What Gets You to the Middle, Won't Take You to the Top!

I'm redesigning my office...and that means cleaning up and throwing out. In the cleaning I came across a list of inquiries that a recent Leadership Mastery group of participants had. These are women poised to move into senior and executive positions.

There were two significant learning goals shared across nearly all of the women:
  1. What will it take to unstick from where I am and to move to the next level - including re-branding myself in the eyes of higher levels and external stakeholders.
  2. How to be more effective with change and innovation.
Smart women! They had a clear understanding that what got them to the middle wouldn't be sufficient to take them to the top.

In more and more of our client organizations, the line of demarcation between the abundance of women in middle management and the absence of proportional numbers at the top is being defined as a transition from managing managers or managing clients or managing functions to managing the business. And, as I write in No Ceiling, No Walls and Make the Most of Mentoring - making that transition requires demonstrated business, strategic and financial acumen.

Other topics of interest to them were two that are most commonly associated with making the move from career-start to the middle. They were:
  • Harmonizing work and life outside work.
  • Strategies for finding my voice.
This serves to remind us that the potency of these issues ebbs and flows depending on our stage of life and what's happening in our career. Happily, these weren't front of mind for these women whose ambition included continued opportunities to contribute at higher levels in their organizations.

Lead ON!
Susan Colantuono, CEO and Founder Leading Women
Author of No Ceiling, No Walls and Make the Most of Mentoring. Underway is her new book, Network! What corporate women need to know about strategic relationships and success
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