Advertisement

The Queen of My Self

The Queen of My Self

The Power of Networking – Part 2

posted by Donna Henes

The Power of Networking – Part 2
By Dr. Marcia Reynolds, AZ

There’s another fear that stops women from leveraging the “who you know” chip: the fear of other women.

Hewitt’s article says women worry that if they ask a male to sponsor them, others will think it’s a sexual relationship. In my experience coaching female executives, most have no problem asking men to be their mentors (sponsorship is a fairly new concept we are working on). They aren’t concerned about gossip. They worry more that women will not work hard enough for them, or worse — sabotage their growth.

Women sabotaging women is one of the worst lies that is perpetuated in corporate America. Do some women dislike other women? Yes, as some men don’t care for other men. If given the chance, most senior women these days jump at the chance to help develop and promote other women. I spoke with Lauren Klein, Chief Community Officer for Executive Networks, about this reality. She said:

Advertisement

“We have many internal networks join in on the conversations in our broader network of executives who show up to talk about workforce topics. The women consistently attend and share valuable knowledge and experiences. What’s more, they appear to genuinely enjoy checking in with each other for support, advice and all-around camaraderie. Perhaps it’s time to put the myth of “women undermining other women” to rest, once and for all.”

Recently, in our Executive Networks’ Global Diversity & Inclusion Network, we discussed women and succession planning. According to Mary Farmer, the executive director of the network, “The genuine willingness to share valuable information, without self-interest, is something I’ve encountered frequently in both internal communities and external networks of professional women. I don’t see evidence of women undermining each other. My experience is just the opposite; women can and do join forces to create positive change and facilitate gender balance in today’s high-performing companies.”

Advertisement

I have advocated before for women to create their Positive Conspiracies of Change in organizations. Women need sponsors and they need to come together in supportive networks. There is no shame in asking for help. It is the way we will finally get more seats in the boardroom and our career desires met.

It’s time we play the “who you know” game, too.

* Please send me your thoughts about power. Also stories of your own empowerment. When shared, these ideas and examples are extremely inspiring to others. Thanks.

 ***
The Queen welcomes questions concerning all issues of interest to women in their mature years. Send your inquiries to thequeenofmyself@aol.com.

CONSULT THE MIDLIFE MIDWIFE™
Queen Mama Donna offers upbeat, practical and ceremonial guidance for individual women and groups who want to enjoy the fruits of an enriching, influential, purposeful, passionate, and powerful maturity.

 

Advertisement

The Power of Networking – Part 1

posted by Donna Henes

Dr. Marcia Reynolds’ passion is helping high-achieving women examine and strategize their full and amazing lives. Her articles are empowering and inspiring. I posted her article about women’s love of power last week. Here is another interesting piece about our power.

The Power of Networking – Part 1
By Dr. Marcia Reynolds, AZ
 
In my research, I have found that today’s high-achieving women are confident in their abilities and not worried about anyone discovering that they are frauds as research in previous years described working women. Today’s ambitious women know they are smart and capable, and they love getting new challenges that maximize their skills.

Advertisement

One of the side effects of being brought up to be a strong, smart women is the difficulty women have asking for help. They not only want to prove they can do things on their own, but also don’t want anyone thinking they are inadequate.

Men seem to know instinctively the value of building collegial networks, both in and out of the workplace. There is power in numbers. Getting ahead based on “who you know” is the way of the world.

Women typically loathe this show of politics. Their resentment builds as they are passed over for promotions and projects because they don’t play the game. These women can complain all they want about gender inequality, but they feed the problem with their view that building an “insider’s network” is bad politics and their fear of looking weak by asking for help.

Advertisement

It’s time women redefine what “playing politics” means. In a study cited in The Real Benefit of Finding a Sponsor by Sylvia Ann Hewlett (economist and the founding president of the Center for Work-Life Policy), researchers found that choosing wisely “who you know” is essential to getting ahead in the corporate world:

What’s been holding women back isn’t a male conspiracy, but rather a surprising absence of advocacy from men and women in positions of power. Women who are qualified to lead simply don’t have the powerful backing necessary to inspire, propel and protect themselves on their journey through upper management. Women lack, in a word, sponsorship.

Sponsors not only act as advocates for their protégés, making connections and campaigning for them in their organization. Women who work with sponsors also have learned the benefits of tooting their own horns. The study found that women with sponsors are more likely to ask their managers for stretch assignments and raises. It appears that having a higher-up believe in you increases your confidence and organizational wisdom.

Advertisement

So, the fear that people will think you are weak or manipulative if you ask for help is unfounded. In truth, you are smart and strong if you ask for help.

Tomorrow: The Power of Networking – Part 2

* Please send me your thoughts about power. Also stories of your own empowerment. When shared, these ideas and examples are extremely inspiring to others. Thanks.

 ***
The Queen welcomes questions concerning all issues of interest to women in their mature years. Send your inquiries to thequeenofmyself@aol.com.

CONSULT THE MIDLIFE MIDWIFE™
Queen Mama Donna offers upbeat, practical and ceremonial guidance for individual women and groups who want to enjoy the fruits of an enriching, influential, purposeful, passionate, and powerful maturity.

 

Advertisement

Women and Soft Power in Business

posted by Donna Henes

I came across this article in the Harvard Business Review. It came serendipitously while I was collecting articles about women’s relationship to power. This piece emphasizes that power can be interpreted and employed in different ways. That the concept of Power Over is a patriarchal concept that is fast becoming obsolete. And the faster we can help to usher in its obsolescence, the better — the happier, healthier, saner and safer we will all be.

Women and Soft Power in Business
Vineet Nayar
 
The leadership of women in politics, business, and society is becoming evident across the globe. Growing numbers of women are becoming political leaders, the most recent being Dilma Rouseff, who took over as Brazil’s first woman president. She follows in the footsteps of other female politicians such as Chile’s Michelle Bachelet, Argentina’s Cristina Kirchner, and Germany’s Angela Merkel. Last year, India even reserved a third of the seats in its legislature for women.

Advertisement

Women are also rising to the forefront in other parts of government. In November 2010, for instance, several women played key roles during U.S. President Barack Obama’s visit to India. The ones in the spotlight were of course Michelle Obama and Sonia Gandhi. In addition, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton helped shape Indo-U.S. ties, as did a troika of Indian women bureaucrats: Foreign Secretary Nirupama Rao; India’s U.S. Ambassador Meera Shankar; and Joint Secretary (Americas) Gaitri Kumar.

This trend represents the growing need for soft power in today’s world. As defined by Joseph S. Nye Jr., the former dean of Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government, soft power is the ability to influence or lead through persuasion or attraction, by co-opting people rather than coercing them. Soft power isn’t the exclusive preserve of women; U.S. President Obama, for instance, effectively uses soft power.

Advertisement

However, women are more inclined than are men to use soft power through tools such as dialogue and engagement rather than using the threat of arms or exclusion. Research has shown that women are excellent mediators, great networkers, and they place more value on building relationships than do men. They also keep cool during crises.

Few would disagree that corporate leaders need to display a healing touch in today’s horribly bruised business environment. Could women provide the much-needed soft power that will help rebuild confidence in business?

Many companies are recognizing the value of women leaders. As Sylvia Hewlett recently pointed out, interest in gender diversity is rising in post-recession Europe. Some Canadian companies have adopted non-binding targets for appointing women to leadership positions. This is leading to a slow increase in the number of women in senior positions, reports The Globe and Mail.

Advertisement

Despite these pockets of change, however, gender diversity is seriously lacking in the corporate world, with just 5% of corporate leaders being women.

At the risk of being trapped in the crossfire, I’d like to cast a vote in favor of women. The current environment makes it imperative to recognize the unique characteristics female executives possess, and CEOs must encourage women so as to bring about a much-needed transformation in business.

* Please send me your thoughts about power. Also stories of your own empowerment. When shared, these ideas and examples are extremely inspiring to others. Thanks.

 ***
The Queen welcomes questions concerning all issues of interest to women in their mature years. Send your inquiries to thequeenofmyself@aol.com.

CONSULT THE MIDLIFE MIDWIFE™
Queen Mama Donna offers upbeat, practical and ceremonial guidance for individual women and groups who want to enjoy the fruits of an enriching, influential, purposeful, passionate, and powerful maturity.

 

Advertisement

Fear of Our Own Power

posted by Donna Henes


Many of you have, I am sure, come across this fabulous writing many times. It speaks to the heart of the matter of women’s dysfunctional relationship to our own power.

In my spiritual counseling as a Midlife Midwife™ I dispense this powerful inspiration as a prescription for fear, shyness, self-limiting thinking, self-deprecation and self-destructive behavior. I tell my clients to post this where they will see it often and to repeat it aloud daily. It is tremendously empowering

Try it! Even if you have read it a thousand times, read it again. Say it out loud. Sing it in the shower. Shout it out at the top of your lungs. Tape yourself saying it and play it like a loop until you have no more self-doubts.

Advertisement

Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness, that frightens us most. We ask ourselves, ‘Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, and famous?’ Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that people won’t feel insecure around you. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in all of us. And when we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.

Advertisement

– Marianne Williamson

* Please send me your thoughts about power. Also stories of your own empowerment. When shared, these ideas and examples are extremely inspiring to others. Thanks.

 ***
The Queen welcomes questions concerning all issues of interest to women in their mature years. Send your inquiries to thequeenofmyself@aol.com.

CONSULT THE MIDLIFE MIDWIFE™
Queen Mama Donna offers upbeat, practical and ceremonial guidance for individual women and groups who want to enjoy the fruits of an enriching, influential, purposeful, passionate, and powerful maturity.

 

Previous Posts

To My Daughter, I Will Beg
by N'tima Preusser Military wife and new mother   One hundred and seven pounds. I worked hard for that weight. I was light. I was frail. I counted my corn kernels. My skin was colorless, punctuated with clogged pores, and my eyes ...

posted 6:00:50am Jul. 31, 2015 | read full post »

Successful Aging: Rituals to Increase Energy
By Helen Dennis, LA Daily News At some point, most of us acknowledge that we can’t do quite as much as we did years ago — and usually not in the same amount of time. If we overdo it, we often pay a huge fatigue price. Let’s focus on ...

posted 6:00:11am Jul. 29, 2015 | read full post »

Interview with a Canadian Queen – Part 2
QMD - When you imagined yourself as a woman in her middle years, how did you imagine your life to be? Is it? I am 62, so I am past my middle years. When I was a girl or even in college everyone thought I would never marry or have children. I ...

posted 6:00:53am Jul. 27, 2015 | read full post »

Interview with a Canadian Queen – Part 1
I recently attended a talk by Canadian author Catherine Gildiner and was quite taken with her good humored wisdom. When I read her book, After the Falls, I was hooked. She graciously allowed me to interview her and I would like to share her ...

posted 2:16:57pm Jul. 24, 2015 | read full post »

Am I Having A Mid-Life Crisis?
by Carolina Smart You ever have one of those Ah ha moments? Either one you came to on your own volition, or after a conversation with someone else; that someone being a good friend, family member or a stranger. I had one of those moments ...

posted 6:00:20am Jul. 22, 2015 | read full post »

Advertisement


Report as Inappropriate

You are reporting this content because it violates the Terms of Service.

All reported content is logged for investigation.