What can we learn from the Corporation Leading Women?

The are many changes happening in the leadership landscape these days. Companies are looking for ways to increase innovation, improve the organization’s bottom line results, and maintain the reputation as the world’s best companies. There are two key things that will help make these goals a reality talent and leadership. Right people, right vision at the right time. There are a few that are making great strides to get the followership they will need to move their corporations to the next level. Some of the nation’s top corporations have promoted women to their top executive positions. These leading women are taking a different approach to getting employees engaged.

Be the First

Many times I have heard employees talk about how leaders are expecting them to bear the burden of what is needed to sustain the organization. They discussed how they have not received salary increases or bonuses while the top executives continue to receive rewards. Ginni Rometty, IBM CEO, has passed up her annual bonus to move her vision forward. In the a Fortune article, she discussed the disappointment of the company’s earnings and what she plans to do about it. Rometty is giving up her compensation to support her mission to transform the company in a mission she is calling “restless reinvention”. 

She does not appear to be throwing in the towel but putting a stake in the plan to demonstrate her commitment. This is one sure way to send a message to your organization that you are serious. Passion is not a new characteristic used to describe female leaders. However, it has been proven to increase employees’ support of the company goals when they see it demonstrated in leadership.

Lesson: Be the first to invest significantly in what you need others to support.

Smartest Vs Most Effective

We have all heard the saying “Knowledge is power”. It is important for the leader to know but do they always have to be the smartest person in the room. Sometimes being the one that has the knowledge is not always effective.  Lynn Good, Duke Energy CEO, shared her perspective and experience on effective leaders during the merging of Duke Energy and Progressive Energy. In the New York Times article  she discussed the importance of adapting from being the expert in the room to being the most effective. As a leader, you have the important role of developing others.

Positioning others to learn in the midst of challenges can produce some of the most effective lessons learned. Managers and leaders find themselves telling  when they should consider guiding and allowing their team to develop solutions. One of the biggest culprits to achieving this is time. With the speed of change and stress of meeting demands, many fall into the habit of directing others on what they want to have happen to save time. In the end, this approach limit the effectiveness of others and the growth of your team.

Lesson: Take the time to lead others to solutions and outcomes they don’t see rather than just being directive.

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