Success Factors For Women In Business Transcript

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Guests discuss whether gender-based factors affect success factors in business. …

Guests discuss whether gender-based factors affect success factors in business.

What contributes to the success or failure of female executives?

How are these contributing factors different than those for men in the same executive roles?

Topics discussed include how successful female executives have used coaches not only to get ahead, but to remain successful, as well as a look at some female executives who have fallen from grace and what we can learn from their experiences.

Guests

* Liz Cornish, Founder/Partner, First 100 Days Consulting

* Cynthia McClain Hill, Strategic Counsel PLC

* Ginny O'Brien, Founder, Columbia Consultancy

* Halee Fischer Wright, CEO, Perspective Group

Summary

A Catalyst study of more than 900 senior executives from Fortune 1000 companies found that women and men have equal desires to hold the job of CEO. However many experts are still seeing a significantly larger majority of men in the boardroom than women.

In a blog by CNN Financial Editor Todd Benjamin, Benjamin also asserts a similar claim, and shares that even when media outlets like CNN approach successful women who ARE in the boardroom, they are reticent to appear on television.

Are women downplaying their gender to stay successful?

And why are many women choosing to leave more traditional corporate ranks, becoming the fastest growing group of entrepreneurs in the country?

Our guests discuss these issues and more. Topics include how coaches can help empower women to play to their strengths and recover gracefully from setbacks, in addition to how women can navigate challenging situations, while remaining authentic and true to who they are.

More in: Business , Career
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  • 1. Insight on Coaching Success Factors for Women in Business Transcript Prepared for: Prepared by: IEC: Insight Educational Ubiqus Reporting Consulting
  • 2. Time Speaker Transcript Male Voice Welcome to Insight on Coaching with host Tom Floyd. In the next hour Tom and his co-hosts explore the many facets, labors, and sides of the emerging professional coaching field. So get ready for this insightful conversation, here’s your host Tom Floyd. 0:27 Tom Floyd Hello everyone, welcome to Insight on Coaching. Insight on Coaching explores the many facets, labors, and sides of the emerging professional coaching field. I’m Tom Floyd. I’m the CEO of IEC: Insight Educational Consulting and your host for today’s show. Well, today’s topic is women in business. We’ll cover everything from what contributes to the success and failure of female executives in Corporate America, if these factors are the same for men in Corporate America, and how many women in the workplace have used coaches to get ahead, increase their success, and stay on top of their game. With me to explore this topic are four fantastic guests who are going to have some great insight to share, Liz Cornish, Dr. Halee Fischer-Wright, Cynthia McClain-Hill, and Ginny O’Brien. Let me give you a quick overview of each of our guests. Liz Cornish is a leadership expert, coach, and founding partner of First 100 Days Consulting. She’s also the author of Hit the Ground Running: The Woman’s Guide for the First 100 Days, by McGraw Hill, which is the product of over 200 interviews with effective executives, thousands of research hours, and 25 years of experience. Welcome back to the show, Liz. 1:29 Liz Cornish Thank you. 1:30 Tom Floyd Our next guest, Dr. Halee Fischer-Wright is on the faculty of the University of Colorado, is a practicing physician with the president of Rose Medical Group, and a partner at JeffersonLarsonSmith, a major Denver based consulting firm. She’s also a co-author of Tribal Leadership, which is due out in February from Harper Collins. Welcome to the show, Halee. 1:47 Halee Fischer- Thank you very much. Wright 2 | Confidential August 27, 2008 Page 2 Success Factors for Women in Business Transcript
  • 3. Time Speaker Transcript 1:49 Tom Floyd Our next guest, Cynthia McClain-Hill leads the Land Use Environmental Law and Regulatory Practice for Strategic Counsel, an LA based interdisciplinary firm that uniquely blends legal expertise and litigation experience with the public policy insight and strategic communications capabilities. And she’s also the President Elect the National Association of Women Business Owners. Welcome to the show, Cynthia. 2:11 Cynthia Thank you. McClain-Hill 2:12 Tom Floyd Last but not least, Ginny O’Brien. Ginny is an executive and corporate coach specializing in leadership development with an emphasis on women’s leadership. She is the author of three books: Coaching Yourself to Leadership: Five Key Strategies for Becoming an Integrated Leader, Success On Our Own Terms: Tales of Extraordinary, Ordinary Business Women, and the Fast Forward MBA in Business. Welcome back to the show, Ginny. 2:32 Ginny O’Brien Hi. Good to be back. 3 | Confidential August 27, 2008 Page 3 Success Factors for Women in Business Transcript
  • 4. Time Speaker Transcript 2:34 Tom Floyd To start out, as is the case with all of our shows, definitely view the show today as a conversation. I’ll ask some guiding questions to get all of us started. We’ll be sharing some information and research that our research team has pulled throughout the show as well. On that note, I want to start today’s conversation by looking at some global information about women in the work force. According to the Financial Times (FT.Com), in an article by Christopher Adams about the Lack of women in the boardroom being a disadvantage, the article says that in London, women count for just about 2% of the top jobs in FTSE-100 companies, and that equality campaigners have forecast that it will take 40 years before they reach the same level of representation as men in the boardroom despite accounting for almost half the workforce. And, in London’s financial district, it is claimed that harassment and sexual discrimination remain. Additionally, according to The New Zealand Times, even in the South African economy, women are taking leadership positions and making their presence felt. The latest census of the Business Women’s Association (BWA) (South Africa) shows that only 31 companies had 25% or more women as directors or executive managers. Cynthia, I’d like to start with you. In today’s modern world, I’d think that many people would assume at this point women are represented as equally in the workplace as men. Yet some of these articles seem like they say otherwise. What’s your perspective on this? 4:17 Cynthia Clearly women have moved into the workplace in significant numbers. McClain-Hill As women have become more educated, they have moved into executive level positions in corporations all across the nation and internationally. There is, however, a great lag between that and actually ascending to the ultimate executive suite and on boards as members of boards and directors. There’s a significant lag in that development. 4:48 Tom Floyd What are some of the reasons? It sounds like we’ve got a larger number of women who are entering the workforce. The first question would be, is that something that you’re seeing globally? Or is it just here in the U.S? 4 | Confidential August 27, 2008 Page 4 Success Factors for Women in Business Transcript
  • 5. Time Speaker Transcript 5:02 Cynthia No, that’s a phenomenon that continues to be replicated globally. McClain-Hill There are a number of reasons: A, lack of a clear path. Women are still learning the ropes and very often do not enter into Corporate America with an eye toward the boardroom. In addition to that, women continue to have career paths that are interrupted by child rearing or childbirth. The workplace continues to be less flexible and less accommodating. We’re continuing to figure out how to best make use of the significant talent and leadership skills that women do have. All of that is being addressed. All of that is changing. But that change curve is far more significant than we might have anticipated 20 years ago. 5:59 Tom Floyd It sounds like we’ve got several factors that are playing into this. Liz, I want to turn to you next. When you wrote Hit the Ground Running: The Woman’s Guide for the First 100 Days, are some of the issues that Cynthia just highlighted like still learning the ropes, not necessarily having an eye on the boardroom, and even the whole fact around under representation in the boardroom, is that something that you came across as well? 6:29 Liz Cornish I came across that. But I also came across some things that women do to limit themselves. I’d like to add something to what Cynthia had to say. Something else that’s going on is that women are taking off and leaving those large corporations at a remarkable rate, 2:1 to men, and they’re starting their own thing or doing their own thing. One of the things I’m noticing is that we’re starting to shift to a free agent culture as a result of that. I think women are still contributing. They’re still contributing in a very productive way. They’re just not moving up that unclear path that Cynthia talked about and moving out and doing other exciting things. 5 | Confidential August 27, 2008 Page 5 Success Factors for Women in Business Transcript
  • 6. Time Speaker Transcript 7:11 Tom Floyd What are some of the reasons? That is definitely interesting that you’re seeing it framed around women leaving corporate in a 2:1 ratio to men. What are some of the reasons you heard the women are starting to do this? Is it more freedom? Is it related to work and life balance? Is it a combination of things? 7:27 Liz Cornish It’s a number of things. One, it’s bumping up a glass ceiling and having to try too hard to do too little. That’s part of it and getting frustrated with that. The second is wanting things on their own terms and having a flexible schedule. That doesn’t mean they’re not working 80 hours a week. But they’re just working a different 80 hours a week so that they could have a little bit more flexibility in how they organize their time. The third thing is just because it’s an interesting way to pull a career together. 8:02 Tom Floyd Okay, got it. Ginny, from your perspective, some of the things we’ve talked about so far, are you seeing some of these same things? On the other hand, are you seeing more women who are clamoring to get in the boardroom? Are you seeing any motivation there? 6 | Confidential August 27, 2008 Page 6 Success Factors for Women in Business Transcript
  • 7. Time Speaker Transcript 8:22 Ginny O’Brien Let me just start by going back to I agree with what Cynthia and what Liz have said. But I’d also like to add one other little piece about why I see women leaving. I see women leaving around this magic age around 42 to 45 right when they should be getting up there at the very top levels. From what I can see, a reason that they’re leaving at that point in time is really because the organizational systems still don’t reflect women’s values. You’re looking at a system that’s still controlled and dominated by a masculine, systemic thinking. Women don’t want to play the political game and pay the price that it takes to pay to be at that top. That’s one of the reasons I see. That’s what I think is the key reason that I see women leaving. Do women want to be up there? Absolutely, they want to be up there. 9:13 Tom Floyd In terms of the price they’re having to pay, I just want to explore that a little bit more. What are the show stoppers or “the buck stops here” type of issues? 9:25 Ginny O’Brien Catalyst did some research a couple of years ago and came out with the two top reasons that they’ve researched. One of them is the network. It’s still getting into that kind of unspoken, old boys network that’s not there. They’re not doing it consciously. They’re not doing it to knock women out on purpose. It’s just that they have a particular way of operating with each other. It’s so important for women to develop strategic alliances and to learn how to position themselves within those networks, because that’s where the work gets done. You need somebody to help support you. You need somebody to put your name out there. You need somebody backing you up. Some of the stuff that we’ve heard for years and years about understanding enough about the way the system works and about the way the men at the top are thinking is knowing how to position yourself and who you need to have relationships with, I think that’s just critical. 7 | Confidential August 27, 2008 Page 7 Success Factors for Women in Business Transcript
  • 8. Time Speaker Transcript 10:24 Tom Floyd In terms of some of the things that are going on, from a political perspective, it’s not wanting to necessarily break into the old boys network, not really wanting necessarily to take the time and effort to develop some of those strategic alliances and things like that? 10:41 Ginny O’Brien It’s not about not wanting to. It’s about the difficulty of doing it. 10:45 Tom Floyd Got it. 10:46 Ginny O’Brien It’s not that they don’t want to. It’s about the difficulty of doing it. 10:48 Tom Floyd Halee, what are some of your thoughts? What are you seeing as some of the biggest challenges that women are facing in the workplace today? 10:56 Halee Fischer- I agree with all the issues that Cynthia, Liz, and Ginny have brought up. Wright I’d like to expand on what Ginny was saying. One of the biggest issues that I see in women as far as not being able to establish these strategic alliances has to do with the fact that there is no one there to mentor these women. So where a lot of men coming through the old boys network tend to have people that they can identify as mentors who guide them and really help mold their careers as they ascend on the path, women don’t typically have those people within their large organizations. That tends to be a hindrance in navigating the political systems in large corporations. 11:45 Tom Floyd That’s definitely something that I want to come back to as well. You’re starting to see there aren’t as many role models within organizations for women. 11:58 Halee Fischer- Absolutely. Wright 8 | Confidential August 27, 2008 Page 8 Success Factors for Women in Business Transcript
  • 9. Time Speaker Transcript 12:00 Cynthia Yes. I’m sorry, this is Cynthia. McClain-Hill I think that, frankly, that makes a tremendous segway into the value of outside resources, including but not limited to executive coaches and leadership training. It goes back to not really being as well prepared as early as men are for the journey to that ultimate board position. I think that what you’re seeing, frankly, is women increasingly availing themselves of resources in order to better position themselves for opportunities they clearly seek, whether it’s an extension within the corporate ranks or as you’re seeing a great deal of interest among women who are in private industry who built this in a sense as well as women in the corporate ranks looking at outside director positions, the things that they aspire to. A lot of work and energy is being put into preparation for those kinds of things. 13:06 Tom Floyd They’re just trying to really take more advantage of some of those opportunities? 13:09 Cynthia Yes. McClain-Hill 13:10 Tom Floyd I’m hearing the music for our first commercial break. Let’s go ahead and go on pause. More Insight on Coaching when we return. Stay tuned. 9 | Confidential August 27, 2008 Page 9 Success Factors for Women in Business Transcript
  • 10. Time Speaker Transcript 15:56 Tom Floyd Welcome back to Insight on Coaching. I’m Tom Floyd. For those of you just joining us today, today’s topic is Success Factors for Women in Business. With me are Liz Cornish, First 100 Days of Consulting, and author of Hit the Ground Running: The Woman’s Guide for the First 100 Days, Dr. Halee Fischer-Wright, faculty at the University of Colorado and partner at JeffersonLarsonSmith, Cynthia McClain-Hill, strategic counsel PLC and President Elect of the National Association of Women Business Owners, and Ginny O’Brien, executive coach and author of three books, including Success On Our Own Terms: Tales of Extraordinary, Ordinary Business Women. Now one of the things we talked about in our previous segment was a little bit about some statistics in terms of how long it’s really going to take to change. One of the statistics that I had quoted was from the Financial Times from FT.com. I spoke a little bit about a forecast in terms of taking about 40 years before women will reach the same level of representation as men in the boardroom, despite accounting for almost half the work force, at least in London or in the UK. We were just having some conversation about this during the break. I wanted to open it up to everybody here. It sounds like we have some good feedback there. To get us started, is this something that is global, or might it be a little bit different here in the U.S.? 17:17 Ginny O’Brien Tom, this Ginny. I think that article in the Financial Times actually came from Catalyst, because that’s data that’s very familiar to me, those statistics. I think that’s not just about the UK. That does refer to the United States as well. 17:31 Tom Floyd What are everyone else’s thoughts? 17:32 Liz Cornish I have a different thought. I think that it’s going to be faster than that. This is Liz. When I did my research and you look at the huge exodus in leadership in the next five years because of the baby boomers, virtually every client I work with is dealing with a leadership void in the next three to five years that’s significant. I think it’s going to be a real opportunity. Women are going to be the ones to fill that pipeline. 10 | Confidential August 27, 2008 Page 10 Success Factors for Women in Business Transcript
  • 11. Time Speaker Transcript 18:00 Tom Floyd When you say fill the pipeline, it’s some of the women from Generation X, from the Millennial generation? Some of the other women will start to step up and take those roles? 18:09 Liz Cornish Right. I think it’s going to be an accelerated thing, because we’re going to have more women role models. We’re going to be more comfortable with promoting women and seeing them in charge in a number of different styles. I just don’t think it’s going to take that long. 18:26 Cynthia This is Cynthia. I believe wholeheartedly with Liz. McClain-Hill What we’re experiencing really is a number of factors coming together all at the same time that will, in my view, really accelerate the role of women in business and certainly in the highest echelon of business including businesses’ need to adjust and accommodate to a changing reality. You cannot sustain a situation or a circumstance where you have very talented women leaving because the culture doesn’t support the lives that they’re trying to lead. You are seeing a shift in industry to begin to deal with that factor. The fact of the matter is you’ve got a growing pool of women that are there to coach and to mentor and to help women become more sophisticated about how they get through the system in a way that allows them to arrive in places that their predecessors weren’t. The curve is linear. We’re really growing. I think it will be exponential as we see women move up the ranks. 19:45 Halee Fischer- Right. Wright 19:45 Tom Floyd Just to summarize there, it’s some of the things like the mass exodus of the baby boomers, some of the things like the companies really changing their culture to accommodate some of the lifestyle differences in needs and changes, work/life balance, etc. All those types of things really allow for, not just women but really people in general to stay in the work force— 11 | Confidential August 27, 2008 Page 11 Success Factors for Women in Business Transcript
  • 12. Time Speaker Transcript 20:09 Halee Fischer- Yes. Wright 20:10 Tom Floyd —and things like that as well. 20:11 Halee Fischer- This is Halee. One of the things that I can speak to is Liz, Ginny and Cynthia have Wright talked about this change in succession planning for our next generation of leaders. There is definitely an opportunity that has never been offered to women ever before. That is, as these baby boomers begin to retire, there is a void that can be filled, much like what was mentioned in the previous segment. Women are not necessarily prepared for these leadership opportunities right now. But if they can avail themselves of the resources that are possible and present to them, they have the opportunity to succeed in a manner they currently do not have in this day and age. The other thing that makes this possible is the changing face of business. One of the things we’re seeing as a global trend is that what is being valued is not the commodization of time but rather more emotional intelligence. A lot of the traits that have been characteristically patterned as feminine are starting to be valued as the source of keeping culture within organizations together, mentoring leadership, and growing organizations. For that combined with the succession planning issue, this is potentially one of the golden ages for women to enter into the work force. 21:43 Tom Floyd More of the natural abilities— 21:49 Halee Fischer- Yes. Wright 21:50 Tom Floyd —and characteristics and things a lot of women bring to business, so to speak, are starting to really get emphasized more as “Hey, these are really valuable traits and characteristics, even values, that our organization needs to embrace and drive.” 22:04 Halee Fischer- Yes, I know that one of the people on the line with us is really heading to the point of Wright pointing out the values of women have not been part of our American corporate culture until recently. And that is definitely going to change. 12 | Confidential August 27, 2008 Page 12 Success Factors for Women in Business Transcript
  • 13. Time Speaker Transcript 22:21 Tom Floyd I want to bring up another interesting piece of data that our research team stumbled across. This is from CNN. It’s some information from CNN financial editor Todd Benjamin’s Boardroom Blog, which is on CNN.com. This was actually posted this month on August 6th. This plays a little bit to some of the under-representation in boardrooms we talked about earlier. According to the blog, Todd says, “The reality is the CEO world is still largely made up of men. While we’ve contacted most of the leading CEOs,” the “we” being CNN, “many are reticent to appear on CNN.” He goes on to say that, “The boardroom, like the modern business world, is still male dominated,” that “Leading female managers are keen to play down the gender issue.” To the point, Halee, that you made earlier around lack of mentors, this behavior can rob aspiring businesswomen of valuable role models. Cynthia, I want to turn to you first. I want to start by addressing the point on leading female managers paying down the gender issue. Is this something that you’re seeing? If so, why is this happening? 23:37 Cynthia I think that with any time you have a group, the first group that rises into positions of McClain-Hill prominence, they’re a lot more cautious, a lot more conspicuous, and tend to behave in a manner that’s more accommodating to the standard norm. In terms of role models, etcetera, I think what we really need to keep our eye on the explosive number of women in charge and really begin to look at this as a societal reality. Women now have today the example of Hillary Clinton running for the presidency. They have the example of a huge explosion of women who own their businesses and are running companies in that regard, not just because they don’t have options in Corporate America, but because they have options in the private sector that didn’t exist for them 15 to 20 years ago. 24:42 Tom Floyd From the perspective of the National Association of Women Business Owners, do you have any statistics or information you can share about increases you’re seeing in the number of women business owners and things like that? 13 | Confidential August 27, 2008 Page 13 Success Factors for Women in Business Transcript
  • 14. Time Speaker Transcript 24:53 Cynthia Women business owners are the fastest growing group of entrepreneurs in the McClain-Hill country. Not only are they starting businesses faster than any other group, but their businesses are growing faster than any other group. I think from our perspective what we see is a real potential for and reality of significant advances in women leadership in general. As you get more women leading companies of their own and women in leadership roles in other segments of society, you will get a greater reservoir of support for women beginning to lead companies in traditional Corporate America. I think an interesting statistic is one that Catalyst has recently posted. That is that in the study of more than 900 senior level women and men from Fortune 1000 companies, Catalyst finds that women and men have equal desires to have the CEO job. It’s that sort of shift in culture and in our society that is from my perspective the leading indicator as to what we can expect down the road and how soon. 26:11 Tom Floyd Any thoughts from anyone else? 26:15 Ginny O’Brien This is Ginny. I have a couple of thoughts. One, going back to what Halee said about the significance of what I call feminine values around relationship and emotional intelligence coming into the workplace, I think that is absolutely critical. What you’re saying now about more women being at the top, it’s not only the women at the top, but women throughout all the organizations need to reach out to each other, need to mentor each other, whether it’s up or down or across, and need to start looking at how they can help the system continue to change, continue to bring in that valuing emotional intelligence, valuing relationship, valuing flexibility. Then we can get the system to actually be more supportive of both men and women in terms of career tracks and how you come on and off of career tracks and how you have flexibility. Not only the women can be supported, but families can be supported and men can be supported. We shift the whole organizational system. It’s women’s voices that can do that and women’s energy that can really help to do that. 14 | Confidential August 27, 2008 Page 14 Success Factors for Women in Business Transcript
  • 15. Time Speaker Transcript 27:23 Tom Floyd It sounds like, in terms of the role a lot of women can play, I think a lot of the things that come naturally for women are really empowering things. They really have potential to make a huge difference from the sounds of it. 27:35 Ginny O’Brien I think so, yes. 27:36 Tom Floyd Okay. 27:37 Halee Fischer- I agree. Wright 27:38 Tom Floyd I’m hearing the music for our next break. Let’s go ahead and go on pause. More from Insight on Coaching and Success Factors for Women in Business when we return. Stay tuned. 15 | Confidential August 27, 2008 Page 15 Success Factors for Women in Business Transcript
  • 16. Time Speaker Transcript 30:55 Tom Floyd Welcome back to Insight on Coaching, I’m Tom Floyd. For those of you who just joined us today, today’s topic is Success Factors for Women in Business. With me are Liz Cornish, Dr. Halee Fischer-Wright, Cynthia McClain-Hill, and Ginny O’Brien. For the next part of our show, I’d like to talk about some of the stories we’ve heard about female executives who have taken a fall from grace in the media. There are several examples we could use. There’s Carly Fiorina and several more. Let’s use Patty Dunn as an example. The reason that I chose Patty is that she had an interview with Fortune Magazine this year. This is captured in Fortune’s May 31st issue. There was an article entitled “The Survival of Patty Dunn.” The author asked Patty if she felt her gender played a role in HP’s pretexting scandal and blowup. Here’s what she had to say. According to Patty, “I believe it did. The facts of the situation are pretty straightforward. When Tom’s friend on the board George J. Keyworth was identified as a, if not the, leaker, Tom wanted his name cut from the board. The CEO outside counsel, general counsel, and audit committee chairman all advised me that this was improper. As it happens, I wasn’t the director who disclosed the leaker’s identity to the board. But Tom went ballistic and claimed I was breaking a deal with him to keep the leaker’s name quiet. I had never made that deal with him. But the disclosure made him extra special, over-the-top angry.” The author in Fortune went on to ask, “But what makes you think it was a gender- based battle?” Patty said, “I’ve worked for and with men successfully all during my career, but during this ordeal, I heard from hundreds of women of all ages and backgrounds who were convinced that Tom would not have sought to publicly humiliate me if I were a man.” Here’s the question I want to pose to all of you. From your perspectives, does it seem like the media places a lot of attention, if not more attention, on female leaders when they’ve fallen from grace? Why is this occurring? I’ll open it up to everybody. 16 | Confidential August 27, 2008 Page 16 Success Factors for Women in Business Transcript
  • 17. Time Speaker Transcript 33:07 Halee Fischer- This is Halee. Wright What I would say is they absolutely do focus. Part of the reason is women leaders are so rare. In a certain way there’s a spectacle of fact when you see a Carly Fiorina or Patty Dunn in the media. You’re seeing a representation of such a small population. So there is a fascination with the details involved with that. More than anything I think that there is such a backlash from the established media about these women that have the audacity to transcend where they are right now or where most women are right now. The sense I get is almost a feeding frenzy. I think that’s the best term to use. 34:01 Ginny O’Brien This is Ginny. I would say it’s all about news. It’s not going to make as much news when a guy falls. It’s going to make more news when a woman falls. That’s what the news media is about, making news. They’ll grab onto the thing that’s going to get them the coverage and is going to stir up the pot. 34:18 Tom Floyd It’s because of some of the reasons that Halee listed. 34:23 Ginny O’Brien Yes. 34:24 Tom Floyd Is that because women leaders are so rare? It’s a spectacle? It makes good news to focus on it? 34:29 Ginny O’Brien Yes, I would say you just are going to place it in a broader context. The fact of the matter is, in the last Super Bowl you had a great deal of focus on the fact that both coaches were African American, again it is a unique circumstance. You are more celebrated on the front end whenever you are one of the few. Then there’s a great deal more attention to whatever happens on the back end. That’s just part of being a pioneer and being the first. 17 | Confidential August 27, 2008 Page 17 Success Factors for Women in Business Transcript
  • 18. Time Speaker Transcript 35:04 Tom Floyd It’s almost a good thing in a lot of ways. 35:06 Halee Fischer- Right. Wright 35:07 Ginny O’Brien It’s not necessarily a good thing. It just is what it is, in terms of how our society works. It helps you to understand where you are in the development arch. Certainly 15 years from now I would suspect that it would be far less rare and among the things that women are learning and have to learn in order for us to break through. I think you see it a great deal more in younger women. Success and failure are just part of the game. 35:42 Halee Fischer- Right. Wright 35:43 Ginny O’Brien I would juxtapose the reaction to Carly’s situation over against Nardelli at Home Depot, a very celebrated and high profile and rancorous exit from Home Depot. He rolled off his back and emerges at Chrysler ready to do business. For women it is getting to that point where we roll the dice, do the best we can, and some times it’s going to be great and sometimes it’s not. Letting it roll off our backs and moving onto the next thing will become the sign of success. 36:27 Tom Floyd Got it. 36:28 Halee Fischer- Right, yes. Wright 36:29 Liz Cornish That’s a good point. 36:30 Halee Fischer- Yes. Wright 18 | Confidential August 27, 2008 Page 18 Success Factors for Women in Business Transcript
  • 19. Time Speaker Transcript 36:31 Liz Cornish One of the things that I really encourage the women that I coach is you’ve got to take your hits with humor. I don’t mean Sarah Jessica Parker type humor. I’m just saying you’ve got to get back up and get right back in, and do your best. If you don’t, you get cynical and whiny. If you do, you’re eventually going to get results. 36:48 Tom Floyd It’s not necessarily what happens. It’s how you handle it. 36:52 Liz Cornish It’s how you handle what happens and how you get back up and get back in again. 36:55 Tom Floyd I want to focus on the situation from Fortune Magazine around Patty. Liz, if you had been Patty’s coach during the scandal, how would you have guided her? What would you have recommended? 37:09 Liz Cornish The first thing I would’ve suggested is to take the hint and avoid being cynical, being whiny, or whatever. It depends on what you’re trying to do. If you’re trying to gear attention to the gender, an equity thing, maybe so. But if what you’d like to do is to continue with your career, then just get back up, start over again, and make the best of it. Think more in terms of recovery and how to move on. 37:44 Tom Floyd She very much really kept her focus on, “Here’s how we’re going to get you past this. Let’s look at other things to keep you focused on to continue to grow your career.” 37:52 Liz Cornish Right. Own the mistakes that were yours and then move on. 37:57 Tom Floyd Ginny, anything that would add if you had been Patty’s coach during the scandal? 19 | Confidential August 27, 2008 Page 19 Success Factors for Women in Business Transcript
  • 20. Time Speaker Transcript 38:01 Ginny O’Brien Yes, I just think of three things that I know I do with people when they’re in those kinds of situations. It’s paraphrasing in a way what was just said. The first is getting clarity. “Let’s really get clear about what happened here, what your role was in it, and what’s really going on in this whole situation.” Then I’v found that the coach plays a role in validating the person’s feelings. They’re having a bunch of feelings. They’re trying to test what they think has happened. Often what happens with women at the top, because they are so surrounded by men, that insecurity button can get triggered somewhat, because they’re only seeing those male models around them. It’s helping them get validated and grounded in their own leadership as a woman. Then that next piece is then giving them the support to really figure out how to communicate effectively, to really then take the position, “What am I going to do given that this has happened?” “How am I going to show up?” How can I really stay emotionally grounded and be an assertive communicator so I can reposition myself to move to the next place that I need to move to or to handle this situation the way it needs to be handled so that I show up as the strong woman leader that I know that I am?” 39:14 Tom Floyd I want to come back to some of the topics that have come up in some of our previous shows. For example, last week’s show was focused on Coaching on Character and Ethics. One of the questions we asked on that show is how possible is it to recover from a situation where your character has been tarnished or questioned? In some of these situations, I feel like that definitely happened to some of these women. Their character was questioned or came into play. What’s the best way to handle those situations, in general something that can be words of wisdom for men and women both? What’s the best way to handle that? In another show we talked about the importance of being authentic. How authentic are you during those situations? Is the best thing to turn and say, “You know what? I messed up. Here’s what I could have done better. Here’s how I’m going to change that,” moving forward, and then move on? How important are some of those things? 20 | Confidential August 27, 2008 Page 20 Success Factors for Women in Business Transcript
  • 21. Time Speaker Transcript 40:20 Ginny O’Brien This is Ginny. First of all, I think being authentic is really important. Then you also have to be politically smart. One of the things that women can get tripped up on is owning all of their mistakes and going to confession and telling everything. You need to know what to admit you did wrong and how to phrase it. It’s really all again about that communication pattern and how you’re presenting yourself. You want to stay true to yourself. You certainly don’t want to lie. On the other hand, you don’t need to tell everybody everything. The other thing about recovery from mistakes, when I’m doing work shifts I often say, “Think of Bill Clinton.” He made some pretty big mistakes out there that, as women, if we had ever had our sexual lives exposed as his was, we would think about crawling under the ground and never coming up again. I think you just have to remember than some of the leaders out there have made the worst mistakes in the world and have come up and surfaced and gone on. People still love them. They’re still being looked at as leaders. You’ve got to look at the rest of the world and the way it works. Go back down to your authenticity, your own values, and your own strengths about who you are and how you can move on. 41:36 Tom Floyd Halee, anything that you would add? 41:37 Halee Fischer- Absolutely. A lot of times when I’m coaching women executives and women leaders, Wright the thing that is just fundamentally different from coaching men than women is that the women are typically the harshest critics of themselves. Speaking from what was just said, when you’re trying to recover from a character assassination, the first person that you have to coach through forgiving themselves is actually the woman, even if there’s nothing necessarily to “forgive.” 42:08 Liz Cornish Right. 21 | Confidential August 27, 2008 Page 21 Success Factors for Women in Business Transcript
  • 22. Time Speaker Transcript 42:09 Halee Fischer- That is actually so fundamental because men are taught how to carry their battle Wright wounds forward. They become badges of honor. Women are taught to hide them. 42:21 Tom Floyd Interesting. 42:22 Halee Fischer- Then we get into those issues of authenticity. Wright Women feel like if they do not disclose all, they aren’t being authentic. 42:34 Female Voice Yes. 42:35 Halee Fischer- That’s a different form of authenticity. Wright That’s individual and intrinsic as opposed to a business format professional type of authenticity. 42:45 Tom Floyd Let’s go ahead and go on pause. I’m hearing the music for our last break. Stay tuned everyone. More Insight on Coaching when we return. 22 | Confidential August 27, 2008 Page 22 Success Factors for Women in Business Transcript
  • 23. Time Speaker Transcript 45:23 Tom Floyd Welcome back to Insight on Coaching, I’m Tom Floyd. For those of you just getting tuned in today, today’s topic is Success Factors for Women in Business. We’ve got Liz Cornish, Dr. Halee Fischer-Wright, Cynthia McClain-Hill, and Ginny O’Brien. In the last part of our show, I’d like to really talk about some of the successes that women are experiencing. I also want to build a little bit on what we were just speaking to in terms of authenticity and things like that at the end of our last segment. As we were all just chatting during the commercial break, Cynthia, first of all, congratulations. She used an amazing example about her daughter. Can you share a little bit more about that and some of the things that you just mentioned during our break in terms of the swagger and other things, letting things bounce off her back and some of the other folks that you’re meeting through this? 46:11 Cynthia I shared that my daughter is an Olympic hoop, certainly training for the Olympic trials McClain-Hill next summer in track and field. Through her I have been exposed to a whole very large group of young women who, based on competition and the games they play have really produced the kind of results we all hoped and prayed that Title 9 would. These are young women who swagger about the world and who win and lose without really having their underlying confidence challenge. Things roll off their backs in a way that will serve them well as they move into the business world and really make them almost a very different creature than many of the women in my generation who didn’t have that experience. 47:08 Ginny O’Brien Cynthia, that is so true. Often in team sports, too, where they at one point would have fights and go on for months and take it personally, now they compete. They can throw their arms around each other and walk off the field together. They can get over those kinds of little battles— 47:27 Cynthia Yes. McClain-Hill 47:28 Ginny O’Brien —that can also happen in the corporate world. 23 | Confidential August 27, 2008 Page 23 Success Factors for Women in Business Transcript
  • 24. Time Speaker Transcript 47:29 Tom Floyd What are some of the other traits that we’re seeing successful women really embody and embrace? 47:39 Halee Fischer- This is Halee. One of the things that I see now that I did not see 10 or 15 years ago Wright in corporate world is women supporting women. The women that have gone ahead of them are mentoring, supporting, having events. Women, when they get to a certain level, they recognize they have the responsibility, intuitive or plainly stated, to bring other women along. I think 10 or 15 years ago that wasn’t always the case, as you had mentioned earlier in the show. There was such a need to safeguard your own position, that you didn’t have the luxury of recognizing the other women around you. 48:25 Tom Floyd Just out of curiosity, from an academic perspective, what are some of the things like the University of Colorado and others are doing to help build some of those skills more and really prepare women for the workforce? 48:46 Halee Fischer- It’s interesting. I work within two institutions, academic institutions. Wright They are starting to recognize a need to foster camaraderie and team work, communication skills at a fundamental level starting very early in the training process, and also bringing a sense of fair play later on certainly within the faculty process as well. I would say that academia is typically slower to respond than the corporate university, because you don’t have the financial incentives to do that. Certainly to recruit the best and to bring the best along, there is that incentive to mentor women into academia. I think it’s been a little bit easier for women in our universities than it has been for women in corporations. 49:48 Tom Floyd I’ve heard communication come up several times now. Ginny and Liz, I want to turn to both of you. What are some tips and tricks, best practices, things that both women and men can keep in mind when it comes to communication and making sure that you’re growing that skill in your path? 24 | Confidential August 27, 2008 Page 24 Success Factors for Women in Business Transcript
  • 25. Time Speaker Transcript 50:10 Ginny O’Brien First of all, I think everybody needs to take basic courses in psychology, basic courses in communication skills. I’m serious, because it’s one of the places that people seem to get hung up so much. A lot of the work that I do with people is about helping them be better communicators, what I call actually being assertive communicators, which is making the distinction between being aggressive and passive aggressive, really being able to have respect for yourself and respect for the other person in your conversations. 50:44 Tom Floyd Got it. 50:46 Ginny O’Brien It’s what I call knowing how to have a skillful conversation. If you can have a skillful conversation and you can become an assertive communicator, you can handle any situation even with the most difficult people. 50:57 Tom Floyd In terms of the psychology aspect you just mentioned, did you mean more understanding what your style is and behavior and what might drive you to be an aggressive communicator versus a passive aggressive communicator and things like that? 51:14 Ginny O’Brien Yes, it’s understanding behavioral styles, understanding communication styles, understanding human development and what goes on with that as we go through various phases of development. It’s that whole range of understanding who we are as people and how we behave and operate in the world. 51:30 Tom Floyd If I can bring it up a bit, it sounds like, certainly very much in the spirit of coaching, self-realization and self-actualization become very important here as well. 51:41 Ginny O’Brien Absolutely. The very first aspect of being a good leader is you have to have self- awareness. If you don’t understand yourself, how are you ever going to understand how to motivate, lead, inspire, and guide other people? It comes from really having a good understanding of yourself and how you you’re your relationship to yourself, to other people, and to your work. 25 | Confidential August 27, 2008 Page 25 Success Factors for Women in Business Transcript
  • 26. Time Speaker Transcript 52:03 Liz Cornish This is Liz. I’m going to add to what Ginny has to say. Once you know that, the two most important things, I think, are, one, to recognize who’s important to your success and what’s important to them. As a result of that, what you can do is manage your message so that you can phrase your message, whatever you have to get across, whatever leadership agenda you have, in terms that they can both hear and accept and buy into. 52:31 Tom Floyd Got it. We’ve got about two minutes left before we wrap up. I want to go to each of you and just say from each of your perspectives and experience, in 30 seconds or less, what would you really like to leave in our listener’s minds, in women’s minds, about some of the things to keep in mind in growing their careers and being successful? Halee, let’s start with you. 52:54 Halee Fischer- Great. The first thing I’d like to mention is one of the topics brought up and briefly Wright touched on today was success and failure in women’s careers. I think the most important thing for women leaders and executives to recognize is that they will have both success and failures. Risk is a fundamental part of being a leader and an effective leader. 53:18 Tom Floyd Got it. Cynthia, how about you? 53:20 Cynthia Simply that women have just unparalleled opportunity and choice about how they McClain-Hill assert themselves and how they manifest their leadership, whether it be in the corporate arena, in business and private sector, or ownership arena, etcetera. The biggest impediment at this point is an unwillingness to simply cease the opportunity and move forward in a really unbridled way. 53:52 Tom Floyd Liz. 26 | Confidential August 27, 2008 Page 26 Success Factors for Women in Business Transcript
  • 27. Time Speaker Transcript 53:53 Liz Cornish I say chose the braver side. We all have these internal debate teams that go on. Women should make the riskier decision. Chose the braver side. The second thing relates to something we were talking about earlier. That is to take your hits with humor. 54:10 Tom Floyd Got it. Ginny. 54:12 Ginny O’Brien I would say it’s knowing who you are and knowing what you want, and then figuring out what you have to do to get what you want. 54:20 Tom Floyd Excellent. Huge thank you to the four of you for joining us today. As always, a huge thank you for our listeners as well. For more information about our show, you can look us up on the Voice of America Business Channel. You can visit our website at www.ieconsulting.biz . Don’t forget you can also access the podcast version of our show in Apple iTunes. Just go to iTunes. Go to the iTunes store. Click podcast on the left side of the screen, and enter Insight on Coaching in the search field. Thanks everyone. We’ll see you next week. 27 | Confidential August 27, 2008 Page 27 Success Factors for Women in Business Transcript