Who would have thought, after all this time, that women would dominate the workforce, not because of the battle for equal rights, but because 82% of the firing during this recession hit men, especially men in the construction and manufacturing industries. It was estimated in February of 2009 that 40% of the main household breadwinners were women. The New York Times Business section ran an article, “As Layoffs Surge, Women May Pass Men in the Joy Force” stating that women venturing into the job market had actually declined and slowed, so this recent statistic had nothing to do with the priorities of women toward work, but more a reflection of what happens when certain job markets, predominantly held by men, become the unfortunate target of a recession. Well, like it or not, we arrived! Women now hold 51% of the job market
So how does this affect a woman? Considering women make, on the average, 20% less than men, and are now the main, if not only breadwinners in the family, the first implication is that many are having to live considerably below their comfort, falling back on a needs only budget. This, along with the domestic nesting inclination of most women, our need to keep our home clean, running smoothly, while at the same time overseeing the schedule and chauffeuring of our children, we could be a heart-attack waiting to happen. It is widely known that although women have taken on either a part, or full time job, that they still do the majority, if not all the household chores. Now, add to this the boomer age women who have added another stressful piece to the pie, the care and responsibility of their aging/ailing parents, and it’s just not possible to avoid a melt-down, emotionally and physically. I happen to be among the few fortunate women who have a husband who is fully engaged in the household responsibilities, as well as joined me in the care and burden of my parents. Although, I believe this to be a rare scenario! And, we haven’t even discussed the dynamics and stress of the needs and requirements of the executive position! When coaching women executives, one of the first hurtles we attack is that of clarifying personal missions, priorities, delegating responsibilities, and getting clear on giving up what I call the “Parent Syndrome”. This is that innate gift women are endowed with, whether we’ve had children or not, where we feel responsible for everyone, and everything. Because of the very nature of our gender, we have to be brutally honest with our time limitations, get a realistic expectation of ourselves, and then make the adjustments necessary for our own health, vitality, and future. So, does this kind of change initiative work? Absolutely! Shifting our thinking, becoming creative strategic planners of our lives, discovering never before thought of resources that are all around us, becomes the kind of challenge I love to assist women with! We only have one life, so living it fully is worth the time and investment! Besides, we’re worth the effort, and will be a better companions, mothers, friends, work associates as well as sizzle in leadership positions!
ACQUIRE THE FIRE WEDNESDAYS! Each Wednesday I’ll review a book or blog
Last post I hopefully inspired you to begin reading more. So, where do you begin? I’ve provided a short list of all the books I have each executive with whom I coach read, or listen to. Some of my clients get so hooked on what they read, they have even gone out and purchased all of some of the author’s books. For your convenience, I have listed these books on the side of this page with an easily accessible link to Amazon to purchase them. Now, I do run into some that say, “I don’t read books”, and I would challenge you, I would like to see 5 concrete reasons as to why you don’t read books! If you’re one of them, here’s a challenge for you. Acquire one of these books I’ve listed, put on the timer for 15 minutes each day. Do this for two weeks, and then tell me if you do, or don’t see the value in this investment. Ask yourself these questions when you’re done:
- Did I learn something new?
- Will what I learned help me as a new leader, leader, or manager?
- Can I incorporate a skill in my daily activity?
- Did it build my confidence in any area?
- Will it help me influence others in a positive way?
- Did I feel encouraged?
If even two of these were the takeaways, wouldn’t it be worth it to give it a try? Let me know how it goes, I’d love to hear from you.
ACQUIRE THE FIRE BOOK REVIEW: “Developing the Leader Within You” by Dr. John C. Maxwell is the very first book I have every leader, executive, or manager I work with read! If you want to know:
- Why people don’t seem to respect or follow you and how to change that
- What breaks the trust of people you’re leading
- How to focus on priorities
- How to problem solve as a leader
and so much more, this is a MUST read book. Dr. John C. Maxwell is an amazing orator and author. You’ll walk away learning the five stages of leadership, and what is necessary at each stage of the game, so you can continually be moving forward. I give this book five stars, out of five for being excellent. Buy the book today. Just go to the panel on the right and you can get it at Amazon. There’s a workbook that goes with it as well. Check out his website too, it has many more opportunities for your involvement: http://www.johnmaxwell.com/
5 Reasons Why Both New and Seasoned Leaders Should Read Books:
- As a leader, you can learn leadership lessons without having to experience the pit of failure yourself. I believe the mark of a great leader is the knowledge that, in and of himself, his knowledge and efforts can only accomplish so much. But with the knowledge and support of wise, competent leaders that have gone before him/her, he/she can become unstoppable.
- A leader who reads opens up for himself a world of possibilities!
- A leader who reads challenges his mind to new ways of looking at things.
- One that is well read, and open to change, can subscribe to new ways of doing things. Whereas, one that is stuck on the notion that he or she “knows it all” or has to come up with all the answers completely by himself, and relegates himself to poor judgment in many matters he could have avoided.
- You will expedite your leadership learning curve exponentially. Wouldn’t you want to be able to avoid as many pitfalls and mistakes that other leaders have made! Why not learn from their failures? You could save yourself and others enormous amounts of embarrassment. Numerous times I have worked with leaders that have made common, age old mistakes, that create discord in the ranks. These mistakes have then cause them to lose the trust and credibility of those around him/her. Worse yet, I’ve seen it even costing them tens of thousands of dollars and sometimes, even their as well as others their job. For example, it is a common, well known, business practice to conduct a needs assessment to unearth the real issues underlying an organization. There are many ways to conduct one, but the fundamental principle is to discover the needs in an organization in order to apply a remedy. Is it a training need? Is it a systemic problem, or possibly a leadership competency issue in middle management? Few organizations, I’ve discovered, keep their pulse on this one thing. If they did monitor their organization in this way, they would not need to hire me to then come in and conduct conflict resolution! In fact, if you hire a consultant, the first thing they should do is to do a “Needs Analysis” before they deliver any kind of program. And, if a leader is aware, through reading, of the value of a “Needs Assessment”, they could avoid a ton of issues from the get-go that could blind-side them in the future.
Do you know if you’re living your mission? Sue gives you a clear way to discern if you’re not, and what to do if you can’t living it out on the job. You’ll learn the worst enemy to this pursuit, and hear a great story of a successful executive that made the transition.