Today there is a new trend emerging within corporate
America, with more and more organizations creating internal women’s leadership
groups. These groups are designed to begin preparing top women leaders to
ascend to C-suite positions that have traditionally been held by men.
I love this new movement – and it has been great for my
business because we get to customize our professional presence seminars to
align with the vision of top organizations that are training women to assume
greater roles and responsibilities. Up until now it has been all about men
wielding all the power at the top, but now, ladies, it is a new day!
Women today understand that it is vital to their growth and
development to learn how to create a powerful professional presence. When you
arrive at the top, all eyes are upon you and people are scrutinizing everything
about how you look, how you speak ,and how you behave during difficult
encounters or when dealing with a great deal of stress. Here are a few tips to
help make your ascent to the top graceful – yet with a polished, commanding
1) Be humble upon arrival. Remember that it takes everyone in your
organization from the lowest wage earner in the hierarchy to the top executives
on the board to help you run a smooth and efficient company. We’ve all had the experience
of working for that top leader who thinks that the core of the company is all
about them – versus the company’s greatest asset, its people.
2) Bring other women leaders with you. Women in business often
don’t appreciate working for another woman and there are all sorts of names and
stereotypes we tend to use to criticize our female bosses. But with this new
trend, women can’t afford to give the perception that they are hard to work
with or hypercritical. Be known and memorable for bringing other women along
with you as you ascend the corporate ladder. In this new real-world reality, we
have to work in tandem and share power to change the old-school mentality and
end all-male C-suite dominance.
3) Mentor a new trailblazer. Although now you may have many more
responsibilities in your new leadership role, don’t forget the young
trailblazers. These new men and women joining your company just out of college
are the future of your organization. They must know that you’re willing to take
a few hours out of your precious month to talk with them, listen to them, and
give back to them. They are the up and coming generation and it is up to you
now to be their role model and guide.
forget that all of the necessary professional presence skills can be learned
and honed to create a new persona that communicates that you are a successful
woman leader with whom everyone loves to work. As your professional image
continues to evolve you will soon become a master of influence. What’s
important is that as you begin to make your transition into the C-suite, your
credibility is crucial. It will help to determine the level of respect that
your team has for you.
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Sarah Hathorn is a professional image consultant,
certified personal brand strategist, speaker, and author.
Her company, Illustra Image Consulting, works with high-achieving
future leaders and large businesses by enhancing their corporate and personal
brand image to take their businesses and careers to the next level.
Blog, Ezine & Website:
Copyright 2010, Sarah
Hathorn, AICI CIP, CPBS