{Women} Voice Your Concerns

I am a woman. I have issues. I am also a professional, a partner to my husband and a mother to my daughter. I don't want to make sacrifices anywhere.

iStockphoto

iStockphoto

Serving as a woman in the military resulted in some awkward yet revealing circumstances for me: heads coming out of tanks to see the new "girl" maintenance officer, visiting an artillery company with no women's bathrooms, and an uncomfortable commander offering to make me coffee were just a few. 

"The blunt truth," Sheryl Sandberg wrote, "is that men still run the world." 

Recently, more companies are recognizing the value of women in the workplace. In an early 2013 article on Huffington Post, the author wrote, “History has proven that those companies that fully tap into the women in their workforce benefit from the diverse talents and perspectives they bring and are the most successful.” 

It’s true and while not enough companies are asking employees what they want to see in their workplace, some are. I'll be visiting a company this week to listen to employees on matters that concern workplace and company policies.

Here are a few articles I came across in preparation that I'd like to share with you:

I love that I get to do this because not only am I able to use my experiences to help others but because it makes me more effective in my role as an HR professional and leader.

If I were visiting your company to gather workplace/company policy concerns, what would you want me to ask your staff?

A Leader's Privilege

I am unwrapping posts from the archives and mixing the old with the new. Enjoy this post from the past.

Leadership is not for the faint of heart. Or a know-it-all.

Photo credit: iStockphoto

Photo credit: iStockphoto

Leadership Fail

Flash to a conference room in Anywhere, U.S.A. for a weekly project meeting. A leader is sitting at the head of the table with his project managers all around. The project hit a snag and a 2 week adjustment to the plan is in order. The leader has a plan and is prepared to communicate it to the team.

The leader convenes the meeting, communicates the change in plans and a project manager raises a concern. The leader explains his reasoning for the particular course of action he selected.

The project manager considers the leader’s reasons and offers his operational perspective on another option. The leader restates his reasoning.

The project manager identifies pros and cons of the two options and requests a change in direction. The leader restates his reasoning.

In the next 30 seconds, employee engagement would be lost.

When the project manager spoke again, it went something like this, “I recommend, and prefer, an alternate course of action  . . .  but you are the boss. If you want us to do it your way, we will.”

Did anyone else just see what I did? Absent the project manager throwing his hands in the air, it was a clear declaration of defeat.

I looked to my left, I looked to my right and I looked to the leader - just in time to hear him restating his reasoning again.

Leadership Lesson

Leadership is hard work. Leadership is about inspiring people and leading change. It's about being present in the moment to influence options and approaches to new or long-standing issues.

The 2 week change in plans would not determine the success and failure of the project; it was a matter of preference and approach. The leader did ultimately agree to accept the project manager's suggestion, but it was too late. Presented with an opportunity to engage the team in jointly solving a problem, he chose to hold his ground.

Leaders have the benefit, and responsibility, of position. Rank does have its privileges but being right is not one of them. Leadership is not about self, it’s about others and leaders are judged by their actions. How a leader views, and acts upon, their leadership privilege speaks volumes.

What are your actions saying about you?

===.> Do you think leaders just need to "Grow up and Lead?" I do. Help me spread the word by clicking here and then "Yes, please write this manifesto" at ChangeThis. Voting ends Jan 4.