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  1. Why a good decision-maker is someone who knows when to take a back seat and listen to what others have to say Avivah Wittenberg-Cox explains why a good decision-maker is someone who knows when to take a back seat and listen to what others have to say. Decision-makers: When to let others do the talking with Avivah Wittenberg-Cox A female senior executive is perceived by her peers as being indecisive for expressing her ideas as suggestions. But her approach leads to a conversation and idea-building—rather than the turf war that might come out of a more decisive form of expression. Takeaways: Decisions are often made by louder voices rather than those with the best ideas. But better results can come from people who don't sound decisive right from the beginning. They may be better listeners and aggregators. Apply this: What sort of style are you more likely to use in such meetings? How can you express your ideas in a way that fosters discussion and building on them? How can you better listen to and value others' ideas—especially from the quieter and less "decisive" voices? Podcast Points_Decision-makers When to let others do the talking.pdf
  2. Why a desire for power is no longer necessarily a decisive criterion Avivah Wittenberg-Cox talks about what she sees as essential leadership qualities, and explains why a desire for power is no longer necessarily a decisive criterion; the idea of service is increasingly important. New leaders are not power-hungry with Avivah Wittenberg-Cox Three different CEOS say they are looking for future leaders who are "hungry". This is often not how women see themselves. Takeaways: The hunger for power is not a great predictor of how well someone will exercise it. We should instead promote high performers who want to serve the mission and vision of the organization and who want to serve their colleagues. Apply this: Are the leaders in your organization hungry? Or are they seeking to serve? How about you? What could you do to better serve your organization and value that sort of leadership? Podcast Points_New leaders are not power-hungry.pdf
  3. Why prejudice about parental leave is completely inappropriate in today's business environment Avivah Wittenberg-Cox shows how prejudice about parental leave dies hard, and why such prejudice is completely inappropriate in today's business environment. Parental leave: beware of stereotypes! with Avivah Wittenberg-Cox A father asks for paternity leave in the afternoons and learns that doing so would compromise his career. Takeaways: To encourage women to become leaders we need to actively encourage and allow men to become fathers. Companies should offer parental leave—not just "maternal leave". This is much more in line with the career ambitions of 21st century talent. Apply this: What policies does your organization currently have about parental leave? What prejudices are ingrained in these policies? What would a more just policy look like? How would it be more attractive to modern workers? Podcast Points_Parental leave beware of stereotypes.pdf
  4. Favour innovations that improve human relationships and the lives of our clients Avivah Wittenberg-Cox recounts an anecdote that shows that men and women don't see innovation in the same way, and encourages us to favour innovations that improve human relationships and the lives of our clients. Rethinking your innovation strategy with Avivah Wittenberg-Cox A European postal service surveyed its customers about what they would want on a commemorative stamp for the 20th century. Men suggested putting a man on the moon; women suggested the birth-control pill. Takeaway: We're moving from a technology-driven environment in which science solves everything to one in which relationships are paramount. The latter is what will make us happy, healthy, and whole. Apply this: What will deliver results for your organization in the next decade: understanding technology or discovering what your clients actually want? Podcast Points_Rethinking your innovation strategy.pdf
  5. How women have a different approach from men when it comes to risk Avivah Wittenberg-Cox explains how women have a different approach from men when it comes to risk, and why companies should not favour one approach over the other. Risk management: A question of hormones? with Avivah Wittenberg-Cox Research links testosterone to risk-taking on the trading floor. And the more risks that are taken, the more that testosterone rises. Then, when a crisis hits, testosterone drops. Men thus tend towards "fight or flight" whereas women are drawn to a "tend and befriend" approach to crisis, i.e., crafting a way forward together. Takeaways: Women and men have different approaches to risks; women tend to take on less risk and be more pragmatic. It's thus useful to have a mix of men and women on management teams to harness their different approaches to operational risks. Apply this: What is the impact of your management's gender ratio on risk management? How can you improve the balance in your decision-making? Podcast Points_Risk management A question of hormones.pdf
  6. Why the leaders of today are those who can use both their brains Avivah Wittenberg-Cox quotes the example of Barack Obama to show us that the leaders of today are those who can use both their brains. Use both your brains! with Avivah Wittenberg-Cox Women's leadership tends to emphasize both right- and left-brain thinking. All leaders, men and women, need to be able to connect with all sorts of people. Wittenberg-Cox finds that Obama offers a good example of this. Takeaways: We need to harness what are typically seen as masculine or feminine strengths, and not be locked into one side. We need to "bridge" our brains, cultures, and people. Apply this: How would you define your leadership style? How can you develop a more "bridging" style of leadership? Podcast Points_Use both your brains.pdf
  7. Why utopia-oriented marketing strategies are more efficient than performance-oriented marketing Through the example of the BMW Mini, Avivah Wittenberg-Cox shows us that utopia-oriented marketing strategies are more efficient than performance-oriented marketing. From performance-oriented marketing to utopian marketing with Avivah Wittenberg-Cox Men tend to respond to marketing about performance, whereas women respond to messages of a more utopian world. Many creative ad directors are men but those making buying decisions are often women, leading to a disconnect. Takeaways: A focus on a more holistic and even utopian message can lead to increased market share with women. It is also attractive to men. Apply this: What values does your marketing express to customers? How can you embrace a larger and more utopian message? Podcast Points_From performance-oriented marketing to utopian marketing.pdf
  8. Start implementing advancement policies based on the judgment of peers Avivah Wittenberg-Cox quotes the example of W.L. Gore and encourages us to implement advancement policies based on the judgment of peers instead of that of the hierarchy. Leaders of today, seek general agreement! with Avivah Wittenberg-Cox Gore-Tex's leaders are elected by their peers. They must thus inspire people and attract followers. Takeaway: We need leaders who are not hungry for power and status, but rather so excited and motivated by what they are doing that they engage others to follow. Apply this: Are you more likely to share your vision or impose it on others? What is truly motivating about the leaders you choose to follow? How can you likewise motivate others? Podcast Points_Leaders of today, seek general agreement!.pdf
  9. How to ensure we attract both male and female leaders Avivah Wittenberg-Cox explains how a job offer can itself influence the type of applicants and therefore warns us to word our offers carefully, in order to ensure we attract both male and female leaders of tomorrow. Make attractive job offers with Avivah Wittenberg-Cox One company that was not getting female respondents found that discussing their mission and vision was key to improvement. It also helped to drop bullet-point job requirements and to feature their female executives in the ads. Takeaways: Research has shown that women may not respond to employment ads if they don't meet 100% of the listed criteria, whereas men may respond if they meet only 60%. We need to change the way we talk about what we do to make it attractive to both women and men. Apply this: What can you do to make your employment advertising more attractive and exciting? Are you overemphasizing specific criteria that are not truly necessary and could be exclusionary, and underemphasizing your larger mission? What can you do to update this? Podcast Points_Make attractive job offers.pdf
  10. How companies can succeed by developing products designed to appeal to both women and men Using the example of Apple, Avivah Wittenberg-Cox shows that companies can succeed by developing products designed to appeal to both women and men. A leading product is a product designed for women with Avivah Wittenberg-Cox Many companies think of women as a niche market and dream up a stereotypically female and even "pink" version of their products. In contrast, Apple's emphasis on beauty and simplicity appeals to women—and men as well. Takeaways: When we respond to women's desires, we set the bar higher and please everyone. There are huge opportunities for those companies that develop products that are up to women's standards. Apply this: Are you approaching women as a niche or as a central objective in your market with high standards to strive to meet? How can you meet such high standards? Podcast Points_A leading product is a product designed for women.pdf
  11. Study shows that women outperform men on 7 out of 10 leadership skills Avivah Wittenberg-Cox quotes a study showing that women outperform men on 7 out of 10 leadership skills. The leaders of tomorrow are not the "heroes" of yesterday with Avivah Wittenberg-Cox Women generally outperform men in a study's measurement of leadership competencies, and yet are underrepresented in actual leadership positions. This suggests that we are not choosing our leaders based on true leadership skills. Takeaways: Seeking out leaders who are "heroes" with a "vision" emphasizes a masculine ideal of leadership that can be important but is limiting. We need to also emphasize other leadership skills, such as teamwork, communicating among divisions, collaborating in flatter organizations, and managing downwards (not just upwards). To spot hidden talent we should seek out the quieter leaders who may not be pushing but are in fact performing; that is, they achieve results without broadcasting so much. Apply this: In what ways are you susceptible to a focus on heroes? How can you pay attention to other forms of leadership that might not be quite as loud? Podcast Points_The leaders of tomorrow are not the heroes of yesterday.pdf
  12. Is there such thing as a "glass ceiling"? Avivah Wittenberg-Cox explains that there is no "glass ceiling". The problem lies in the very first levels of management and she therefore invites us to try and attract women and to offer them advancement opportunities. The myth of the "glass ceiling" with Avivah Wittenberg-Cox Wittenberg-Cox feels that women are not rising up the ladder and then getting blocked. Instead, women are dropping off gradually at every step up. Takeaways: Women are a high percentage of university graduates—but as they move through their careers women are not being promoted into management as frequently. Companies need to realize that their entire management development system needs to be updated and reviewed in order to harness the talent of the 21st century—which is majority female. Instead of asking what's wrong with women, we need to ask what’s wrong with our companies. Apply this: Does the mix of women gradually drop off as you move further up in management in your organization? What is it about the organization that contributes to its gender mix in leadership, in terms of: - Criteria that managers are judged on? - Working conditions? What can the organization do to improve? Podcast Points_The myth of the glass ceiling.pdf
  13. How to promote women and to support them as they take on new responsibilities Avivah Wittenberg-Cox invites us to promote women and to support them as they take on new responsibilities. Promoting women: A specific skill with Avivah Wittenberg-Cox A woman turns down a promotion to head a multi-million-dollar subsidiary because she just had a baby and can't travel or work late evenings. The CEO trying to hire her finds a way to make the promotion work for her instead of simply accepting her initial refusal. Takeaways: Women need flexibility, support, and understanding. When they get it, they can take on leadership roles and be new role models for others while performing for the organization. Apply this: How can you foster women's ambition in your organization? What support and flexibility are necessary for this? Podcast Points_Promoting women A specific skill.pdf
  14. The benefits of promoting a female style of leadership Avivah Wittenberg-Cox explains that senior level women tend to take a male approach to leadership. Therefore, she encourages us to promote a female style of leadership. Female leadership with Avivah Wittenberg-Cox The first women to get promoted to leadership in many organizations may resemble the male leaders that came before them. Takeaways: Female talent may look and behave quite differently from male talent. Organizations may unwittingly promote only those females who resemble male leaders (e.g., who are aggressive and self-promoting). This misses out on other types of female role models and talent. We need to seek new types of leaders who can add their skills and styles to complement existing masculine norms. Apply this: What does leadership look like in your company? How could it better reflect a mix of various leadership styles? What would help women with balanced personal lives achieve more in your organization? Podcast Points_Female leadership.pdf
  15. How to anticipate all the customers'needs Using the example of the automotive industry, Avivah Wittenberg-Cox shows us that R&D is essential in anticipating all the customers' needs. Don't neglect 50% of the market with Avivah Wittenberg-Cox Car designers still haven't thought out where women can place their purses. Takeaways: There are huge market opportunities for organizations that can accurately reflect on the needs of their clients. We need to anticipate latent needs that might not be fully formulated. This requires empathy and customer understanding. Apply this: How do women experience your products or services? What latent needs do they have that might not be addressed—and that they themselves might Podcast Points_Don't neglect 50% of the market.pdf

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