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May 17, 2010

Business summaries.com Her Place At The Table About the Authors

A Woman’s Guide To Negotiating Five Key Challenges To Leadership Success By Deborah M. Kolb, Ph.D., Judith Williams, Ph.D., Carol Frohlinger, J.D., Jossey-Bass Books, 2004

Carol Frohlinger is a consultant who works with major companies to translate business strategy into behaviors people use in the workplace.

Judith Williams spent her early career in publishing and investment banking, serving as manuscripts editor for Daedalus, the journal of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

Deborah Kolb is author of The Mediators (MIT Press, 1983), an in-depth study of labor mediation, and coeditor of Hidden Conflict in Organizations:

“WomenRoar,” exclaims management guru Tom Peters. “Want a leader?” asks BusinessWeek. “Hire a woman.” The list of women taking the reins at top companies and turning them around grows longer. There’s Anne Mulcahy at Xerox, Carly Fiorina at Hewlett-Packard, Ann Moore at Time, Inc., Andrea Jung at Avon, and Ann Fudge at Young & Rubicam. Despite

these

success stories, the path to the executive suite remains torturous for women. The testing can be prolonged, the scrutiny intense. Will she really have the “right stuff” when the going gets tough? Even Carly Fiorina was unprepared for the attention paid to her gender. Her Place at the Table is a practical guide for any woman dealing with a demanding role.

visible

What’s Inside: WHY YOU NEED THIS BOOK DRILL DEEP FIVE KEY CHALLENGES

Her Place At The Table | Deborah M. Kolb, Ph.D., Judith Williams, Ph.D., Carol Frohlinger, J.D.


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The Nutshell WHY YOU NEED THIS BOOK This book offers tips on avoiding common traps and then lay out the strategic moves that position you for success. FIVE KEY CHALLENGES Drawing on extensive interviews with women leaders, the authors isolate five key challenges: Intelligence – to make informed decisions you need good information, but getting it can be a tricky proposition for women

Making a difference – the value you create must be visible before it makes a difference DRILL DEEP Drilling deep for the intelligence keys on people – likely dissenters as well as supporters – and breaks down into four linked strategic moves:

About the Book

Backing – no one wants to take on a tough job without the support of major players, but you can’t take those allies for granted Resources – allocations don’t always square with the results expected Buy-In – you can’t lead if no one wants to follow, but bringing a team on board can be problematic

Authors: Deborah M. Kolb, Ph.D. Judith Williams, Ph.D. Carol Frohlinger, J.D. Publisher: Jossey-Bass Books, 2004 ISBN: 0 7879 7214 2 290 pages

Her Place At The Table | Deborah M. Kolb, Ph.D., Judith Williams, Ph.D., Carol Frohlinger, J.D.


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• Tap into networks: The more you know about the situation, the better prepared you will be to negotiate the conditions of future success. Using your networks, both internal and external, is a prime way to gather broadbrush information. It gives you multiple perspectives on the opportunities and the difficulties ahead. It can also produce useful thumbnail sketches of the people involved. • Scope out the possibilities through engagement: The relationships you create with key individuals and stakeholders are critical to effectiveness. Engaging with them helps you test whether you can work together productively and then begin the process of role negotiation. • Confront confusion: Intelligence gathering can produce contradictory impressions. When things are not hanging together, when mixed messages keep coming, pursue those contradictions. If consensus is missing on the assignment, it is a good indication that difficulties lie ahead. • Anticipate blockers: Support for a new leader is never universal; neither is resistance. Identifying potential blockers early enables you to develop a strategy for dealing with them before they gain momentum or sabotage your efforts.

MOBILIZE BACKERS In drilling deep, you engage key stakeholders to probe their commitment to the task at hand and their confidence in your ability to handle it. You build on that commitment and that confidence through four strategic moves: 1. Work out expectations. At times the expectations surrounding what can be accomplished do not dovetail with the realities on the ground. Other times, a new role comes with no established expectations, and they must be created. The objective is not only to negotiate the backing you need from key people in the organization but also to reach mutual agreement on how you will work together. 2. Secure strategic responsibilities. A new leader’s list of strategic responsibilities provides a snapshot of priorities. In turn those responsibilities can shape perceptions of your performance and affect your visibility throughout the organization. You secure those responsibilities by negotiating with the key players involved.

The more you know about the situation, the better prepared you will be to negotiate the conditions of future success.

Her Place At The Table | Deborah M. Kolb, Ph.D., Judith Williams, Ph.D., Carol Frohlinger, J.D.


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“ A single voice can get lost in the noise of competing interests. ” 3. Have key leaders make the case. Only top leadership or the board can tie an appointment to an organization’s strategic vision. They have a built-in platform to articulate what needs to be done to get the department, division or company moving forward and why you are the best person to accomplish that task. Their agreement to make the case must be negotiated. Otherwise they might opt for a laissez-faire approach. 4. Seed storytelling opportunities. People in organizations talk. As they tell each other stories, those narratives become embedded in their perceptions. Strategically placed allies can help spread the good news, framing the newcomer’s story in positive terms. GARNER RESOURCES In today’s world, it is not easy to attract the resources you need. Funds for new initiatives may be difficult to secure. Getting people you depend upon to give you their time and effort, their human resources, can be especially challenging. Four strategic moves can help as you negotiate these resource issues:

1. Align requests to strategic objectives. Resources are symbolic blueprints. They outline where an organization is and where it intends to go. The closer you link your agenda to those strategic objectives, the easier it is to make the case for the resources you need. 2. Appeal to the interests of other stakeholders. The effects of resource allocations ripple through an organization. Other people have vested interests in your performance. Their ability to produce results may depend on yours. Overlapping concerns create interdependence. Because your appeals mesh with their concerns, these stakeholders can often be persuaded to bring indirect influence to bear on the allocation decision. 3. Enlist partners to support the case. A single voice can get lost in the noise of competing interests. Influential partners can focus everyone on the real issue – the importance of the task ahead and getting you the resources to do the job. 4. Leverage success. Clever utilization of existing resources can produce small wins for big hints – and in the process attract additional resources.

Her Place At The Table | Deborah M. Kolb, Ph.D., Judith Williams, Ph.D., Carol Frohlinger, J.D.


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BRING PEOPLE ON BOARD Here are some important moves which can help you unify a team behind an agenda: • Go on a listening tour. In the interdependent world of business today, few leaders elect to go it alone or issue orders by fiat. By listening closely to your team members, by being actively curious, you can discover their hopes as well as their fears. By listening closely to peers across the organization, you can draw out their perspectives. Attentive listening shows them that their opinions matter to you and can have value for the organization. • Help solve problems. The changes that follow from a new appointment or a new agenda ripple through an organization. Give people tangible reasons to believe those changes will be positive by starting with their problems. • Forge broad links. Peers can have real stakes in seeing your agenda succeed. They stand to gain if it moves forward or lose if it stalls. Alliances forged across the organization not only propel the agenda forward, they make team members feel less isolated. • Create opportunities to learn. Change challenges adaptability. By expanding people’s

capabilities, finding where they can be successful and giving them the tools, you enable them not only to adapt to the new realities but to flourish there. MAKE A DIFFERENCE In this broader sense, making a difference is a work in progress. Contributions, once recognized, become the building blocks for other contributions. You can help the process along with three strategic moves: 1. Engage strategic needs. With a multitude of pressing problems, it is easy to let the big picture slip from view. Yet by keeping organizational goals in focus, you can identify important opportunities and even reframe current ways of thinking about those goals. 2. Fill unmet needs. The rearview mirror is not a good place to look for unmet needs. People often struggle with problems that they do not even know they have and that do not show up in reports or budgets. What synergies can you promote, what future demands can you anticipate?

“ The rearview mirror is not a good place to look for unmet needs. “

Her Place At The Table | Deborah M. Kolb, Ph.D., Judith Williams, Ph.D., Carol Frohlinger, J.D.


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“ Develop measures to assess how well your visibility plan is working. � 3. Make value visible. Value is created for an organization when strategic problems are engaged or unmet needs filled. As a new leader engages strategic problems or fills unmet needs, the value of that contribution must be made clear. And that value needs to be conveyed in a language that others understand, at a time when they can appreciate it, and in a way that fits who you are. Have you created a personal plan to make your value visible? Here are some steps to take: Make a list of people in the organization who should know about what you have accomplished. Outline points that should be emphasized. Think about how to translate those contributions into a currency your audience will recognize and honor. Consider how you will be the most comfortable in communicating your accomplishments, the accomplishments of your group. Talk to trusted colleagues about what methods work for them.

Seed your visibility efforts by starting with your own networks within the organization. Take timing into account. When is the moment right for each phase in your visibility campaign? Develop measures to assess how well your visibility plan is working. *** 2010 BusinessSummaries.com

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Her Place At The Table | Deborah M. Kolb, Ph.D., Judith Williams, Ph.D., Carol Frohlinger, J.D.


HerPlaceAtTheTable  

er lace at the able is a practical guide for any woman dealing with a demanding rolee About the Authors What’s Inside: WHY YOU NEED THIS BOO...

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