Berrett-Koehler's Maren Fox connects "Women in Leadership" to Humble Leadership

For all of the progress women in leadership are making in the workplace, there are still stark reminders of the challenges that face them. For example, a 2018 report by Grant Thornton showed that 75 percent of responding businesses have at least one woman in senior management—an impressive increase from 66 percent the year before. However, the proportion of women in senior management roles actually dropped, from 25 to 24 percent.

There is much work left to do. Women in leadership—as well as women striving to advance into leadership—might well encounter the glass ceiling, so women must continue do everything they can to break it. First priority: finding your leadership voice.

Having a leadership voice is more than speaking up when the situation presents itself. It’s also about how you communicate with coworkers, peers, superiors, and subordinates alike—it’s about building influence and personal brand. Here is a closer look at the importance of finding your leadership voice:

Who Do You Serve?

In their book, Humble Leadership: The Power of Relationships, Openness, and Trust, Edgar and Peter A. Schein advance the idea of “personization”—building relationships with the whole person who you are communicating with and not just his or her workplace role. “Personizing has nothing to do with being nice, giving employees good jobs and working conditions, generous benefits, or flexible working hours,” they write. “It has everything to do with building relationships that get the job done and that avoid the indifference, manipulation, or, worse, lying and concealing that so often arise in work relationships.”

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