcast by clicking here where we discuss how I got started in business, my career and success at SAP and why I created my blog here at NinaSimosko.com. Nina Nets It Out: As a recipient of The Stevie Award, I wholeheartedly encourage other women to participate in this organization and to do all that they can to help other women in business, and men too, to achieve all that they...