What Keeps High-Achieving Women From Choosing Executive Positions. VI. Results: Themes One – Three

What Keeps High-Achieving Women From Choosing Executive Positions. VI. Results: Themes One – Three

“Entitled is too strong a word. I expected help, recognition, and frequent new challenges and opportunities.”
“In general, I don’t feel like I am ‘entitled’ to anything. I do believe that if I work hard, exceed expectations and leave a department better than when I arrived (working with integrity), that I will get more challenges and opportunities, ultimately having a faster than average career climb.”

Regardless of the personal nature of their motivation, these women feel that they are committed to obtaining outstanding results so their intentions should not be questioned. In addition, since they put more time and effort into finding the best way to do something than most of the people they work with, their voices should be heeded and respected. As a result, their communication style is very direct and passionate. This may serve them in leadership roles. However, their style can also intimidate others, causing political difficulties and interpersonal conflicts.

Sample interview responses:

(BS) “I’m outspoken so I need to balance when to speak and when to listen.”

(NM) “Even as a child I was very direct. My mom used to walk with one hand available because she knew I’d say whatever was on my mind… I’m still the one who always says exactly what she’s thinking. It does keep you out of some realms. I’ve been coached how not to do that but it still happens.”

(NM) “I have had to tone down my exuberance so I don’t overtake the room when I walk in. That’s what I think they meant when they called me ‘flamboyant.’ It’s my energy. A woman who was dressed in bright colors and big flying clothes called me that, and I was wearing my usual black. So it was more about my energy than my appearance. I have to know when to take a break, when to walk away, especially when I’m about to lose it.”

(AW) “I do like to be in on things, but if I’m not leading them and they’re not going where I want them to go, then I need to work on my patience.”


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About the Author

Marcia ReynoldsIn addition to coaching leaders in global companies, Dr. Marcia Reynolds travels the world speaking and teaching classes in advanced coaching skills, leadership and emotional intelligence. She is the author of 3 books and has been quoted in major online and print publications in the US and Europe.

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