Positive politics for powerful female leaders

Positive politics for powerful female leaders

Since I left my job earlier this month, a lot of my contacts have asked me what they can do to help – to which my reply has been: “Please keep me in the loop with the news and key events, please keep inviting me to networking meetings and interesting events!”

And, because they are all Wonderful Women, the invitations keep arriving – and hence I am off to Cass Business School this evening for an event called “21st Century Leadership: The Evolution of Corporate Culture”, described thus:

” … we will be joined by the authors of “Why Women Mean Business”, Alison Maitland and Avivah Wittenberg-Cox, who take the economic arguments for change to the heart of the corporate world. They engage business leaders on how to drive growth by drawing on the complementary strengths of men and women.

We will also hear from Julie Gilbert, ex-Senior Vice President of Best Buy, a leading US retailer of consumer electronics and founder of WOLF, an external women’s network, through which Best Buy increased its female market share by more than $3.6bn, and the number of female managers by 40%.”

I know Alison and Avivah very well from having organised the London, New York and Toronto launches of WWMB last year and am thrilled it’s now out in paperback; and Julie is also involved with the Downing Street Project and is a wonderful speaker – so, with such a strong panel, this evening will be a terrific event.

I’ve also received an email from Women in Technology, inviting me to participate in a workship entitled “Positive politics for powerful female leaders”. This focuses on the “Rules of the Game” and how to be positively political to enhance career development and satisfaction. The (fee based) workshop will be run by Michelle Brailsford of the Jupiter Consulting Group; Michelle is also President of the London chapter of the European Professional Women’s Network, so trust me when I say she knows her stuff on this one. Reproduced with permission, here’s an overview of “The Rules” – how many hold true for you?

Rule #1. Like the lottery… you have to play to win.
Learn how to ‘re-frame’ the concepts around politics so that you feel comfortable ‘playing the game’.

Rule #2. Don’t get upset, get even.
Learn how to defuse any denial or resistance you might experience related to organisational politics.

Rule #3. Treat Stakeholders as they would like to be treated.
Understand two political power styles and how to flex your style more effectively.

Rule #4. Be yourself, but be the best self you can be.
Learn how to leverage your natural style to ensure you are ‘heard’ and supported.

Rule #5. A good idea alone is not enough.
Learn how to ‘message’ appropriately.

Rule #6. Don’t light a candle to place it under a bushel basket.
Learn how to promote yourself and your team with decent boldness.

Rule #7. Past performance predicts future behaviour… for women.
Learn how to use your track record to tell stories about credibility and trustworthiness.

Rule #8. The world isn’t fair and the sooner you realise this, the better.
Learn how to ‘level the playing field’ by spending time on ‘the right things’ instead of ‘doing things right’.

Rule #9. There are friends and there are allies.
Build your network strategically.

And finally …

Rule #10. Only powerful people can effect powerful change.

And now I am off to Cass, to try and follow the rules of #9.


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