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

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.
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