I completed the first book on my quest to read as many books as possible (about leadership) that are written by women. If you read my earlier blog which was inspired by Peter DeWitt’s article “Where Are All the Women in Educational Leadership?” then you can understand where I am going here. If not, you can jump back to the March 7th post.
I completed my Audible version Knowing Your Value by Mika Brzezinski. Among the many points in this book, one in particular suggests that woman do not ask for things such as raises or promotions. Women believe, according to the research in writing this book, that hard work will lead to raises and promotions. In an interview with Valerie Jarret, Mika reveals that Jarret suggests that while women sit around waiting, men are out there asking. This seemed like a call out to all women, if you want something you have to ask for it. Mika goes further to document an interview with Tina Brown, and tells a similar story but from the perspective of a boss who is also a woman. She talks about how she overlooked a woman twice, and hired two different men who both failed. She talks about how she was ashamed she did not recognize this woman for the position. Mika then reveals that additionally, this woman did not ask. Carol Smith, Sheryl Sandberg, Lesley Jane-Seymour and Carol Barts are four more successful women interviewed in this book and their ideas are shared as they comment on a variety of reasons as to why women do not raise their hand and ask for what they want. Lack of confidence, luck and emotion are some of the reasons they believe women do not ask for what they want. These successful women tell stories about how they did not know their own value, and found out later they did not ask for more.
This really made me think, small goals before larger goals are important. Following that line of thinking then, I should start asking for what I want and see what happens. Today I did just that. I went and asked for something, something pretty small. Guess what? The answer was yes!
I just started to read Lean In by Sherly Sandberg and I am looking forward to growing many more ideas as I read across different books written by different women leaders.