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

(KP) “I get so busy with activities that I don’t get focused.” She said that she blows through one job, then moves on to the next with no sense of path or purpose. “That’s the do, do, do, always go somewhere, always do something, always travel, always have trips, always have things in the works…but when I stop to take a breath, I feel shallow, like I’m not contributing to society. I feel self-centered and self-serving…but [I’m] not sure how to create what would make me feel more valued.”

(KP) “I have a pattern of making poor choices, not asking the right questions. In retrospect, I didn’t even know what to ask.”

(AS) “I’ve been too long in this position. Four years in one place is huge for me…I think I will always bounce around, but I feel like it’s time to temper that with some sort of direction. I know I love having new experiences, learning about the business, and once I’ve figured out how things work and make some great improvements, then I like to leave. Can I make a plan with that?”

Survey responses: Unlike the interviewees, 70% said they had a plan when they started their career but it changed as new opportunities came up. However, from their comments, their plan seemed to focus more on discovering and meeting their needs than on completing steps in a career plan.

Sample survey comments:

“My plan has been to develop a fulfilling career that pays me well so that I can enjoy life.”

“I don’t sit still. Yet the last time my turnaround/successes in sales benefited my successor—the two times tier winner went to the guy who inherited my territory the following year!”

“My early career was filled with unexpected promotions that drove my skills and later successes in other companies. I started to drive my career in my 21st year!”

“I know I’m not going to be doing what I’m doing now in a few years. I’ll be somewhere else doing something else, but until the opportunity presents itself I won’t know what it is.”

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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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