Ann Daly, author and business coach, will be one of four keynote speakers at MBA Women International’s annual leadership conference and career fair Oct. 19-20 in Phoenix.
Formerly a professor at the University of Texas at Austin, Daly earned her Ph.D in women studies from New York University. In 2005, Daly launched her own executive business coaching and consulting firm.
Q: Why is female leadership such an important topic today?
Daly: “Because we can’t afford to squander our resources. Women make up more than half the workforce today.
We have to ask ourselves: Why hasn’t the ‘pipeline’ theory of women’s advancement worked?
We need to be thoughtful and strategic about answering that question.”
Q: What can women in business school earning an MBA do today to help themselves for leadership roles after graduation?
Daly: “In today’s competitive environment, it’s not enough to be good. You have to be great.
And it’s not just about subject matter expertise. It’s about people skills, branding, vision.”
Q: You talk about being “great”. How can women quantify their “greatness”? Any tips for articulating that to management, business professors, or a board room?
Daly: “It’s about quantifying your value-added. I counsel my coaching clients that it’s not enough to ‘say’ how great you are. You have to be able to demonstrate it, and preferably quantify it. It’s about measurable outcomes – numbers, percentages, the bottom line. So get in the habit now of always asking yourself, ‘How do I know?’ How do I know that I was great at that job? What are the criteria for measuring success? It’s a challenge at first to think in these terms, but once you groove the habit, you’ll be far-and-away ahead of the pack in advocating for yourself, getting that raise, landing that new job, or acing the promotion. That said, there’s also the more qualitative world of ‘social proof.’ What high-profile new clients did you land? What prestigious group did you address? What national awards have you been given? As they tell writers, don’t tell me. Show me.”
Q: Can you tell me more about WomenAdvance.com?
Daly: “WomenAdvance.com is the online career accelerator for women that I’m building. I’m with OnlineMBA.com on this one: online is the future of learning. It’s my way of offering younger women–aspiring executives–an affordable alternative to private coaching. It’s also my way of moving more women past the glass ceiling. Because in my coaching with mid-level women, I realized if I can help younger women learn the five essential career advancement skills EARLY in their careers, they won’t have to come to me a decade down the road. So it’s also part of my feminist commitment to advancing women. I’ve distilled the five essential career advancement skills after almost a decade of coaching women professionals: brand, leadership, social capital, executive presence, and talent development.
The website will offer women three online options. First, an intensive ‘career bootcamp.’ Second, a menu of ‘weekly workout’ e-courses, including ‘How to Get a Raise.’ Third, a series of ‘Master Class’ interviews with leading business women.”
Q: What is the importance of networking? For online students, why is it worth it to take an extra step to get to know your virtual classmates?
Daly: “Social capital (or networking) is the investment we make in the people around us. It’s the goodwill we build up, so we can draw on it later on when we need it. There’s a saying I like: ‘The time to get to know your neighbor is not when your house is burning down.’ We get hired by people, we get referred by people, we are given opportunities to build out our skills by people. Being a subject matter expert just isn’t enough. We need to connect with people. Online learning is great, but it’s not sufficient. Social capital is an essential career accelerator skill. Online students still need to build their ‘posse,’ as I like to call it, by attending professional meetings, conferences, local meet-ups. Do a lot of informational interviews. Get internships. Even online entrepreneurs who ‘drank the kool-aid’ about an all-online life are now recanting: off-line relationships are critical to advancing your career, especially in this competitive economic climate. It’s not ‘an extra step.’ It’s an essential step.”
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MBA Women International (MBAWI) is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to the advancement of business women as corporate leaders, executives and entrepreneurs – enriching workforce diversity around the world. The 29-year-old organization serves four related client groups: female MBA students, female business professionals and entrepreneurs, universities, and corporate partners.
At-large, MBAWI has 5,000 members, representing 52 countries, including 15 cities nationwide with established professional chapters. MBAWI has an on-campus presence at 75 different universities and colleges. The October leadership conference is open to both members and non-members.
Edited by Alanna Stage, @AlannaTweets