How Hardship Creates Leaders

I’ve been working with a group of young leaders lately. One was talking about his background – high-achieving, top schools, good grades, an early career in a prestigious company filled with other top performers from fancy schools. This leader was frustrated to now be working in a company where, as he put it, “average” performers were the norm.   Looking at this leader’s perspective from where I sit, older and having endured many hiccups and setbacks on life’s journey, I am bemused by the young leader’s notion that being on top of the world is sustainable – and even desirable. Yet I also understand it. We’re all socialized to think […]

Changing Corporate Culture to Enable Women’s Success

This week, we’re blogging over at Linked2Leadership!  And here’s what we’re saying… If you haven’t been living under a rock, you’ve been hearing the recent debate about barriers to women’s career success. Debating Two Paths This debate is personified by Anne-Marie Slaughter in one corner, arguing that organizations force women to choose between life balance and career success, and Sheryl Sandberg in the other corner, countering that women bear a share of the responsibility for this problem. In Sandberg’s new book, Lean In, she says women need to assume they can have it all, and then get out there (or rather, lean in there) and press for what they need. […]

“Having it All,” Part Two: Any progressive CEO’s out there?

In her blog “Having it All, Part One” my colleague, Joan shared her thoughts on The Atlantic’s article, “Why Women Still Can’t Have it All”, by Anne-Marie Slaughter: “This is more than a women’s issue or a balance issue – and, if we keep defining it at that level, leaders will never summon up the political will to make change. Underlying the pressure towards work-life imbalance is a world view that also drives some common assumptions about what it means to be effective and successful at work. I call this world view the “mastery orientation,” and it has costs not just for life balance but also for organizational performance.” How […]

“Having it All,” Part One

The recent Atlantic article by Anne-Marie Slaughter has ignited a debate. Slaughter argues that organizations still force women to choose between life balance and career success, and that it’s time to stop telling women that, if they simply are committed or ambitious enough, they can “have it all.” She calls for organizations to change the norms and rewards that force these trade-offs. In my years of researching, writing about, and trying to help organizations change the pressures towards work-life imbalance, I have become convinced of one thing. This is more than a women’s issue or a balance issue – and, if we keep defining it at that level, leaders will […]