STOP the Cycle of Networking That is NOT Working

This appeared on LinkedIn this week and speaks to EXACTLY why you should join and be involved in WWLI -

Is ywendyour Networking Notworking?


“The best networking events I’ve attended or hosted are those that are more informal. In fact, I don’t like meeting people “to increase my network.” I like meeting people, well, just to meet people. And I like to start out by keeping the whole thing on a personal level. I enjoy getting to meet everyone in the room, not just the people who I have made eye contact with. And you can’t do that easily unless the event is set up to give everyone a chance to speak. And not exclusively about (yawn) what they do for a living. For me, it’s got to be fun, or it’s not memorable.

I think it is because I truly believe that all business is personal. And so when I meet people, I want to know their stories. I find that taking time to understand a person’s journey gives me more insight into how we’re ultimately going to work together. It doesn’t usually happen immediately, it can take several meetings or conversations to find the “clicking point.” But once I can connect with someone to better understand how his mind works, it becomes easier to see places where we’ll be successful working together.

How can you stop this cycle of networking that is NOT working?

These are some of my ideas — I’m sure you can add some of your own.

  • Throw out the idea that quantity is better than quality.
  • Take the time to ask questions that have nothing to do with business.
  • Don’t start the conversation by handing out your card when you first meet — it is rude. And people will focus on your card and not hear you!
  • Don’t ask someone to “Link In” with you without a personal message about WHY you want to add him/her to your network.
  • Participate in group discussions, share your experiences and expertise and more importantly, expect NOTHING in return.
  • Pay it forward. Connect people you know who can help each other.
  • Go out of your way to attend events to just meet people. Don’t expect to get a deal.
  • Don’t push your products (your politics, your religion, your business) when you first meet someone, it is very off-putting.
  • Keep in touch. Visit other people’s profiles. Share their posts.
  • Don’t pretend to be confident. A little humility, humor and honesty goes a lot further than bravado.”

You can read Wendy’s entire article here:

Gender Bias Disrupts the Learning Cycle of Leadership


“Many CEOs who make gender diversity a priority—by setting aspirational goals for the proportion of women in leadership roles, insisting on diverse slates of candidates for senior positions, and developing mentoring and training programs—are frustrated. They and their companies spend time, money, and good intentions on efforts to build a more robust pipeline of upwardly mobile women, and then not much happens. Becoming a leader involves much more than being put in a leadership role, acquiring new skills, and adapting one’s style to the requirements of that role. It involves a fundamental identity shift. Organizations inadvertently undermine this process when they advise women to proactively seek leadership roles without also addressing policies and practices that communicate a mismatch between how women are seen and the qualities and experiences people tend to associate with leaders.”  Read the full HARVARD BUSINESS REVIEW article by by Herminia Ibarra, Robin Ely, and Deborah Kolb here

Arianna Huffington: “Sleep your way to the top…”

website photo huff-7d_055


by Frances Stead Sellers of The Washington Post @FrancesSSellers

Arianna Huffington, the guest speaker at Tuesday’s Washington Women’s Leadership Initiative luncheon, talks in aphorisms:

“If somebody works 24/7, there is a problem,” she tells the audience of about 150 (overworked) women (and a smattering of men).
“Live life as if everything is weighted in your favor,” she says in her slightly mysterious Greek accent. ”Your bedroom should be a device-free zone.
““You can’t go fly fishing and check your iPhone at the same time.”And so on.It’s all part of a lean-back message that Huffington is taking on the road with Morning Joe’s Mika Brzezinski this spring with events planned in New York, Washington and Los Angeles. The focus will be on redefining women’s success to include well-being, wisdom, wonder, compassion and will feature several stratospherically successful women speakers like Katie Couric and Julianne Moore. The thrust of it? Women shouldn’t just survive in the workplace, they should thrive. (That, incidentally, is the title of Huffington’s new book: “Thrive: The Third Metric to Redefining Success and Creating a Life of Well-Being, Wisdom and Wonder.”)Most memorably, Huffington urges the assembled luncheon group: “Sleep your way to the top. Four hours is not enough.” She is a big advocate of naps and of dreaming up ways to reshape the workplace that men have designed.The multimillionaire’s message to those men? “You’re going to be so grateful when we change things.”
Article by Frances Stead Sellers, The Washington Post
Link to article

Having women in leadership compels stronger critical thinking


WENDY KAUFMAN of NPR writes that Katherine Phillips, a professor of leadership and ethics at Columbia University’s Business School, says women bring a perspective that men might not have. She says that diversity of perspective and opinion compels everyone in the room to think harder and more critically. Kaufman notes that historically, many companies have maintained they hire the best person for the job. Tom Falk, the chief executive officer of Kimberly-Clark, says if you’re only choosing talent from half the population, it is hard to imagine you have the best team. To get more women, many managers will have to think differently, he says. Read (or listen to) the entire article at

GM names new Mary T. Barra new CEO


After spending 33 years with G.M., Mary T. Barra has been named as the next chief executive of G.M. — and the first woman to ascend to the top job at a major auto company. She was unanimously chosen from a select group of internal candidates to succeed Daniel Akerson who joined GM in 2010 bringing little to no automotive experience to the table at the time. Since it’s widely proclaimed that women make approximately 84% of car buying decisions in the US, it will be interesting to see how GM evolves under her executive leadership. She ascends to her new role from having served as the VP of Global Manufacturing Engineering in 2008 and VP of Global Product Development in 2011. Read the full NEW YORK TIMES Article by BILL VLASIC here –

Twitter appoints first woman, Marjorie Scardino, to board of directors


While its hard to capture the significance of this decision in 140 characters, Marjorie Scardino’s selection to Twitter’s BOD is a big one. Public outcry from professional women brought this issue to the forefront and Twitter responded with an excellent selection. Read the full Washington Post article by Hayley Tsukayama here

US trails UK by more than half with women leaders at NGO’s


According to this article on the Guardian by Ama Marston, women only head 12-14% of the NGOs (pdf) with the largest budgets in the US.  The UK more than doubles that with women leading 27% of NGOs with the greatest assets in the UK. While Britain is ahead of the US game, Marston’s research quotes that the UK is only slightly better than in many developing countries. In conversations with women leaders in development NGOs in Kenya and South Africa they estimate that women hold only 15-20% of director positions there. Read the entire article here: Source:

Guardian launches Women in Leadership


Harriet Minter of Guardian News and Media announces new section on Guardian website discussing gender diversity in the workplace and how we get more women to the top.

When you take away non-executive director appointments, just 5.8% of executive board members are women. Not very impressive when you consider that throughout school and university women outperform men, with more graduate jobs going to the girls. So what happens? Visit the GUARDIAN link below focussing on gender diversity in the workplace and the changes that need to happen in order to see more women in leadership roles: