The Confidence Effect
Every Woman's Guide to the Attitude That Attracts Success
Author: Grace Killelea
Pub Date: January 2016
Print Edition: $23.00
Print ISBN: 9780814436417
Page Count: 224
e-Book ISBN: 9780814436424
Buy the book:
Success and happiness are not just for the world's richest, luckiest,
thinnest, or smartest women. We can be successful and
happy even when we aren't given every opportunity or advantage.
I know because I have never been the richest, thinnest,
most beautiful, luckiest, or smartest woman in the world. Yet,
I've created a life, career, and business that I love---despite significant
Along the way, I found that the negative voices in my head
are lying, and that by connecting my internal knowledge to my
external energy---or, simply put, my competence to my confidence?
I could achieve both success and happiness. In 2013, at
the age of 53, I ended my corporate career as a senior vice president
of a Fortune 50 company and launched what has become
a premier leadership program for high-potential women. I'm a
woman who has been morbidly obese, yet I've walked several
60-mile events and skydived to celebrate losing more than 120
pounds. I survived a devastatingly bad marriage, and at 55, I met
and married a wonderful man.
I wrote this book because for many years I was the woman
who believed just working hard was "enough." I was the classic
"good girl" who said yes to everything I was asked to do at work,
yet never asked for anything in return. I was the woman who
spent too many years listening to the negative voices inside my
head and the ones forced upon me by society.
When I walked into a room, I'd have the "I'm not" conversation
in my head. You know how that conversation goes. I'm not:
* Smart enough
* Thin enough
* Attractive enough
* Experienced enough
* Worthy enough
* Deserving enough
I was always waiting for building security to come and haul
me away---feeling like a fraud, sure I'd be found out---and yet
that never happened.
The Confidence Effect is my way to give you shortcuts and provide
you with tools to help you connect your confidence to your
competence. This information is based on my many years of
experience, both personal and professional. In addition, I interviewed
a number of successful women about their experiences
with confidence. Once you meet them, I'm sure you'll agree that
this is a diverse and amazing group. It includes entrepreneurs,
senior executives, a senior leader in the Girl Scouts, the first
African-American female combat pilot, authors, speakers, and
media personalities. These powerhouses help drive home the
importance of The Confidence Effect. So let?s get started.
The Confidence + Competence Toolkit
Throughout her career, Laura has been putting in long hours.
She rarely misses a day. She prides herself on her hard work.
She's always the first to arrive at the office and the last to leave.
And she's a busy mother in addition to holding her full-time job.
During meetings, she usually has ideas and valuable insights to
contribute to the conversation, but she doesn't speak up unless
she's positive her solution or response is pitch perfect. There are
some new leadership opportunities in her company, and Laura
wants to move up.
What Laura doesn't know, however, is that she's unlikely to
get a promotion. Why? Like many women, Laura thinks working
hard and doing a good job is enough to get her promoted.
Yet she lacks confidence and a strong professional "brand." She
hasn't yet learned to ask for what she deserves. Laura hasn't built
a strong network of allies and champions, and sadly she doesn't
even know what information she?s missing, because she also lacks
awareness of her own style---and how to go about changing it for
optimized career success.
But there is hope. Laura already has the solutions to her own
problems. She needs to build a "confidence + competence toolkit"
to help move her out of the role she is in. Part of her problem
is that she is not connected to people who can inform her
about opportunities. Consequently, other people get picked for
roles for which she would have been perfect, but she never knew
that the opportunities existed. Laura is one of her company's
biggest assets---and her own worst enemy.
As you can imagine, Laura isn't alone. Many female employees
face silent, challenging realities on a daily basis. This is
inspiring some of the nation's strongest and most celebrated
female business leaders to speak out about the future of women
in corporate America.
When it comes to women in business, Laura is in the majority,
i.e., not in a leadership position. In fact, according to Forbes
magazine, while women make up almost half, or 46.9 percent,
of the modern workforce, "40 percent of large companies have
no women on their boards and only 5 percent of startups are
owned by women."
And, according to "Unlocking the Full Potential of Women
at Work," a special report by McKinsey & Company, "Leaders
make gender diversity a priority because they see the prize: a
talent advantage that's hard to replicate. But few companies are
winning that prize. The top circles of leadership remain male
bastions; women make up just 14 percent of Fortune 500 executive
committees, and there are few women CEOs. Although
corporate leaders are working hard to change this, progress
With so few women in positions of leadership, those who are
feel a responsibility to speak out on behalf of the marked disparity
between female and male leaders in the workforce.
According to Arianna Huffington, Founder of The Huffington
Post, "Women still have an uneasy relationship with power
and the traits necessary to be a leader. There is the internalized
fear that if we are really powerful, we are going to be considered
ruthless or pushy or strident---all those epithets that strike at our
femininity. We are still working at trying to overcome the fear
that power and womanliness are mutually exclusive."
This could explain why in 2014, 95 percent of all venture
capital went to men; of the top 2,500 corporate executives in
America, only 63 were women; only three Fortune 500 companies
were headed by women; and Congress was 90 percent male!
Sheryl Sandberg, COO of Facebook, former VP of online
sales and operations for Google, and author of the bestselling
book Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead, says,
"We need women at all levels, including the top, to change the
dynamic, reshape the conversation, to make sure women?s voices
are heard and heeded, not overlooked and ignored."
Sandberg's words are particularly resonant in the technology
industry from which she hails, where only 25 percent of the
workforce and less than 5 percent of startup owners are women.
Recently, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella made front-page news
around the world when he suggested women should not ask for
raises but simply rely on "karma" to take care of them. Nadella's
comments highlighted the pervasive and unconscious bias that
affects so many women in the workplace today.
And finally, in a fiery call to arms, Rachel Sklar---blogger
and Founder of Change the Ratio, a group that seeks to
increase visibility and opportunity for women in technology
and new media---sums up the way many women in business
feel: "There's a benefit to including women, there's a benefit to
considering women, there's a benefit to writing about women,
and there's a benefit to having women included in everything.
And I think it's ridiculous that this is a situation I have to be
Clearly, I couldn't agree more!
The Confidence Effect
With nearly 35 years of corporate and executive coaching experience,
and as an author, consultant, trainer, speaker, and CEO,
I have seen too many similar stories and felt the pain of rejection
alongside my clients. Many of them, like Laura, come to me
confused and feeling as if they are missing something, and they
leave feeling clued in, competent and, above all, confident.
At the Half The Sky Leadership Institute, my program for
women who want to strengthen their leadership skills, business
acumen, and executive presence, I work with many women like
Laura. I have learned a great deal through these experiences, and
this book allows me the opportunity to share the skills women
need to navigate the political culture in the workplace in order
to receive that next promotion?and so much more.
Every woman is the CEO of her own career and life. Through
one-on-one executive coaching, group workshops, and keynote
presentations, I have helped thousands of women advance their
leadership skills, develop their personal brands, and reach for the
next level in their careers.
My goal is to inspire people to move beyond barriers to
achieve sustainable success, both professionally and in their personal
lives. My company provides executive coaching, leadership
development, and consulting in the Birkman Method---a powerful
assessment tool that identifies a client's interests, behaviors,
underlying motivations, and needs.
The Confidence Effect: Every Woman's Guide to the Attitude
That Attracts Success is about showing women how to connect
their competence to their confidence. My goal is to help
you speak out, take risks, and assume leadership positions with
assurance. There is plenty of research to pinpoint why and how
women are in their current position. I want to help them move
beyond the data to what?s really important: how to become more
confident, one step at a time.
Let's take these next steps together.
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