What Keeps High Achieving Women from Choosing Executive Positions

What Keeps High Achieving Women from Choosing Executive Positions

However, both high-achieving men and women pull out all stops to achieve a goal they are given if they understand the purpose and their personal values are in alignment with that purpose. (Spreier, Fontaine & Malloy, 2006) They vie for new and short-term projects where they can see fast results and they seek challenges that call forth and stretch their capabilities.

However, achievers avoid high-risk situations where chance is more predictive of success than effort, and where there is more than a 50% chance of failing no matter what they do. (McClelland, 1975) This is because they have a higher need for showcasing rather than testing their strengths and they do not cope well with failure. McClelland (1975) also suggested that achievers are more interested in seeing the fruit of their results than in the material or financial rewards they earn. However, many do regard financial rewards as a measurement of their success.

Although they avoid high-risk situations, achievement is the prime motivator more than security. They are constantly on the move, calculating as they go. They seek feedback on their work to help them succeed, not to make them feel better.

Since they are always mobilizing to get things done, high-achievers appear to others to be directive, dominant, ego-centric, demanding, decisive, and aggressive. (Marston, 1979; Target Training International, 1986) Although high-achieving women will show a variation on the intensity of these traits, and may demonstrate traits of other behavioral styles, the traits defined above match the DISC Style Analysis Instrument based on the work of Marston (1979) and McClelland (1975). Therefore, this instrument was chosen to help identify candidates for the study.

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Marcia Reynolds

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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