What Keeps High-Achieving Women from Choosing Executive Positions: VII. Results: Themes Four and Five
Sample survey comments:
“To be a good manager, you need to be an open and honest communicator. Get involved with developing talent and do not shy away from dealing with people issues. Protect pride/respect others. Expect strong work ethic/integrity. Believe in humor, laughter, and fun at work. And above all, don’t enjoy bureaucracy.”
“I think there needs to be better training for Bosses to be promoters of their ambitious staff (and if they think they are not capable then they need to learn how to have a direct discussion). Also, sadly, I think some women in higher levels feel threatened by high-achieving ‘underlings’!!”
“My disillusionment was working with a direct leader that did not handle confrontation or support her subordinates. She made decisions for her glory without identifying the reality of the processes or goals. Watching her self-promote while jeopardizing the success of her team, department, and people has been disappointing. She performs like many female managers in the late 70’s that had to sue a company to get a leadership position. Times have changed but she has not. She does not have the vision that a successful team can best drive her own success. When she allows her “favorites” to verbally attack other leaders, she lost my respect forever.”
“All of my bosses have been women, with the majority of them being great bosses.”
Possible negative internal factors and behaviors from Theme #5 Experience is the best teacher:
They are shocked when embroiled in office politics and then only see the negative aspects of people’s behavior instead of trying to understand what drives people to act the way they do. With this viewpoint, they seldom find solutions for these interpersonal problem or ways to negotiate their relationships for better results.
They feel immortal and have difficulty recovering from being laid off, fired, removed from a position, voted off a team, or placed in a position they don’t want.
They don’t stay with a “difficult manager” long enough to see other opportunities within the company. Timing is not their forte.
They need reflection time to best understand what is going on within an organization. Since they love to stay busy, they may not get or take the quiet time they need to thoroughly think through complex situations.
They may not seek out help/advice or accept help/advice when offered. This could lead them to make some unnecessary mistakes. They may learn from these mistakes, but they could have learned to avoid the problems if they accepted guidance more often.