Are you a Businesswoman or a Woman in Business?Earlier this month I enjoyed delivering a webinar to a number of Professional Women in Healthcare. The topic was Think Like a CEO: Developing Business Acumen. Implicit in the topic is the question, do you think of yourself as a "woman in business" or as a businesswoman. I recommend that your answer should be that you think of yourself as a businesswoman. Here's why:
A "woman in business" can be said to be a woman working in a business, but a businesswoman is a woman who "gets" and is advancing the business of her organization. She understands the business of business, has strategic and financial acumen and is more likely to be considered as a "high potential" candidate for advancement.
So, how do you think of yourself?
What's the Brand of Your Women's Initiative?It was an honor to consult with a large financial services organization as it launched launch its women's initiative - including a recommendation to initiate a women's leadership employee resource group. During the discussion about recommendations to the executive team and goals for the initiative, the topic of work/life balance and flex-time arose.
Taking advantage of the opportunity to offer advice, here's what I said,
"It's important to think about you you want your executives to see your efforts. Do you want to lead with the stereotypical work/life balance issues, or do you want to lead with a focus on leadership development and building the business?"They made the right choice. What's your answer?
What are you Doing about The Missing 33%™?In presenting The Missing 33% to the global women's council of a F500 company, I discovered that only 18% of its management competencies focus on business, strategic or financial acumen - while 48% focused on personal greatness competencies.
This is nearly the reverse of what our research indicates are the skills that executives and boards seek in C-suite candidates and high-potential employees. Of the skills sought for these movers, 50% have to do with business, strategic and financial acumen and 24% with elements of personal greatness.
How do you measure up in the area of business, strategic and financial acumen? How does your organization emphasize these in its performance, succession, leadership development, women's initiative content and other advancement systems?
At Leading Women, we consider business, strategic and financial acumen to be The Missing 33% of the career success equation for women. To learn more about what that means, why it's important, and what you can do about it; check out this short video, and pick up a copy of No Ceiling, No Walls. You'll be glad you did!
Susan Colantuono is CEO of Leading Women and author of No Ceiling, No Walls.
Follow her on Twitter | LittlePinkBook | Facebook | LinkedInGroup | LinkedIn