Tag Archives: generational inclusion

This Fundamental Career Mistake Holds Women Back

Women believe that they have to be the best at ‘getting the job done’. They have to prove themselves… prove that they are the most committed and capable.  Your mistake? This is what you almost exclusively focus on. Yet, when leaders make promotion decisions, that’s not the primary deciding factor.  Women go through their careers checking the boxes…. if you go get this experience, if you achieve these outcomes, you’ll be in line for the next role.

But, what typically happens is that the rules change…there are other skills and experiences that you don’t have that you’re told you need…. the bar moves. 

If you’re a woman of color, the bar often is set even higher, and it becomes much harder to compete.

What seems so unfair is that when you look at others around you who are landing those promotions, they are no more qualified or capable than you.

What’s the difference?

What are they doing differently?

What do you need to do differently?

In the interviews for my book, FuelForward, Ralph de Chabert, Chief Diversity Officer for Brown-Forman Corporation shared this perspective: “We continue to struggle with the notion of merit, wanting to believe that’s real. And we want folks to believe that positions are earned through dint of sheer effort, i.e., people grow in an organization because they were rewarded solely for the results achieved through their hard work – I got this position because I earned it.”

My coaching clients often come to me frustrated, having dealt with the confusion of the unfair playing field. They, like you, are looking for solutions. You’re looking for help to understand and navigate the politics that are at work behind the scenes.

How do you begin to change the game for your career starting today?

In my guide, 5 Ways to breathe new life into your career, I lay out some steps to make sure you focus on what’s important in your career.

7 Steps To Strengthen Your Leadership Pipeline

What usually happens when you leave something to the last minute?

It never turns out as good as it could.

The same goes for your leadership talent readiness.

Leave it to the last minute, and your company’s leadership talent is not as good as it needs to be.

The problem is that companies wait to identify and develop emerging leaders from mid-level positions, missing early development opportunities to strengthen the pipeline.

This means that you don’t have established emerging leader talent management practices in place to ‘stack the deck ‘ for your leadership pipeline.

The lack of solid emerging leader talent management practices not only leaves gaps in your leadership pipeline, but also puts your company’s long-term competitiveness at risk.

To have even a chance at a winning leadership team, your pipeline practices must start early.

You can’t join a 100-meter race in the middle, expect to get up to speed as quickly as the other runners, and win. Preparing your leadership for success means starting the process at the starting line.

Following are seven important early stage leadership pipeline practices that could have a significant impact in effectively fueling the future bench strength you’re working so hard to build:

1. Define the early stage behaviors of the leadership competencies and skills your organization has identified for success.
2. Use both a qualitative assessment around these competencies and a results-based approach to evaluate and select potential talent.
3. Onboard emerging talent into a development process at junior level positions.
4. Set clear expectations for their engagement and success in this emerging leadership development process.
5. Make sure your talent development includes continued emphasis on and support to strengthen their foundation for success: Expertise, Experiences and Execution.


6. Provide opportunities for the development and application of identified leadership competencies and skills.
7. Introduce them to and support them in applying the career accelerators: Reputation, Reach, and Relationships.

Late stage leadership preparation is like trying to bring in a promising new quarterback near the end of the season.
It’s tough to win the super bowl by then.
Start early and stay at it with your emerging leader practices to build the talent your company needs to succeed.

And if your leadership pipeline requires retaining millennial talent, I have created a special update to help you. You can download it here.