Women are told to lean in, but having the time to lean back might be the true test of equality and success.
It’s well documented that women still aren’t earning as much as men—less than three quarters of the salary for the same work in many industries—but the gender wage gap isn’t the only issue. There’s another disparity quietly gaining traction: The gender leisure gap.
Some blame Sheryl Sandberg’s "Lean-in" phenomenon, in which women have been urged to do more, take on more, lean in to more and more opportunities in order to advance. Lean-in critics like Georgetown law professor Rosa Brooks say it’s a mentality that breeds burnout.
"When a workplace is full of employees who always lean in and never lean back, it’s full of employees who are exhausted, brittle, and incapable of showing much creativity or making good decisions," she writes in Foreign Policy. “There is, after all, much to be said for leaning out—for long lunches, afternoon naps, good books, and some nice, slow hours in the La-Z-Boy.”
A speech pro explains how to establish gravitas using six key communication skills.
On the very first episode of The Colbert Report, Stephen Colbert satirized the concept of “gravitas,” saying, “If you have sufficient gravitas, what you say doesn’t have to mean anything at all.”
While Colbert was probably exaggerating to get a laugh, the essence of his claim is definitely on target: Gravitas is one of the most important qualities for leadership in all businesses today.
A 2012 study by communications analytics firm Quantified Communications gave empirical weight to that idea, showing that “a speaker’s tone, appearance, and demeanor” was a staggering nine times more salient than the actual content presented.
So clearly, gravitas is important.
In my 35 years of providing speaking coaching to leaders at companies ranging from major multinational corporations to small businesses, I’ve taught critical communication strategies that make owning a room significantly easier. To get you started, here are six concrete ways you can command attention at your next critical meeting and demonstrate the elusive “gravitas.”
They say it takes all kinds, and this week we have the data to prove it: New numbers on women and young leaders, experimenting with outside-the-box email strategies, and dealing with way too much information.
Good intentions can only get you so far: You need a plan for your career.
Whatever you want to achieve in life, having a career strategy is fundamental to achieving it. Making things up as you go along can take you in the right direction, but a good plan will get you there faster and more effectively.
So what are the steps you can take to ensure that your career strategy develops you to your best potential? What can you learn from the experts and those who have already built the career that they want?
Anyone who gets married in a $100,000 sponsored wedding with 7,500 spectators in a stadium doesn’t think small.
Meet big thinker Dave Kerpen, a salesman, entrepreneur extraordinaire, and New York Times best-selling author, who at age 37 is founder and CEO of Likeable Local, a social media company for small businesses, and co-founder of Likeable Media, a word of mouth and social media company.
Eight years ago Kerpen wanted a big wedding, and lacking the money to pay for it proved no obstacle. Kerpen and his wife, Carrie, persuaded 1800Flowers.com, Entenmann’s, and other companies to fork over much of the cost in return for sponsorship.
The wedding venture’s success led the Kerpens to start an event company, which quickly morphed into Likeable Media, and 1800Flowers.com and Entenmann’s followed right along as clients.
Like other successful leaders, Kerpen has extra sensitive antennae that helped him recognize early on the impact of social media. Unlike the dime-a-dozen social media companies, Likeable Media and Likeable Local differentiate themselves with the concept of likeability.
“Just like a speaking coach will tell you not to fill empty space with “um,” you should avoid framing your answer as a rehearsed pitch by starting with “so.” Next time you’re asked, “What do you do?” try dropping the “so.” You’ll appear much more confident.”