Sometimes risk taking is actually career building.
American author and expert on the role of women in senior executive positions Wanda Wallace says the glass ceiling is not brittle, it’s pliable and often women themselves are complicit in keeping it in place. In a recent book on the topic of breaking through the glass ceiling, she says women often find themselves in their comfort zone in areas requiring deep expertise or specialization.
But gone are the days when being the best in the field led to a promotion….today, it requires what she calls a spanning leader – one who can take charge in areas outside their specialty.
Her advice to ambitious female executives is to seek leadership roles outside your field of expertise, perhaps in a volunteer capacity where you can lead people senior to you.
She goes on to suggest fighting perfectionism. This is a sign of someone good at execution but not so strong on issues of strategy. Her last bits of advice are: study leaders known for adding value to organizations and, finally, get a mentor or coach to help close the skill gap.
Image credit: Wanda Wallace.