How does a seemingly ordinary woman become a super-successful business leader? What qualities do you need to reach and then effectively fill a top leadership position? And what qualities or actions are likely to hold you back?
To find out, Kathy Hurley and Priscilla Shumway, who are themselves business leaders, interviewed 24 women holding leadership positions in a variety of industries to find out how they accounted for their own successes. The result is their new book Real Women, Real Leaders: Surviving and Succeeding in the Business World. It’s a close look at the building blocks of success for today’s executives and entrepreneurs — both male and female.
Hurley, who has spent 40 years as a senior executive in education at Pearson, IBM, and the Learning Company shared some of the most important advice she and Shumway gleaned from their interviews:
1. Never trash anybody.
“Never, ever say that you will not work for someone, because he or she may be your next boss,” Hurley warns. Leadership begins with knowing how to work for someone you wouldn’t normally choose, she adds. “Working for someone who is challenging or impolite takes its own set of leadership skills and qualities. If you can do so with success (and a little grace), your superiors will take note and likely reward you with opportunity.”