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              Saundra Quick, Mechanics & Farmers Bank
                        Executive Assistant to the President

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The WATT® Report

Welcome - December, 2010

Welcome to The WATT® Report, your resource for news and advice to help you get ahead. As a member of the Women at the Top® Network, you'll receive this monthly e-newsletter the first Wednesday of every month.
In Case You Missed It 

Each month we'll round up a few of the most interesting reads we've found to help you stay informed. This month's picks are: 
Fact: Women hold less than one-fifth of the senior-level management positions at large commercial banks according to the latest Women at the Top® (WATT®) Study, but organizations seeking out the best talent may change that.

"Companies are becoming more transparent in their hiring practices and goals in order to secure the best talent for their organizations," said Barr, President of Red Ladder, Inc. and Founder of the WATT® Network in Inver Grove Heights, Minn. "Women who have the right skills, and who make their interests in attaining senior level positions known, will be in demand. This, combined with the fact that companies with more senior level women boast higher financial returns, all bode well for women in financial services." (Read More)
Study: Earlier this year, for the first time in U.S. history, women outnumbered men in the workforce. Yet, according to a 2010 diversity practices study conducted by Calvert Investments, 56 percent of S&P 100 companies have no women and/or minorities when it comes to the highest paid executive positions. Read "Examining the Cracks in the Ceiling: A Survey of Corporate Diversity Practices of the S&P 100."
Quote: "Why do I have to be the know-it-all? I'm not that smart. But I'm smart enough to just keep asking questions and say, Is that the best you can do? Does that excite you? Will that excite the customer? Does this really have to work this way?" - Carol Bartz, chief executive of Yahoo!
Leadership Lessons from Women in the Boardroom
Last night I attended a panel program hosted by Sheila Ronning, CEO & President of Sharp UpSwing, that focused on helping more women get into the boardroom, whether as directors for public, non-profit, or private boards, or as advisory board members for for-profit companies.  (Learn More)
In listening to the panelists speak, I found that many of the remarks made by these amazing women hold true for any woman who wants to be recognized as a leader in her organization, not just for those aspiring to board-level positions.

Here's my spin on some of the take-aways from this program. 

  1. Understand your role. As a leader within your organization, it's critical that you understand what your role is and how it fits in with the big picture and broader organizational activities. At the end of the day, you are accountable to someone whether that's your boss, the owner or the shareholders of your company.
  2. Recognize the dynamics in your organization. Do you have a sense of the chemistry between the leaders in your organization and whether or not you fit-in or the odd-woman out? Do you have a good understanding of the corporate politics, how they work in your organization, and the moxie to use them to your advantage? The answers to these questions will be very telling for you.  
  3. Don't be high maintenance.  Ask for what you need to be successful but don't make unreasonable requests, particularly if it means you are diverting scarce company resources that could be better utilized elsewhere. Be strategic in your requests. Otherwise, you may find yourself fast-tracked into the slow lane when it comes to moving forward in your company. 
  4. Be engaged. That means coming to meetings prepared having read materials and prepared questions in advance of meetings. Then, when you're at meetings be present (this is not the time to read materials or check emails) and be accountable for decisions made.
At the conclusion of the program, Ronning's plea to attendees was this, "Show up. Stand up. Speak out."
Now that's really great advice.
Have a tip that helped you be more successful as a leader? Please share your ideas with us at or visit the WATT® Blog, www.theWATTblog.com
This Month
Dial up Your LeadershipTM with these WATT® programs and events.
Author Interview with Marshawn Evans. This 45 minute call will feature an interview with Marshawn Evans, former Donald Trump "Apprentice" and author of S.K.I.R.T.S. in the Boardroom: A Woman's Survival Guide to Success in Business & Life. Marshawn Evans will help you learn how to be the boss in a man's world by becoming the C-E-O of Y-O-U! Marshawn will provide practical, motivational and inspirational strategies to help you attain unlimited professional success. (Learn More)
2011 WATT® Virtual Leadership Conference. Mark your calendar daily from January 24th-28th (12:00 - 1:30 pm CST) for the second annual Women at the Top® Virtual Leadership Conference. This year our focus will be on how to upgrade your career.
(Learn More)
We welcome your feedback! Share your comments:  and visit our blog at www.theWATTblog.com.

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