My one BIG epiphany came to me after I sold my business to Bill Gates. That’s when I officially retired from the working life—for almost a whole week.

I couldn’t help myself from getting back into full-time-and-then-some work mode. Why? Because it suddenly dawned on me that a major reason there aren’t more women in executive positions is because women leadership is not defined.

Don’t let others hold you back

Whether you are working at a corporation, in public service, or are your own boss, it is inevitable you will hit a ceiling of some sorts. Back when I worked at German Elle Magazine, my Editor in Chief deflected my request for more money and a bigger position by saying I didn’t have enough experience.

This thirsty, driven woman didn’t want to hear any of it. Ultimately, I left the magazine to pursue adventures in a far away land. Truth be told I was scared out of my mind to go, but my determination was greater than my fears.

What did it mean when my boss told me I needed to learn more? Should I have asked for more training, learned a new skill, attended leadership seminars? Was the onus on me or on the Publishing giant I worked for to determine exactly what kind of experience I needed? It is confusing for women because we don’t know what we don’t know.

Your destiny is waiting for you

Wouldn’t it be amazing if instead of being told to wait, to gain more experience, to be young, be green, or be whatever, if a roadmap was laid out for us to follow?

My advice to young women, and to anyone who wants to advance, is to get out more. Network, connect with other women, and listen to those who have walked the path before you. Learn from their experiences. What worked for them can inspire your own path.

My frustration over a lack of guidance in this area lead me to found The Women’s Code, the fourth step of Growth Architecture to establish clearly-defined goals for this initiative:

  • Define what women leadership is. This is the most hair-raising, outrageous goal in my life. From the bottom of my heart and from within every cell of my body, I believe THIS is I came here to do.
  • Give women guidelines and tools to support each other as we work towards the loftier goal of women’s advancement. The real battle is not between us. The battle is against a society that is built entirely on male values and ideals.
  • Provide solutions for organizations that want to foster balanced leadership. Through training and support, I want to help companies initiate an internal culture change toward a more equal and diverse work environment.

Please join my workshop titled: The Women’s Code–A New Leadership Balance. I will be presenting it at the Women of Silicon Valley conference in Santa Clara, CA on April 19-20. My workshop is on the 20th. Take a look at the agenda and the fabulous speaker line up. And before you go, please shoot me an email and say hello so that we can meet in person.

I promised better communication and deeper interaction with you at the beginning of the year. I will be there. Please join me and let’s connect in person.

Thanks in advance,

Beate

P.S. You may have noticed we are separating my work with Entrepreneurs  (now called The Growth Architect) from the leadership portion, which is The Women’s Code. We’ve completed the first stage and are now working on fine-tuning how we are presenting mastering balanced leadership through The Women’s Code. Please give me a few weeks and I will unveil our new look and new programs. Thank you.

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