The New Advantage

CEOs Reveal The Top 3 Strategies For Women To Excel As Leaders

If you knew you could improve your company’s revenue with one single strategy, would you do it? If you heard there was a way to enhance your business profits, would you want to know what it is?

The New AdvantageMost leaders would likely answer “yes.” Yet every day in corporate America, business leaders neglect to take the steps that would give them a competitive edge.

One of the quickest ways, and in many ways the easiest to implement, is to balance their teams by including more women in positions of leadership. For the teams that find that balance, these are three common results they can expect:


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About the Authors

Howard J. Morgan and Joelle K. Jay, PhD, of the Leadership Research Institute (LRI) are co-authors of The New Advantage: How Women in Leadership Can Create Win-Wins for Their Companies and Themselves (Praeger / 2016). LRI is a global consulting firm specializing in leadership and organizational development. Morgan has worked with over 1,000 CEO and executive team members of the world’s largest organizations on improving corporate and executive performance. Jay is an executive coach and keynote speaker, and specializes in the advancement of executive women. For more information please visit www.TheNewAdvantageBook.com.

Martine Liautaud

Women and the economy: an opportunity for growth

One of the most strategic challenges remains inexplicably a black hole. It is time to unveil some figures and share thoughts on this hidden treasure: women.

As Christine Lagarde, Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund states: if women were employed at the same rate as men, GDP would increase by 5 percent in the United States, by 9 percent in Japan and by 27 percent in India.

Gender inequality is a reality


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About the Author

Martine LiautaudMartine Liautaud is the author of Breaking Through: Stories and Best Practices From Companies That Help Women Succeed (Wiley, April 2016). Martine is also founder the Women Initiative Foundation (WIF), in coordination with global energy player and expert operator ENGIE. WIF seeks to improve the place of women in business and increase their presence in universities around the world through active mentorship, sponsorship support and training programs.

Kim Villeneuve

The Diversity Dividend: How Balancing Your Leadership Team Can Pay Off

The call for greater diversity at senior leadership levels is not new, although it has itself become more inclusive, extending beyond gender, race and ethnicity, to encompass age, education, socioeconomic background and sexual orientation, as well as experience, skills and talent.

It is also not news that diversifying leadership teams can pay financial dividends for corporations. As early as 2004, research by Catalyst, Inc. showed a significant positive correlation between financial performance and female representation at the executive leveli with female Board representation having an even stronger effect.

Most recently, a new international study by McKinsey & Co.ii showed that companies with gender diverse leadership are 15% more likely to report financial returns above their national industry median, while those with ethnically diverse leadership were 35% more likely to have financial returns that outpace their industry. Sadly, none of the 366 public companies surveyed stood out as leaders on both gender and ethnic diversity axis together.

In spite of the long-established case for balancing executive teams, the C-Suite has remained stubbornly homogeneous. Only 4.6% of chief executives of S&P 500 companies are women, and there are just six black CEOs of Fortune 500 companies currently.iii Progress has been made, but slowly and inconsistently. In their recent study mentioned above, for example, McKinsey & Co. notes that women now represent about 16% of executive teams in U.S. companies overall, calling that “measurable progress” but acknowledging that women remain underrepresented at senior levels globally.


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About the Author

Kim VilleneuveDr. Kim Villeneuve is CEO of Centerstone Executive Search and Consulting, a nationally retained firm serving the consumer sector. Centerstone specializes in executive search and leadership consulting concentrated at the Board Director and Executive Officer level. Kim is also a coach for elite executives, an adjunct professor at American University’s Kogod School of Business, and guest lecturer at The George Washington University, from which she holds a doctorate in Human and Organizational Learning. Contact Kim at [email protected] or at 425-836-8445.

References

i. “The Bottom Line: Connecting Corporate Performance and Gender Diversity” January 15, 2004 Catalyst, Inc.
ii. “Why Diversity Matters” By Vivian Hunt, Dennis Layton, and Sara Prince McKinsey, & Co. January 2015
iii. “Is there a diversity dividend?” Linda Yueh, Chief Business Correspondent, BBC News January 25, 2015 http://www.bbc.com/news/business-30973184
iv. World Economic Forum Annual Meeting, January 2015 http://www.weforum.org/events/world-economic-forum-annual-meeting-2015/sessions/diversity-dividend

Why Should Anyone Work Here?

6 Fundamentals That Underpin Engagement – authentic organizations are high-performing organizations.

We began our research by asking people to describe their dream organization—one that feels authentic and within which it is possible for one’s best self to emerge. We’ve synthesized these ideal organizational qualities and have shown how some workplaces are making the elements of the dream real, inspiring the rest of us in the process.

Put together these multiple benefits – commitment, creativity, understanding, personal development, trust, purpose, and freedom—and you have created the fundamentals that underpin engagement at work. And we know that engagement is correlated with performance.

Why Should Anyone Work Here?The dream organization, then, is also the high-performing organization.


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About the Authors

Rob Goffee is Emeritus Professor of Organizational Behavior at London Business School, where he teaches in the world-renowned Senior Executive Programme.

Gareth Jones is a Fellow of the Centre for Management Development at London Business School and a visiting professor at Spain’s IE Business School in Madrid.

Rob and Gareth consult to the boards of several global companies and are coauthors of Why Should Anyone Be Led by You? and Clever, both published by Harvard Business Review Press.

Sharon Drew Morgen

Diversity And Bias: How to Hear ‘Different’ People Differently

We all recognize diversity is important yet difficult to attain. We recognize that with diversity we’re capable of creating all that’s possible; without diversity we limit who gets heard, who gets to lead, what knowledge we deem important, what we teach our children. Indeed, mis- and under representing categories of people cost an unimaginable price in money, possibilities, and life.

People much smarter than I have evaluated the high cost of the lack of diversity. But I’d like to offer a modest way to begin the process of overriding our biases: we can shift how we listen.

Biases Are Silent, Stealthy Executioners

While researching my new book (What? Did you really say what I think I heard?I learned that the listening process involves 1. our ears collecting and funneling the sounds of words spoken, then 2. our brain (using our unique, cultural, and historic beliefs, values, rules, etc.) interprets meaning from the sounds.

Biases and assumptions occur when our brain notices ‘differences’ it deems ‘unsafe’ (judged against our status quo), causing automatic prejudice outside conscious awareness. I heard Malcom Gladwell, the noted author of Blink say in an interview that when tested for unconscious racial bias, his results revealed something like a 53% bias against African-Americans – and he’s half black. We end up living and thinking in bubbles of our own making. The ideas, the capability, the innovation that gets lost is unimaginable.

At a dinner party once a man at my table discussed what I knew to be a naïve idea in my area of expertise. I ‘kindly’ explained to him the error of his ways. He merely smiled. Afterwards I learned that I had been admonishing a Nobel Laureate (in a different field than mine). Had I known that, I might have listened to his ideas as merely different or even interesting. Ditto if he knew I was a noted expert on the topic. Maybe together we could have changed the world in a unique and wonderful way. Instead, we listened to the other with biased, judging, ego-filled ears. What would we each have needed to believe differently to be able to hear each other without restriction?

On another occasion my biases potentially kept the world from glorious music. Visiting an ill friend at a nursing home recently I chatted with the orderly on staff. Whatever he heard me say motivated him to ask me to mentor him. I’m embarrassed to admit I declined. Thankfully he persisted. I went to his place for a lovely dinner, serenaded by a CD of his wonderous compositions! I coached him going forward, to find funding to make his music available to the public. But I almost missed that opportunity because I immediately judged him negatively.

Listen Without Bias

Realizing a part of the problem in judging others as ‘different’ lies with how we interpret what we hear, we can take steps to recognize when we are judging, biasing, or assuming, and then supersede our brain’s natural tendencies and listen neutrally:

  • Enter conversations with a bias of listening for all that’s possible.
  • Notice when we begin hearing differences or an internal judgment, and return to concentrating on what’s really being meant.
  • When our internal voice begins judging, reducing, disparaging, or condemning, pose the question to your internal self: what would I hear if I only heard what this person wants to share with me?

It’s not easy, as our brains are neurologically designed to hear what keeps us comfortable. But if we can at least aspire to hearing what others have to share, we can be further along the path of diversity and avoiding limitations.


About the Author

Sharon Drew Morgen is founder of Morgen Facilitations, Inc. (www.newsalesparadigm.com). She is the visionary behind Buying Facilitation®, the decision facilitation model that enables people to change with integrity. A pioneer who has spoken about, written about, and taught the skills to help buyers buy, she is the author of the acclaimed New York Times Business Bestseller Selling with Integrity and Dirty Little Secrets: Why buyers can’t buy and sellers can’t sell and what you can do about it.

To contact Sharon Drew at [email protected] or go to www.didihearyou.com to choose your favorite digital site to download your free book.