Leadership Skills for Women Valerie B. Nixon Vice President for Administration and Enrollment Alfred State College
Objectives • To learn how to avoid unconscious mistakes that can affect your career • To learn how to recognize and make the right choices for your career and life • To learn how to build your reputation and credentials • To recognize your strengths and play to them • To provide resources for use throughout your career
Background • B.S. in Business Administration • M.P.S. in Community Services Administration • 23 years of supervisory experience including 6 years as vice president • Membership, including leadership roles in many professional and personal organizations (including SUNYFAP!) • Received many awards and honors • Presented on a variety of topics to various groups
Avoiding Unconscious Mistakes • Be a grown-up! • Appearance • Demeanor • Overdo it! (to a point) • Don’t put being liked over doing your job • When your employer hosts a social gathering don’t forget you are still at work.
Avoiding Unconscious Mistakes • Don’t wait to be taught. • Learn everything you can about your job and industry. • Be invaluable to your supervisor. • Volunteer for things outside your area. • Don’t downplay your ability.
Avoiding Unconscious Mistakes • Rely on the experts • Find a mentor, preferably more than one. • Don’t rely only on spell check and grammar check. • Proofread your e-mail. • Don’t write anything you don’t want shared!
Avoiding Unconscious Mistakes • Understand office politics and use it to your advantage. • Never underestimate a person’s connections. • Always get back to people. • Use your intuition. • Don’t take things personally and don’t assume you understand a person’s motivation. • Bend the rules where appropriate.
Avoiding Unconscious Mistakes • Office Politics….. • Know your own ethical standards. • Don’t confuse ethics with preferences. • Always weigh the consequences. • Is the job more important than the issue?
Avoiding Unconscious Mistakes • Make sure you are noticed. • Don’t wait to be recognized. • Don’t be afraid to sing your own praises. • Don’t do the work of others. • Don’t skip breaks or vacations and work late hours as a rule.
Avoiding Unconscious Mistakes • DON’T ACT LIKE A MAN! • “Acting” is the key word. • Be yourself; you bring a lot to the table!
Avoiding Unconscious Mistakes • Don’t act like a girl! • You want folks to see you as a capable leader. Therefore, don’t: • Decorate your office like a living room • Feed people • Cry! • Worry too much about offending people • Use a nickname
Make the Right Choices • Pick something you love doing. • You don’t have to graduate in two/four years. • Always assess whether the job or field is right for you. • What you love may change. • Always have an “escape plan”.
Make the Right Choices • Have a written plan. • A written plan will keep you focused. • Be willing/ready to adjust. • Weigh major decisions against the plan to avoid impulsive choices.
Make the Right Choices • ALWAYS KNOW THE PRICE YOU ARE WILLING TO PAY FOR YOUR CAREER! • You can’t “have it all”. To have some things, you have to give up others. • Go back to your written plan. Does it clearly reflect your personal AND professional goals? • Be clear on your priorities.
Make the Right Choices • Have interests outside of work. • Volunteer • Join a club • Read, walk, play golf; whatever you enjoy • Make time for yourself • If work is your only interest, you can’t be your best at your job!
You Have Choices! • You always have choices!!! • How many and how reasonable depends on how YOU have planned. • Have you: • Put yourself in a financial bind? • Limited yourself by location, willingness to travel, type of work you can (and will) do? • Failed to build contacts within and outside the industry?
You Have Choices! • Or worse! Have you…. • Damaged your reputation with those who can support you? • Stayed “one-dimensional” so that you are viewed as being skilled in only one area?
You Have Choices! • The Gender Card: • Are you SURE it’s the reason? • Is it the organization’s culture or the individual? • Is it worth waiting it out? • The bad guys (usually) go away eventually • Can you wait it out? • Don’t make it about YOU!
How to Appear Confident • Act like you’ve been there! • Be prepared! • Plan • Find out what works for you to calm your nerves. • Deep breathing • Cut out the caffeine • Start small and work up
How to Appear Confident • Speak with authority – but know what you’re talking about. • Practice, practice, practice! • Don’t back down to bullies. • Be professional but be firm.
How to Appear Confident • Envision your success. • Don’t underestimate your experience. • Don’t minimize your contributions. • Don’t always believe others know more than you. • Don’t always do the grunt work.
Recognize your Strengths • Know what you are good at. • Understand your limitations. • If you can build a skill do it! • If it’s not within your ability, skip it! • If you have to take on a task that you aren’t ready or able to do, find a partner. • Stay true to yourself.
References • Build a network of friends, colleagues, and business associates. • Be there when they need you. • Show them your capabilities. • Ask for help when you need it. • Find someone you admire and listen to their advice.
References • Attend conferences and workshops that help you to build skills. • Don’t try to learn it all at once. • Try to learn something from even the worst situation.
References • “Nice Girls Don’t Get The Corner Office” • By Lois P. Frankel, PhD. • “If My Career’s on the Fast Track, Where Do I Get a Road Map?” • By Anne Fisher • “The Female Brain” • By LouannBrizendine, M.D. • Valerie Nixon, Vice President for Administration and Enrollment Management, Alfred State College • 607-587-3985 • email@example.com
Leadership Skills for Women Questions???