Career Strategy: Think Like A Man

Think Like A Man [In The Office] Too

As I came down from the comedic high from the motion picture sequel to Sir Steve Harvey’s love manual Think Like a Man, I realized my very intimate attachment to the characters. While each of them is very special, I am definitely intrigued by Lauren, the goal-oriented control-freak career chick that is way to driven for her own good. Her story is very real and illustrates the difficulty in transitioning from career leader to her assumed role according to her gender in relationships. This led to my thinking that maybe, just maybe women should not just attempt to think like a man in the bedroom but in the boardroom too. After some digging around a bit on the electronic know -it-all aka Google, I compiled a few reasons why women should consider altering our thinking in the Corporate Universe and start thinking like men.

She can become the CEO

Does the name Mary Barra mean anything to you? If not it should, she is the current CEO of General Motors and placed first in Fortune Magazine’s 50 Most Powerful Women in Business list. There are hundreds of “Mary’s” in the corporate space, they just have to believe that CEO is an option. Although it may require a helmet and shoulder pads to break through the glass ceiling, it is very possible. The common pointers given by many female CEOs are surprisingly the same, come up with a career plan, take the risk and be comfortable with yourself. Easy right, not! Being a good leader takes training and experience. So if CEO is a desire, you have to train for it and stick to it.

Negotiate, You’re Worth It

The median annual earnings for full-time, year-round women workers in 2012 was $37,791 compared to men’s $49,398. In the book, Women Don’t Ask, authors Linda Babcock and Sara Lashever conduct a series of studies that found women fail to negotiate salary, promotions and opportunities of advancement whereas our testosterone driven counterparts aggressively go after them. When negotiating keep your value in mind. If you don’t know your own value how do you expect someone else to.

You can wear pants (with pumps) too.

Naturally, women are leaders in the home and in the family, so why can’t they lead in the workplace. So maybe CEO isn’t a desire, but a leadership role is, you can wear the pants too. Women are genetically engineered with passion and a mentally strategic framework, both of which are required to be a good leader. The ability to empathize with the “family” aka the team and rally their support with morale boosters are traits of a good leader. So why would one think running a company is more difficult that laboring the birth of a child or monthly cramps even?

Anything he can do, she can plan better

From afternoon carpools, soccer practice, homework and dinner, women are genetically engineered to multitask. This is a core characteristic required by any leader. The ability to focus and achieve a multitude of things – successfully I might add – at the same time is a freakin’ art. There is one thing that all great multitaskers have and do well, yep they are all organized. Organization is the blueprint to success. Organize a plan then activate it. Your consumers and clients will be grateful. While this list is by no means exhaustive, it highlights the obvious, that a pair of fierce pumps is a great accessory in the corner office of the CEO. Let HER be great!

“I want every little girl who’s told she’s bossy to be told instead that she has leadership skills.” – Sheryl Sandberg

Jai Ferrell is a former entertainment marketing executive turned self appointed social scientist commencing an experiment via Corporate & Unemployed. CorporateandUnemployed.com a social blog chronicling the journey to entrepreneurship or something like it in life after living a career.

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