Friday, July 20, 2012

How Women in High Visible Jobs Manage Competing Priorities?

As the news that Marissa Mayer the new CEO of Yahoo is expecting a child landed on the front page of the CIO Magazine it propelled the never ending debate around the popular question: Can Women Have it All?

Her announcement and the subsequent debate took place just few weeks after another female in a high office chair Anne-Marie Slaughter, former director of policy planning at the State Department, wrote about the challenges of managing family and work in a widely read Atlantic magazine cover story titled "Why Women Still Can't Have it All."

A key message in my book “Connecting My Dots” from numerous successful women in leadership roles is that to find a BALANCE (or to be more practice to find an ALIGNMEMT) among career , family and personal goals women need to plan, set priorities and make trade-offs alone the way.

Often when we hear about work – life balance, we think that we need to equally distribute the weights across career, family and personal priorities.

Guess What? This is a Big Mistake?

You need to think in terms of an optimization problem where you are forced to align the weight between priorities to balance the total weight of Your “Priority Wheel” - a tool for alignment of your career and family priorities.
In addition, your personal values and preferences as well as what stage of your life you are in at that moment are a critical consideration on how you decide to assign the weights among priorities in the “Priority Wheel”.

I believe and I know from personal experience as a bank executive who raised two children in a new country that professional women can have it all but not always at the same time. What do we have at any given time fluctuates and depends on what lifestage we are in and the trade off we are willing to make. Sometime career has the most weight on the “Priority Wheel” other times your children.

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