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Female Executives Who Are Too Bold and Too Aggresive Do Not Rise as Fast

Copyright © 2008 Ed Bagley

Female executives who are bold and aggressive do not rise up the corporate ladder as quickly as you may think. Bold and aggressive traits do not naturally match well with intelligence and savvy. Given the fact that there are many more male executives than female executives, being bold and aggressive gets fewer promotions on the way up.

Female executives who use a self-confident but much softer, indirect approach do not highlight or reinforce any pre-conceived notions that they might be too bold, too aggressive or too judgmental for a higher position.

Remember that men, and especially male executives, do not like aggressive, judgmental women (it may even remind them of their wife in some cases). The expression is: Behind every successful man is a strong and cooperating woman, and we surely do hope it is his wife because too often it is his mistress.

Men like women who are assertive but not aggressive. A man sees an intelligent, assertive woman as completing him, not challenging him. Remember that men do not know how to handle aggressive women, they do not have any centuries-old database other than that the man leads, the woman follows. Their ego does not allow them to treat aggressive women any differently than men.

If they perceive that you are aggressive, they will treat you as they do men, they will rip out your jugular vein and walk over you to the next corporate competitor in the boardroom. Here are some things to consider:

First, female executives should never, under any circumstances, devalue any core competencies of a male executive. Try to reinforce any good trait that a male executive has that you have.

Why? Because he psychologically cannot deny himself. If he is detail-oriented and you are detail-oriented, and he criticizes you for being so, he is criticizing himself during the process. Male executives who are smart and successful will not criticize you in this circumstance. He will rather like you for being so as well.

Second, if the male executive has weak people skills, make it your business to bring a wonderful (not challenging but supporting), uplifting, positive presence to his office. In other words, COMPLEMENT his weakness, just as he would want his spouse to do.

Some guys are perceived as a man’s man, like Arnold Schwarzenegger and Howie Long. They ooze macho. They are good guys, nice guys, but if you even think about testing them, they will knock you on your backside. You know better than to even try. Their image is secure and intact.

There are some male executives who appear secure and smart in what they are doing, but they cannot handle harsh criticism or ANY criticism. Their ego is that fragile.

If you criticize them harshly and embarrass them in the process, they will quietly quit what they are doing and find a reason to go elsewhere. Schwarzenegger and Long will see to it that your face gets messed up as they move on WITHOUT you.

It is wise to know the difference between these two types of male executives.

Just as in writing resumes, female executives who get to the top of the corporate world know it is not so much what they say, but how they say what they say that counts most.

Online Hiring Threatens to Do Away With Traditional Hard Copy Resumes – Is It Really True? (Part 1 of a 4-Part Series)

Copyright © 2007 Ed Bagley

The presentation of this story in my Wednesday daily newspaper is dramatic.

A smaller headline in color above the main headline says “Digital Job Searches Gain Ground”.

The main headline says “Straight to the Waste Basket” and shows a picture up top of a resume folded like a paper airplane headed presumably for a wastebasket (if you are wondering, wastebasket is one word, not two).

Is it really true? Well, I guess that depends on who you are talking to and what advice you choose to believe.

The story—and I use the word story rather than article because I believe most of the story is make believe—makes some observations and assumptions that are without substance in fact.

“Instead of reading your resume,” says Daine Stafford of The Kansas City Star, “an employer might ask you to fill out an online form or take an online test that measures how well you fit the job, based on responses from successful workers.”

That is an observation and at least the first part of it is correct, that more and more employers are asking for an email version of a resume rather than the traditional hard copy (printed) version we have used in recent decades.

Stafford says “Google, for example, uses a screening program to measure applicants’ attitudes, behaviors, personality and biographical details. Answers are scrunched in a formula that creates a score, indicating how well the candidate is likely to fare on the job.”

Fair enough, Google probably does so if Stafford says so.

I have often wondered what a screening question like “Which would you rather be: 1) a monkey, 2) a bear, 3) a tiger, or 4) a kangaroo?” actually tells human resources about a person’s personality that they could not better find out by interviewing them.

If you get the impression that interviewers are personnel types who are lazy in the hiring process, you might be right. Anything to get them to the point where they have nothing to do but push paper around, and look important and arrogant in the process (like I have mine, screw you).

Stafford continues: “It’s all electronic,” said Michael Doyle, a 60-year-old job seeker from Prairie Village, Kan. (sic), who recently landed a job through personal contacts. In nine months, Doyle said, he’s spoken to exactly two interviewers as a result of online postings.”

My guess is that Doyle may have submitted an email version of his resume to dozens, if not hundreds, of online destinations.

I could have told Doyle that probably 60% of all hiring is contacts, knowing people in the workplace or knowing people who know people in the workplace. Yes, it helps to have qualifications, but it helps more to have qualifications and know someone who wants to help you.

Reading about Doyle’s experience might lead me to conclude that online posting is not the best method to proceed here given the results. No wonder hiring is so screwed up.

From this and another example, Stafford then draws the conclusion that the applicants “discovered that resumes have gone digital.”

She goes on to say “In some cases, resumes have disappeared from the hiring process completely. Some employers don’t even want them in digitized format. They prefer customized online forms, tailor-made to cull the applicant field.”

Again, anything to make it easier on personnel types, we certainly would not want to put them out for even a minute of their precious time.

From the input of experiences of two applicants this conclusion comes bursting forth as implied truth that a new paradigm has taken place in the America business of hiring.