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Going to the Top
By Debbie Christofferson, CISSP, CISM

What makes highly placed and motivated women tick? In The Truth About Hillary: What She Knew, When She Knew It, and How Far She'll Go to Become President, Edward Klein doesn't want Hillary in public office, and uses his book to put Hillary "in her place".

But her place might very well be serving us as the first female President of the United States.

What does it take to really succeed in this arena, and leadership of a state, nation, organization or business?

Whether we love or hate her, Hillary Clinton draws passion. As she runs for the Oval office, we'll correlate her success to leadership in a technology position-or any career.

Is it blind ambition, or is the requirement to reach these plateaus? Either way, you can apply Hillary's concepts to leadership and goals for any position and career.

Her tactics work; she launched an offensive for the New York Senator's office and won it. That created the perch for today's run for the Presidency, and perhaps writing new history in 2008.

Hilary's strategies that will work for all of us:

  • Builds coalitions with people in positions of power and influence
  • Collaborates heavily with detractors to build successful relationships favoring your goals
  • Deposits more than she withdraws in her people and favors bank, stacking up positive balances on her side
  • Unites the factions around her in common interests
  • Makes friends with her enemies

Hilary's multiple makeovers have improved both her platform and her appearance. This is high-end marketing at it's finest.

Hilary's a workhorse, who works as hard as she needs to, to create her own success. She's also honed her oratory skills to present herself as a dynamic convincing public speak.

Every field and career offers opportunities. Leaders at the top often share common strengths and talents. You may not possess them, but you can grow them.

If you work in Information Technology, IT touches 50% of all capital projects, and 50% of all IT projects fail, according to Gene Kim, CTO and founder of Tripwire, Inc., in an October Phoenix workshop. You can create change and build greater success rates.

On IT, "About 60% lack a written strategic IT plan, despite large technology investments", according to Chief Financial Officer concerns in a 2006 survey on Technology Issues for Financial Executives, conducted by CSC in association with the Financial Executives Research Foundation. The deal breakers fall into failures of project management, the business/IT relationship and communication.

Chief Information Officers also use board experience to grow their careers: "Having any kind of board experience is a plus," according to career expert Martha Heller, managing Director, IT Leadership Practice at Z Resource Group, in SearchCIO.com on 7/20/06. Look for your own board roles that meld passion and experience.

In 'Decluttering' Your Career", the Wall Street Journal's Sarah E. Needleman tells us in February to remove the stuff that gets in your way. You start by defining your goals and projecting where you want to be in five years.

Don't wait for success to come to you-go after it.

"Women usually sit back and wait for recognition to come to them. You have to go out and make it happen."
- Kim Synder, President of Snyder Consulting and former CIO of Fortune 500 Inter-Tel.

Market yourself. Get visible and involved outside your own career.

In Conclusion

"Success in any field is personal. Create a goal, and look for creative paths to get there. Often, shooting for the job no one else wants or the task that seems impossible-then doing it really well, will get you noticed and fast-forward your career. It's about being really good at what you do and doing it in a way that people notice."
- Joan Koerber-Walker, CEO of the Arizona Small Business Association, business owner, and former executive of Fortune 500 Avnet.

For a fee-waived telephone seminar on "Public Speaking 201: Using the Platform as Your Competitive Advantage", send email today to DebbieChristofferson@earthlink with a subject of PUBLIC SPEAKING 201 for dates, times and sign-up.

Coming Next: Does appearance matter? Join us next month and find out.

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