3 Steps to Break Through the Glass Ceiling
Your Glass Ceiling May Look Like Comfy Job Why You Should Get Up And Out When Things Look Rosy!
A strange thing happened on Jake’s journey to management Nirvana: things were looking peachy for years only to end up on a dead track. Bright, young and engaged Jake was talent spotted at a local office of a global logistics company and found himself posted to the national HQ of the company by age 26. Not bad, the small town boy was going places in his management career. After a few years of patient toiling he was posted to the regional HQ, things were kind of falling into place. If he just worked hard enough at his job Jake’s management career would surely stay on track! But something funny happened: Hard as he toiled, managed and delivered predictably consistent results, even in tough times, one year followed the next and Jake still found himself in the same chair located in the same corner of the same office in regional HQ. Unknowingly Jake had bumped against the invisible Glass Ceiling. He was going nowhere…
Decoding The Invisible Glass Ceiling Legions of managers are out there today, right at this very moment, ensnared in the seemingly invisible web of the Glass Ceiling. Try as they may, they just can’t figure out what went wrong with their career, why they are not getting past this invisible barrier. They have worked diligently, cooperated, contributed and delivered and yet, here they are: stuck… their name is not hot property anymore, the promotions pass them by, everyone is nice and friendly enough to them but no one really tells them why they are going nowhere, it’s as if they are stuck in a sensory deprivation chamber watching through a hole in the wall as the world passes them by.
3 Steps To Remove The Glass Ceiling From Your Management Career Step 1. Statistics Apply ? Why People Go From Young Hero To Being Invisible Think of an old fashioned hierarchical organization as a pyramid. There is plenty of space at the bottom of the pile. Most people who join a company at the bottom of the hierarchy pile have one goal in mind: find a job & pay the bills. Even one ounce more energy & determination than the rest will make you stand out from the crowd… you will be noticed easily and given your first leadership role fairly fast, for in the land of the blind the one-eyed is king. But don’t be fooled, far from being an ideal pyramid shape a hierarchical organization looks more like a funnel: broad at the bottom suddenly tapering into a thin end. This means: there is much less space at the top and the air gets much thinner much faster than people believe. Your natural good looks, affable charm and ability to deliver predictable results will not get you past this sudden narrowing of the management strata.
Step 2. Don’t Become A Legend In Your Own Mind Blessed with a few initial management successes and promotions many a young manager gets excited about his/her abilities. Far from understanding that these initial successes owe as much to their personal ability as to the fact that they achieved easy wins being the one-eyed kings in the land of the blind (it isn’t hard to succeed in an environment populated by individuals who just want to pay the bills) these managers actually start believing in their personal prowess and that they are irreplaceable…. WRONG The moment you become a legend in your own mind: “I am good, what would they do without me, etc” a predictable psychological mechanism sets in: The egotist mind now has a delusion it needs to defend at all costs: “Only I can do this, they need me, etc…” which starts excluding all other possible realities and opinions.
You have trapped yourself in a cycle of having to prove yourself right. How many times have you sat in a meeting and heard Mr. X or Mrs. Y ramble on and belabor a silly point with only one intention in mind: prove themselves right when everyone perfectly well knew they were wrong… Get over it: you are not perfect, you cannot know everything and in a world of geometric knowledge & technology expansion wanting to be ‘right’ is a one way ticket to disaster.
Step 3. Move-Move-Move From Company To The Next! Yes, this does contradict traditional wisdom. Words like loyalty, perseverance, staying power, etc start flooding our minds instantly: “My gosh, what will my CV look like! People will think I am a mercenary!”… Lets look at this from another angle: What is it that you really get paid for: results or hard work? Many long term employees of organizations have got it back to front: loyalty, hard work and obedience to the ‘corporate culture’ of their team characterize their thinking and actions… “I have sacrificed long years of my life in loyal, hard-working service to this company, don’t I deserve some recognition?” well, yes you do. If you have delivered results.
However, there is a strange correlation between long term loyalty, hard work and playing along with the corporate culture, it’s called inflexibility, lack of imagination and diminishing results because we get bogged down in the corporate politics. Wake up my loyal, long-suffering, sacrificial friends! No one is interested in your sacrifice! No one is interested in your Siren’s song of hard work and unrewarded loyalty! Everyone is only interested in: can you bring me a result! Are you fast, efficient, self driven and innovative!? All the qualities of speed, mental agility and willingness to deliver are crucially attached to your ability to change and taking on new challenges, instead of stagnating in an old pond you are like the rushing water of a waterfall: full of fresh oxygen, ideas, zest, power and energy to change things around you. That is what you will be paid for.
Talent search companies are taking a very clear look at CVs, one of the most important criteria is: have you been with a company for a long time (10 years or more)…then you might just have become a pond of stagnant ideas…. Too focused on adeptly sailing the political maze of your company and not innovative/disruptive enough to break old thinking patterns. Simply put: the employee is dead. Companies are looking for fresh thoughts, fresh solutions, individuals who are willing to stand up and deliver (and those companies who are not looking for such people won’t be in the game for much longer). Companies are looking for Co-Creators, emotionally mature individuals who know that there is only one reason to join a team: achieve results, learn, improve processes and take this fresh knowledge to the next position in which they can become a key catalyst for results.
Watch the full film here: vod.journeyman.tv For downloads and more information, visit: www.journeyman.tv In many countries, today’s young women haven’t had to struggle for equality and on many levels women can do anything a man can. But is it safe to rest on our laurels? We chart the major triumphs of the Women’s Liberation Movement and examine womens’ rights worldwide.