Saturday, January 24, 2009

Vision and frenemies

Two articles I’ve read this week about two very different obstacles that women face when advancing their careers:

1) First, last a Preoccupations column in the NYTimes describes the “pink elephant” of sisterhood infighting. While her article was noticeably lacking in stats and surveys, I did find myself relating to this piece more than I’d like to admit. There’s a very fine line between “colleague” and “frenemy”.
2) To add to this discussion, Harvard Business Review has an excellent piece in this month’s issue: Women and the Vision Thing. This data rich article (I wouldn’t expect anything less from HBR!) was an excellent analysis of a key character trait missing from many women leaders: Vision. While women executives rank as high or higher in most other categories of leadership against their male counterparts – such as energizing, team building, tenacity, and emotional intelligence – they lacked the key trait of “envisioning”. Again, this piece resonated. I find myself often trying to balance simply reciting information and being prepared to answer questions with trying to “think out of the box” and help formulate strategy. As I’m still young in my career, the strategy piece isn’t expected of me, but this piece helped me realize that in order to continue to advance, it will be one day. It’s never too early to practice.

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