Issue 86 - 05 | The Six Rules Women Must Break in Order to Succeed

By Jill Flynn, Kathryn Heath, and Mary Davis Holt
Published Sept. 7, 2011 10:00 a.m.
“We all have thoughts that limit our potential. Some of these beliefs come from our individual experiences; they take hold over the years. “I’m not good at taking credit. I’m much better working behind the scenes. I’m lucky to have this job.” Other beliefs are a result of the gender stereotypes that are all around us. They creep into our heads over time. “It’s my job to nurture everyone else before I take care of my own needs. I am selfish and self-centered if I choose to indulge my ambition.” Still others are simply erroneous conventional wisdom. “I can have it all without compromise. I’m a failure if I can’t make it look easy.”

We get in our own way when we buy-into these limiting beliefs. But it does not have to be that way. We can nurture the beliefs that will sustain us and help us grow. To rise to the highest ranks in business, women need to unwind some of the traditional thinking that holds us back. We need to rethink the conversations we are having in our heads and tell ourselves a new story. We need to break our own rules.”

About Jill Flynn, Kathryn Heath, and Mary Davis Holt | Jill Flynn, Kathryn Heath, and Mary Davis Holt are nationally recognized experts on women’s leadership and co-authors of Break Your Own Rules: How to Change the Patterns of Thinking that Block Women’s Paths to Power (Jossey-Bass; September 13, 2011). Each has commanded senior-level positions in Fortune 100 companies, and each has experienced the hurdles that still face executive women today. Now, as principals of Flynn Heath Holt Leadership (FHHL), they partner with Fortune 500 companies to customize and implement research-driven development programs that put women into top positions.
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