Although the subtitle is How women in leadership can create Win – Wins for their companies and themselves, the leadership lessons in The New Advantage: How Women in Leadership Can Create Win-Wins for Their Companies and Themselves are equally applicable to both men and women.
When the foreward is written by Marshall Goldsmith, you know that the book is going to have some real value to leaders and coaches. And as you read the book can feel as though a coach is whispering in your ear, giving you the knowledge, skills and encouragement to improve your leadership and professional performance.
The authors, Morgan and Jay both have impressive bios. Howard Morgan is the co-founder and MD of the Leadership Research Institute and the author of The Art and Practise of Leadership Coaching. Joelle Jay is a principal at the Leadership Research Institute and an executive coach with some impressive awards for her speaking and coaching.
The New Advantage then comes with some compelling research to support its message.
In each of its 9 chapters, Morgan and Jay explore the professional environment within which women operate and have identified 9 advantages that women can exploit to improve their impact.
These advantages are:
- The Networking Advantage – which explores how to strengthen and leverage relationships and connections to improve both reputation and visibility.
- The Balance Advantage – which explores the challenges of how to balance a busy working life with an equally complex home life. Women are still, culturally at least, selected to shoulder the larger share of the child care in Western society and this challenge, in particular, needs some techniques and skills to manage.
- The Sponsorship Advantage – People looking to climbing the corporate ladder benefit greatly from the support of both mentors to show the path and sponsors to champion the cause of their juniors.
- The Executive Presence Advantage – Executive presence describes how you are perceived as a leader and this chapter explores how to master the essentials of executive presence.
- The Performance Advantage – which explores how to consider your performance from a strategic perspective and review how well you are presenting yourself as well and giving you tools to improve.
- The Recognition Advantage – which explores how you can be recognised for your hard work and achievements.
- The Advancement Advantage – which explores how to advancement works and offers ways to pass through the glass ceiling.
- The Feedback Advantage – Perhaps the most important part of having a coach is that you get unbiased and clear feedback on your behaviour and performance. This chapter explains how to get honest feedback and so gain more clarity on how to succeed.
Each chapter defines the specific advantage discussed and then offers real life examples and practical advice with a summary of the key points and a selection of questions for the reader to consider and reflect upon. Reflection being perhaps the most important element of developing your leadership.
Clearly beneficial for leaders, aspiring leaders and coaches and with some profound insights, solid strategies and clear actions to take, The New Advantage is a very comprehensive text. While written with the female audience in mind, its lessons are genderless and I would suggest that some of the male leaders in our economy would benefit from the techniques and principles it discusses.
Highly Recommended for leaders and coaches.
Dare to Aspire