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Ready to Stretch? | February 2019

When faced with an opportunity to take on a stretch assignment, new role, or promotion, what’s your reaction? Be Leaderly surveyed more than 1,500 professionals to find out what it takes to say “yes” with confidence. In this webinar, learn what we discovered—and how you can prepare to step up to your next big career opportunity. Guest speakers: Shuchi Sharma, Global Vice President and Leader of Gender Intelligence at SAP and Robert F. Solomon Jr., Director of Culture and Engagement, Lowe’s Companies, Inc.

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Ready to Stretch? | February 2019

  • 3. #BeLeaderly Bank of America Colorado State Siemens PLM
  • 7. Jo Miller CEO, Be Leaderly • Dedicated to helping women around the world advance into positions of leadership and influence. • Founded this webinar series to reach emerging women leaders anywhere in the world. Now in it’s 10th year, it is viewed by participants in 900 locations in 31 countries. • Co-author of new research report, Out of the Comfort Zone: How Women and Men Size Up Stretch Assignments — and Why Leaders Should Care. • First book will be published by McGraw-Hill in December 2019. @Jo_Miller
  • 8. Selena Rezvani VP of Consulting & Research, Be Leaderly • Consultant, speaker and author on women and leadership. • Workplace advisor, using workplace culture assessments to help corporate clients be more inclusive and welcoming to women. • Author of two leadership books for professional women – Pushback: How Smart Women Ask—and Stand Up—for What They Want (Jossey-Bass, 2012) and The Next Generation of Women Leaders (Praeger, 2009). • Co-author of new research report, Out of the Comfort Zone: How Women and Men Size Up Stretch Assignments — and Why Leaders Should Care. @SelenaRezvani
  • 9. Shuchi Sharma Global VP and Lead of Gender Intelligence, SAP • Leads the gender intelligence strategy at SAP, ensuring it’s integrated into the fabric of the culture, values and business model. • Works with global stakeholders to create and deliver initiatives designed to foster a culture of inclusion. • Experienced in many aspects of SAP’s business including services, sales and marketing. • Speaks 5(!) languages: English, German, Hindi, French and some Italian. @Shuchi5
  • 10. Robert F. Solomon, Jr. Director, Leadership & HiPo Development Lowes • Dedicated to helping people expand their leadership capacity & making organizations more effective and sustainable. • Designs & implements leadership development initiatives for more than 300K+ Lowes associates. • Has delivered training to 9,000+ mid- & senior leaders on 5 continents, in 9 countries and in industries ranging from Retail to Tech. • Enjoys competitive dog training in the sport of Schutzhund, participating at regional, national & international competitions. @RobertFSolomon
  • 11. 71% of senior leaders identified stretch assignments as the biggest factor in unleashing their career potential. Women are less likely than men to obtain stretch assignments. People who land stretch assignments are more likely than other employees to get raises.
  • 12. Representing a division in a “reorg” or realignment Relaunching an Managing a VIP initiative that client account previously failed Engaging critics/ naysayers Getting closer to the customer Transitioning a process from manual to automated What Constitutes a Stretch? Re-engineering a broken process Managing and communicating a change Leading a turnaround or crisis Analyzing your product mix Forming a new alliance/partnership Convening a taskforce to solve a tough problem
  • 13. Criteria that makes a stretch assignment “Yesable” 40% 33% 18% 9% 43% 33% 11% 14% 5% 10% 15% 20% 25% 30% 35% 40% 45% Enough personal influence Aligns with career goals Exposure to mentors and sponsors General conditions set me up to succeed Female Male
  • 14. What is NOT a Stretch? Office housework Volunteering on the Fun Committee “More of the same” type work
  • 15. 1.1. Position yourself for the opportunity 1.2. Make a pitch and negotiate your terms 3. Deliver, Deliver, Deliver 4. Translate & promote your success Ready to Stretch?
  • 16. 1. Position Yourself for the Opportunity
  • 17. What’s a good way to position yourself for a coveted stretch assignment? • Raising your hand is the first step • Stretch assignments aren’t always visible • See something that can be improved or changed, and just offer to do it • You might not have all the answers, but if you’re the one identifying the challenge and it has merit, it’s likely others don’t know how to do it either • You don’t have to have all the answers!
  • 18. • More opportunities exist when the company is in flux • Start by understanding: • Your organization’s culture • The departmental strategy where the opportunity exists • The opportunity itself • Align your desired outcomes with the current opportunity of chaos • Underscore how your leadership and contributions can make a positive impact • Think Big, Start Small, Act Now! How can you pitch for a stretch assignment when your company’s in flux?
  • 19. “Stretch” when you want to: • Move up • Rebrand yourself • Get “unstuck” • Make a comeback/be resilient • Be associated with a new department, leader or product
  • 20. 2. Make a Pitch and Negotiate the “Stretch” Terms
  • 21. How should people approach asking for a stretch assignment? • It depends on what you want to achieve • If you’re looking for a promotion or a new role, cast it as a step towards that • If you’ve identified an opportunity for revenue growth, and want to earn more, pitch the ROI and ask for a piece of the return
  • 22. • Before you negotiate for your own personal benefit, make sure to negotiate on behalf of the company • Empirically define ideal success outcomes and minimal viable solutions • Establish that the stretch assignment is in fact a strategic risk. Discuss how things might go awry and how the assignment sponsor will know/intervene • Negotiation doesn’t mean finalization What terms of a stretch opportunity are important to negotiate?
  • 23. Make Informed Decisions & Get What You Need Get clear on the opportunity, including “WIIFM” Negotiate the authority, support & resources you need Ask, “If I do a great job on X, what can I expect as a result?” Line up mentors, influencers & allies to help navigate politics
  • 25. “The ideal stretch opportunity fuels your passions, plays to your strengths, and helps you make an impact.” -Jo Miller, CEO of Be Leaderly
  • 26. How can you deliver strong results when you’re inexperienced? 1. Identify skill gaps you have and determine if it’s something you need to learn or if you can leverage someone else in the organization (perhaps on a team) 2. Manage expectations 3. Remember that inexperienced does not mean inept 4. Make sure your manager understands that they need to support you “A rubberband needs someone to help it achieve the maximum stretch possible.”
  • 27. What are your tips for delivering well when you have different stakeholders to please? • Plan: Tell your stakeholders what you intend to do and how you plan to do it. Integrate their feedback and define success for them. • Communicate timelines, milestones, and budgetary information: …with intention …to the point of over-communication …with zest! • Follow-Thru: Under-promise and over-deliver
  • 28. • Start with a “measurement mindset” • Bring raw enthusiasm • Be openly inquisitive • Probe for the issue behind the issue • Finish with evidence in hand On Delivering:
  • 29. 4. Translate the Experience & Promote Your Success
  • 30. How can I try to translate my stretch experience to my day job? • Skills are your currency • Differentiate any skill acquisition you bring back to the team vs. skills that help you do your own job better • A stretch should position you for other roles. Show how a “stretch”… • Makes you more adaptable • Illustrates that you can learn new things from scratch • Shows your desire to bring new experiences/skills back to the organization for it’s own betterment
  • 31. 1. Become comfortable with your success • Develop an elevator pitch highlighting the stretch assignment, including it’s positive impact and your key learnings 2. Look to your “stretch sponsor” as a voice to promote your success • Make sure your sponsor has enough information to speak about your role in the stretch assignment 3. Leave a legacy • Believing that the work will speak for itself isn’t the most effective strategy • Especially key for women and minorities How do I promote my “stretch success” effectively?
  • 32. • Over deliver! Do 1 extra- ordinary or memorable thing • Translate your experience into a list of tangible, valued skills • Articulate 3 actions you’ll take based on what you learned while “on assignment” • Spotlight your stretch assignment as a best practice on news & social channels
  • 33. 1.1. Position yourself for the opportunity 1.2. Make a pitch and negotiate your terms 3. Deliver, Deliver, Deliver 4. Translate & promote your success Ready to Stretch?
  • 34. What Be Leaderly’s Research Reveals… 15% 67% 10% 77% 0% 20% 40% 60% 80% Disagree Agree "I feel engaged and passionate in my current job." 45% 27%29% 40% 0% 20% 40% 60% 80% Disagree Agree "My company makes it easy for me to gauge my readiness to advance."
  • 35. How Companies Can Create a Culture of “Stretch”: 1. Enable a growth mindset 2. Monitor stretch assignments & participation 3. Bank and post opportunities and offers transparently 4. Standardize opportunities 5. Showcase & reward stretches
  • 36. What’s one action you’ll take to initiate a stretch opportunity? Visit www.pollev.com/leaderly
  • 39. Recommended Reading Out of the Comfort Zone: How Men and Women Size Up Stretch Assignments – And Why Leaders Should Care The Leadership Pipeline By Ram Charan, Stephen Drotter & Jim Noel Women Don’t Ask By Linda Babcock & Sara Laschever
  • 40. Get today’s slides, bonus articles, research report and our newsletter: Text leaderly to 444999 We never share, rent or sell your email or personal information. More: beleaderly.com/privacy
  • 42. “If you don’t take risks you’ll always work for someone who does.” — Nora Denzel
  • 43. The New Rules of Teamwork Tuesday, April 23, 2019 Today, 84% of employees are “matrixed,” working on multiple teams every day. Networks of teams are replacing top-down hierarchies. And the role of a high-performing team player is changing. Are you keeping up? In this webinar, learn to leverage the “magic ratio” of highly effective teams, harness the collective intelligence of groups, and make a memorable mark. Guest speakers: Jo Miller, CEO and Selena Rezvani, VP of Consulting and Research, Be Leaderly
  • 44. Discussion Questions 1. Think of someone in your organization who took on a “stretch” successfully. What made their stretch a success? 2. What makes you hesitate to take on a stretch assignment? 3. What would be the #1 career benefit for you - if you led an important stretch opportunity? 4. What will you do to: a) Position yourself for a stretch opportunity b) Make a pitch & negotiate the terms c) Deliver d) Translate the experience & promote successes

Editor's Notes

  1. According to research from McKinsey & Company, people who get advice from managers about how to advance and who land stretch assignments are more likely to receive raises. - Women In The Workplace Study 2016, McKinsey & Co. and Lean In, Sep. 26, 2016 Similar research from Korn Ferry names stretch or rotational assignments as the most valuable experiences for career development, ahead of action learning, mentoring, relationships, 360° assessments, exposure to more senior leaders and formal classroom training. - Planning a leadership development journey, Korn Ferry, 2014 A separate survey of 823 international executives - “21st-Century Talent Spotting,” Harvard Business Review, June 2014
  2. Out of the Comfort Zone: How women and men size up stretch assignments — and why leaders should care. https://beleaderly.com/stretch-assignments/
  3. Out of the Comfort Zone: How women and men size up stretch assignments — and why leaders should care. https://beleaderly.com/stretch-assignments/