I have a passion for mentoring. I have been helped by so many people to move from a small town student from Missouri to leading an international firm with some of the greatest employees in the world. I have experienced mentors that have moved in and out of my life and I have mentors who have been part of my life since I was 18 and remain touch stones of reality. These gifts from wisdom from mentors have made small and enormous differences in my life and the life of my teams.
If you really want something, you have to go after it. Wishing for it is just deluding yourself that you can get it and that you will indeed do that someday. Intent in itself is not enough. You have to set yourself up for success and surround yourself with the tools, the ideas, the people, and the atmosphere, if you will, for success.
Do you scare people?
Evidently, I do, on occasion. A male colleague once confided in me that when we first met, “you kind of scared me a little.” That stopped me short. Me, “scary”? It turns out that because I approach my work with a sense of purpose and gusto, I appeared formidable to him. My enthusiasm and ability to move a project forward was, to him, a bit intimidating at first.
I can live with that.
The U.S. Department of Education says that women have been earning more degrees than men for more than 28 years. And yet, the studies prove that women still aren’t moving up the corporate structure very quickly. Last year, Catalyst updated their statistics regarding women who sit on Fortune 500 Boards and found that the percentage (approximately 16 percent) is simply not changing.While I don’t profess to have the answer to these challenges, I am fascinated by the profiles of women who reach the top.
There are a couple ways to look at Millenials entering the workforce today. Either a) you have a bunch of delusional, texting, Facebooking employees who have unrealistic expectations that they will be CEO in 2 years and feel they are entitled to getting everything they want, or b) you have an emerging number of employees full or energy and enthusiasm who want to find new ways to break into the corporate world and make a difference.
No matter how you look at it, working with Millennials is an inevitable truth of your career now and in the future.
Several weeks ago I sat next to a very nice older couple on a plane. I estimated their ages at as close to 80 which means they were probably born at some time in the 1930s and came of age in the 1950s. As I reviewed some work I had brought with me, this prompted the Mrs. to open up a fresh line of chit chat with me, as she, with a wide-eyed look on her face inquired,
“Do you work outside the home?”
I have to admit…I don’t think I’ve ever been asked that question in my life.
It is incredibly cool to have a space where women (and men) celebrate our profession in a collaborative fashion, without it being all gooey.
That isn’t to say that women have experienced challenges in our profession, in fact we dominate the profession, but it is to say that we are at the stage where we can now influence our profession by celebrating who we really are. It is no longer about towing the company line. It is no longer about crafting a dated message. It is about putting a human touch on human resources.
As an HR professional, I understand that there needs to be certain rules and guidelines in place; rules to ensure a safe, legal, and productive environment for our employees. But when we spend too much time focused on those rules and who might break them, we lose sight of what our true purpose should be: providing the support to perpetuate the success of our organizations through our people.
You can be authentic and sincere and succeed at office politics. Office politics won’t go away just because you ignore them. Just change the name of the game so you can win – or at least have more fun trying!