We watch our male colleagues take risks, while we hold back until we’re sure we are perfectly ready and perfectly qualified. We fixate on our performance at home, at school, at work, at yoga class, even on vacation.
Somewhere along the way, ambition went out of style, or at least showing it did. Recently, articles about Olympic snowboarder Shaun White reported that he is wildly unpopular among his fellow snowboarders despite the fact that he almost singlehandedly brought the sport to the world stage. Other snowboarders found his ambition to win unseemly.
Women leave positions for the same reasons men do: for bigger challenges, more money and more recognition. But they stay in jobs sometimes for a very different reason, according to McKinsey.
Sheryl Sandberg, COO of Facebook, has been making headlines about her new book, Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead. Sandberg’s message is that women too many women are being overlooked for promotions due to lack of confidence and poor negotiation skills, not lack of opportunity.
You can’t be considered for another job if you’re not good at the one you have. Performance is the baseline for being considered a high potential candidate – the price of admission. But what can you do to demonstrate potential – the future tense of being promotable?
In my experience, it’s rare to find people who are willing to risk being that open with each other. “Feedback” is a euphemism for many things, but almost never for anything positive. If you have something good to say, you never preface it with, “Do you mind if I give you some feedback?”