Insufficient effort, narrow networks, lack of openness and an unwillingness to take risks can keep you from reaching peak effectiveness as a woman business leader.
Reaching a leadership position in the workplace means learning to gain and effectively use power. There are many factors involved, but according to Stanford Graduate School of Business Professor Jeffrey Pfeffer, it’s important to make sure you’re not sabotaging yourself.
An organizational behavior expert and author, Pfeffer has studied powerful people in a variety of spheres, including business, science and politics. In a BNET article, Pfeffer outlines the ways people sabotage their own power:
- Lack of effort: Although there are many elements to any success story, Pfeffer notes that the powerful all have one trait in common: They work hard. If you seek power as a woman business leader, make sure you’re willing to devote the time and effort necessary to succeed.
- Narrow networks: It can be tempting to focus on family, friends and favored colleagues. But power requires going outside your comfort zone and forging relationships within a wider network. Widen your circle to gain access to new contacts and information, which will help you gain power.
- Fear of privacy loss: High-profile power-brokers are constantly in the spotlight. It can be unnerving – and exhilarating. As a woman business leader, you’ll need to make peace with the fact that greater power levels will result in higher levels of scrutiny.
- Fear of failure: No one likes to fail, obviously. But if you are so averse to failure that you’re unwilling to take calculated risks, you are sabotaging your own power. Nearly every success story is prefaced by not-so-successful chapters. You’ll need to learn to take calculated risks to become an effective woman business leader.
Gaining power in the workplace is an essential component of being an effective woman business leader. By making sure you put in the necessary work, forge strategic ties, have the willingness to face higher levels of scrutiny and the courage to take calculated risks, you can avoid sabotaging your own power at work.
Read the entire Jeffrey Pfeffer article, Four Ways You’re Sabotaging Your Own Power at Work | BNET.