I am deeply interested in helping companies establish winning organizational cultures, and believe that if leadership were shared proportionally between women and men, companies would have superior results on a sustainable basis, and organizational cultures would be more aligned to company goals and more loyal to senior management.
I recently asked Leslie Tyburski to please take just a few minutes to tell me what advice she would offer women in business. Let me tell you a bit about Leslie. I was originally introduced to her by Peter Hill, the CEO of Billy Casper Golf, a very successful manager of golf courses throughout the United States, in fact, the leader in their industry. Upon Leslie’s graduation from Georgetown University, where she had outstanding success as a student athlete, Leslie joined Bill Casper Golf and again stood out for her contributions. She is a team player and a great teammate!
Ultimately, Leslie followed her dream and joined the U.S. Department of Justice as a Project Manager. She is a student of leadership and a believer in striving for continuous improvement and I am confident will continue to grow in her career to contribute very significantly and gain important leadership responsibilities.
With that as background, and knowing Leslie’s determination to be her best self, I was eager to learn what advice she would offer.
Leslie’s advice is simple – Do Not Be Afraid to Speak Up!
Typically, Leslie says, “I've found that if people are aware of your interests and motivations, they genuinely want to help in any way they can. You can be a talented and skilled professional, yet word of mouth will definitely help you. It is one of the most powerful tools in business.”
Leslie has observed in her career that women seem reluctant to ask their managers to be specific and for commitments during performance reviews. She feels it is unfair to continue to tell us, especially women, "You are doing a great job, keep up the good work!" when there is little incentive to do so, e.g., a good increase in pay or promotion.
If you really believe that your work performance should lead to a good raise or some sort of incentive, ask, "What specifically do I need to accomplish to earn an appropriate increase in salary, bonus, promotion and or perks?"
Ask your manager to list goals and objectives and to agree that achievement of these will be recognized and rewarded appropriately.
Thank you, Leslie, for your advice.
There are helpful books I recommend for women in business, for example, to name just a few:
Also, I encourage you to Google search for Sheryl Sandberg’s talks. She is the COO of Facebook, and many consider her the most influential woman in business today. She has insightful and inspiring messages.
Yes, it is important that women stand up for themselves and gain the responsibilities they have earned and deserve. It is only fair, and it will also strengthen organizational cultures and lead to a strengthening of companies’ financial results year in and year out and, thus, to our improved economy.