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"Enjoying What You Do Makes Work-Life Balance Less Of An Issue"

Marshall Goldsmith, has recently launched his book titled ‘How Women Rise’. Around the sane lines, Marshall talks to Rajguru Tandon about women leadership and challenges.

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Marshall Goldsmith, has recently launched his book titled ‘How Women Rise’. Around the sane lines, Marshall talks to Rajguru Tandon about women leadership and challenges.      

What are the biggest challenges for women in leadership roles?

My new book titled ‘HOW WOMEN RISE, talks about 12 challenges that women face in leadership. We don’t talk about challenges imposed by the society, we talk about the challenges women tend to bring upon themselves and things they can do to make a positive change. Firstly women tend to be too hard on themselves and excessively self-critical much more so than men. Secondly, women tend to not do such a good job of self-promotion. Many women are hesitant to promote themselves; they feel good work should speak for itself. It’s a nice theory, but if it were true no company would need a marketing function. So women need to realize; just like men that they are responsible for their own career. Women often sacrifice their career for their job, and they get so focused on doing a good job they don’t invest in their long term career and their future. Sometimes 95 percent is good enough to take that extra energy to get the 95 to 99 which could be huge investment and put that time in your career not just trying to make that extra 5 percent difference.

What progress have women made in terms of being perceived as a leader and what more can be done?

Women have made huge amounts of progress compared to what used to be. In the older days there were very few corporate leaders at all. Today there are far more women leaders than what there used to be. Women are moving forward in a forceful expectation and that they can become leaders. Our book is designed to help women to acquire leadership goals to move ahead in their career.

What are the work-life balance issues for the women in corporate world?

I think that women can be very successful in corporate world and have happy family lives. But the matter of fact is that you cannot do everything. I listened to a great talk of a woman, who is the CEO of large company, and she made a great point saying, “I tried to be a great CEO, taking care of my health and my family also.”

How can women find the perfect balance between personal and professional life?

There is no perfect anything, so women are never going to find the perfect balance. So what you do is, you need to find your own balance and that balance is different for each person. If you enjoy what you do, then balance issues are much less of an issue.

Women are perceived to have a better EQ while men with better IQ. Do you think women leaders are better suited for some particular areas like HR?

No, I think that’s a very dangerous stereotype, putting women in a box like that. I would say women do tend to have a higher EQ which is mostly a blessing but sometimes a curse; we have talked about it in the book. The blessing average woman is seen as a better leader than the average man in 360 feedbacks. So that’s great! Sometimes women are so focused on making relationships that they have trouble making tough decisions, firing people, doing the hard part of the job that is not inherently popular.

How can a woman achieve domain expertise in the technology sector to equalise gender diversity?

Woman who are in the field of technology, need to focus on building their career, building their degree of power and influence. Unfortunately, women are stuck because of discrimination. What I say to women in such cases is, leave. Do a good job at the existing company, find another job and leave if you think you have not been given fair chances.