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职场女性如何打破天花板?方法很简单,却极容易被忽视

Robin Koval 2016年09月12日

只要掌握一些上中学前就知道的诀窍,职场女性就能打破天花板,跻身最高管理层。

 

MPW内部网络是一个邀请最有影响力的商界女性及时解答职业与领导力问题的在线社区。今天的问题是:在男性主导的行业,女性如何才能脱颖而出?以下为公共卫生基金会Truth Initiative首席执行官兼总裁罗宾·科瓦尔的回答。科瓦尔著有《磨砺卓越:坚毅、激情和勇气将寻常变成非凡》(Grit to Great: How Perseverance, Passion, and Pluck Take You from Ordinary to Extraordinary)和《善意的力量:如何用善意征服商业世界》(The Power of Nice: How to Conquer the Business World With Kindness)。

胆小怯懦者是无法在一个男性主导的行业生存下去的,但作为一位广告业女性高管,这正是我多年来一直在经历的事情。虽然我通过不懈奋斗渐渐升至高位,但需要指出的是,在商业世界,女高管真的寥寥可数。事实上,我经常是董事会中第一位或者唯一的女性。

当我下定决心,要努力爬到最高管理层时,所有这一切都发生了变化。我发现,与男性独霸的管理层周旋的最佳对策是打造一个新圈子。在一位极具远见,而且非常开明的男客户鼓励下,我与广告业为数不多的女性首席创意官之一,同样寻求变化的琳达·卡普兰·舍勒联手合作,抛弃男性独尊的管理圈,成立了一家属于我们自己的广告公司,并最终推动它成为纽约第五大广告机构。

我们过去开玩笑说,公司的雌激素太丰富,恐怕硬汉普京来了都会变成娘炮。随着事业越来越成功,常有人问我们:“成功的秘诀是什么?”

与人为善

成功的要素其实很简单。第一条,也是经常跟女性联系起来的品质是,与人为善。广告业竞争激烈,要做到这一点其实很难,但确实很有用。也许正是因为这样做出人意表,所以往往能出奇制胜。

和我们服务过的许多客户一样,“与人为善”存在一个巨大的形象问题。人们常说,好人没好报。但有时也并非如此。无论在商场还是日常生活中,“与人为善”都是最有力量的四个字。在当今世界,用户、客户和消费者面临的选择太多,而且极为复杂,友善会让你脱颖而出,赢得信任。而信任在当今各种关系中已弥足珍贵。

与人为善并不是说,你今天给服务生小费,没准哪天他成了财富500强企业老总,为了报答送给你一大块股份(除非你给了天价小费)。善行的回报并不会那么直接。实际上,友善的影响可能要等10年、20年甚至30年才能显现出来,而且,这种影响经常是多米诺式的,可能很难追溯源头。但我向你保证,友善的影响是指数级的,有如数学定律,一件小小的善行可能为无数商机奠定基础。

坚韧不拔

第二个成功秘诀也是四个字:坚韧不拔(怎么说呢,我来自民风彪悍的纽约布朗克斯区)。坚韧不拔,以及勇敢、韧性、积极性和顽强等特质,都没有性别之分。而且,无论是在商场,还是在现实生活中,它都是推动性别平等的巨大动力。越来越多来自学界、科研领域和商界的证据显示,相较于智识、天分、经济资源、好长相和受欢迎程度,坚韧不拔是最有可能预测未来成功的一大因素。对于那些渴望在男性主导的职业领域有所成就的女性来说,这种品质尤为重要,因为只有坚持不懈,女性才能在激烈的竞争中立足,才能顺利克服经常存在于各行业中的种种障碍。

真正的好消息是,这种品质与基因无关,也跟你的身体中有没有y染色体毫无关系。我们每个人都可以自身开发,并帮助其他人发展这种品质。多想想如何才能拓宽视野,寻找全新的成功秘诀。不要把对手看成掠夺者,而是当成动力来源,正是因为对手的存在你才能开拓思路、激发创新能力。

不要贪婪

现在有一种误解称,女性的职场地位不高,经常是因为工作没有得到应有的承认。女性的成绩无疑应该得到认可,但如果愿意与别人分享成就,收获会比独占其功多得多。作为美国最谦卑的总统之一,哈里·杜鲁门说过:“只要不介意功劳簿上怎么写,什么事都能做成。”这种想法或许有违常理,因为人们总是希望别人承认自己的价值和贡献。可是,当你和他人共享一个创意时,你就建立了一个社区。在整个社区中,每个人都会小心呵护创意,最后将它发展为一项超乎你想象的成就。到那时,谁还在意是不是有十个人觉得这个创意是“他们的”?最终的智慧结晶可能比你独占所有功劳的成果高明十倍。正如老话所说:“水涨众船高。”

做好充分准备

假如你是大会上唯一的女性代表,走进会场时你有时会胆怯。但要是你知道自己比其他与会者准备得都充分,带着自信冷静地走进去,怯场的感觉就会大为减弱。倘若大型会议前你多准备30分钟,优势立刻就比对手明显。多做点准备会极大地增加自信,无论遇到什么难题,你都能从容应对。在准备工作上费工夫,特别是感觉紧张的事情,就能将压力转嫁给竞争对手。恐惧是生活的一部分,我们避无可避。应付的诀窍是未雨绸缪,掌握主动权,永远不打无准备之仗。(财富中文网)

译者:Pessy

审校:夏林

The MPW Insiders Network is an online community where the biggest names in business and beyond answer timely career and leadership questions. Today’s answer for: “How do you excel in a male-dominated industry?” is written by Robin Koval, CEO and president of Truth Initiative and author of Grit to Great: How Perseverance, Passion, and Pluck Take You from Ordinary to Extraordinary and The Power of Nice: How to Conquer the Business World With Kindness.

Surviving in a male-dominated industry is not for the faint of heart but it was something I did for many years as a female ad executive. I worked my way up the proverbial corporate ladder and let’s just say there was never a line for the executive ladies’ room. In fact, I was often the first or only female in the boardroom.

That all changed when I decided it was time to climb up to the C-suite. I figured that the best way around the boys’ club was to build a new clubhouse. With the encouragement of a very forward thinking, and yes, enlightened male client, I joined forces with one of the ad industry’s only female chief creative officers, Linda Kaplan Thaler, who was also looking for a change. Together, we ditched the boys club and started our own advertising company, which went on to become the 5th largest ad agency in New York.

We used to joke that we had enough estrogen in our company to make Putin ovulate. As we grew more successful, we were constantly asked ‘What’s the secret to your success?’

Be (very) nice.

It came down to a few simple ingredients. The first, often thought of as a more feminine trait, was to simply be nice. This was especially challenging in the competitive world of advertising, but it worked. Perhaps because it is so counterintuitive and often takes the competition by surprise.

Much like many of the clients we served, “nice” has a huge image problem. We all know the adage “Nice guys finish last.” But often with conventional wisdom, just the opposite is true. N-I-C-E is one of the most powerful four-letter words in business and in life. In a world where clients, customers and consumers face more choice and complexity than ever, being nice will separate you from the rest and help you build the all too elusive trust that is lacking in so many relationships today.

That doesn’t mean the waiter you tipped will one day run a Fortune 500 company and give you a majority stake (unless that was one heck of a tip). The process is rarely that direct. In fact, you may not see the results of an imprint for 10, 20 or 30 years, and because it has a domino effect, you may not even be able to trace it back. But, I assure you, it is an exponential, mathematical certainty that one imprint lays the groundwork for multiple business opportunities.

Be gritty.

The second secret ingredient in our recipe is also a four-letter word, G-R-I-T (what can I say, I’m from the Bronx). Grit, and its component traits of guts, resilience, initiative and tenacity, have no gender and is the great equalizer in business and in life. A growing body of evidence from science, academia and business shows that more than intellect, talent, access to financial resources, good looks, or popularity, grit is the one factor most likely to predict future success. Grit is especially important for women looking to thrive in male-dominated professions because it will give you a powerful leg up on the competition and help you navigate the obstacles that often come with the territory.

And the really great news is that grit is not determined by our genes or the presence of a “y” chromosome. We all can develop it in ourselves and in others. Think about how you can broaden your horizons; cook up a brand new recipe for success. Instead of looking at your rivals as taking something away, think of him or her as giving you the extra push you need to expand your thinking and energize your creativity.

Don’t be greedy.

There’s a misconception that women oftentimes get left behind in the workplace because they don’t take due credit for their work. While you should of course be recognized for your achievements, what you’ll gain by reveling in those achievements with others is much greater than if you bask in them alone. Harry S. Truman, one of America’s most humble presidents, once said, “You can accomplish anything in life, provided that you do not mind who gets the credit.” This is counterintuitive thinking, because it is natural to want others to recognize our worth and contributions. But when you let others share the ownership of an idea, you create a community of people who will nurture and grow those ideas into something far greater than you ever imagined. Who cares if 10 people think it’s “theirs”? The end result will likely be 10 times more brilliant than if you greedily gobbled up all the credit. As the old saying goes, “a rising tide lifts all boats.”

Become an over-preparer.

Walking into a big meeting where you’re the only woman in the room can sometimes feel intimidating. But entering with the calm, powerful confidence that comes from knowing you’ve prepared more than anyone else in the room lessens that intimidation. When you put in that 30 extra minutes preparing for a big meeting, you create an immediate competitive edge between yourself and the competition. A little over-preparation gives you a huge boost of confidence that no matter what curve ball you get thrown, you can field it. When we invest in preparation, especially for things that we’re nervous about, we reverse the fear equation. We can never eliminate fear from our lives. Fear is a part of life. The trick is to prepare and control for it so it never catches us off guard.

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