10 Rules For Women Who Want To Lead: Melissa Greenwell, The Finish Line

by  Becky Robinson  |  Workplace Issues
10 Rules For Women Who Want To Lead: Melissa Greenwell, The Finish Line post image

In presenting to the women at The Indiana Governor’s Conference for Women yesterday in Indianapolis, Melissa Greenwell, Executive Vice President and Chief Human Resources Officer at The Finish Line shared the challenges women face in the workplace.

Working harder does not help women close the gaps that exist for us. By leveraging our skills we can tilt the scales to be more balanced in our favor.

The session was standing room only, with women seated on the floor, lining the back of the room, every seat filled. It is obvious that this message is one that these women are hungry to hear.

Greenwell Shared These Ten Ideas:

Build Courage (1-6), Be Selfish (6-8), & Pay It Forward (8-10)
  1. Speak First – Don’t wait to share your ideas. When you share a thought, stop using up talk, a tone that ends statements to sound like questions. Use humor; lighten up.
  2. Stop Apologizing – Don’t qualify your statements. Accept disagreement; thank people for their comments and move on. Boost your enthusiasm. When you think you are demonstrating enthusiasm, turn it up a few notches.
  3. Pick A Role Model – Choose a powerful woman you can emulate in your career.
  4. Communicate Face-To-Face – Communicating electronically can be a relationship killer. If you don’t show up in person, it is difficult to communicate powerfully. Show up in person and watch your pose.
  5. Stay In Control – Control your emotions to maintain professionalism. When you know you are going to have a tough conversation, prepare yourself.
  6. Give Up The Guilt – Stop obsessing and caring too much. Feeling guilty takes away energy from all the things you need and want to do. Prioritize so you can spend your energy on your most important priorities.
  7. Ask For What You Want – Ask for what you want, more than once. Be your own agent, advocating for your value and worth. Own resentment and realize that we cannot get what we don’t ask for. Don’t wait until you are ready for the next opportunity for increased responsibility. If you procrastinate, someone else will beat you to the punch.
  8. Play To Win – Get comfortable with taking risk and with taking rejection. If you work in a male dominated environment, don’t retreat; invite yourself.
  9. Make Emotional Bank Deposits – Everyone appreciates being told when they’ve done good work, even your boss. Expect good work and reward good work.
  10. Help Other Women – We don’t need to wait for the next title or promotion to be able to help other women. If you are in a position of power, you have the power to make changes in your organization’s policies and practices that will help other women. Work harder to keep female talent in the workplace.
Which of these ideas resonate with you? Which of these rules can you apply to your life and leadership today?

About The Author

Articles By becky-robinson
I am the owner of Weaving Influence and the leader of the Weaving Influence team. We help authors and thought leaders grow their online influence. I am also a wife and mom of three daughters, and I enjoy running, reading, writing, a good cup of coffee, and dark chocolate.  »  View Profile

What People Are Saying

Paula Kiger  |  23 Oct 2014  |  Reply

How to pick? These are all good! Although it is probably not the “biggest,” the uptalk is an issue (in my opinion). I dealt with someone at our contractor who was (I KNEW) a supremely confident individual. She consistently used uptalk, though, and I could see how if someone did not know her work product, the wrong conclusion could be drawn.

Missy Apple Knotts  |  10 Nov 2014  |  Reply

Growing edges are #2 and #6. I have this annoying need to qualify my comments and it goes something like this “I’ve only been doing this for three years, so I could be completely off base here, but this is what I think….”. I am working to change this behavior as it is not serving me at all.

We Are Innovation  |  18 Nov 2014  |  Reply

I feel the very last point is crucial. Having worked with other women in manly driven companies I can tell it is really supportive to find other women willing to help by providing the hints and tips of how to succeed in this very particular company. I believe each organisation has its own way of behaving and finding peers to discuss and share experience is essential as much as it is helpful. We often underestimate the potential that is lost because women just don’t know wham and how they can speak up. Helping to clarify this also helps positioning women skills and therefore personal strengths at the right place, which eventually benefits the company itself.

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