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Her Place at the Table : A Woman's Guide to Negotiating Five Key Challenges to Leadership Success

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Ideal for women dealing with demanding roles, this practical guide provides a framework for securing leadership positions and overcoming resistance to their leadership.

”Women roar,” exclaims management guru Tom Peters. “Want a leader?” asks BusinessWeek. “Hire a woman.” This list of women taking the reins at top companies and turning them around grows longer. There’s Anne Mulcahy at Xerox, Carly Fiorina at Hewlett-Packard, Anne Moore at Time, Inc., Andrea Jung at Avon, and Ann Fudge at Young & Rubicam.

Despite these visible success stories, the path to the executive suite remains torturous for women. The testing can be prolonged, the scrutiny intense. Will she really have the “right stuff” when the going gets rough? Even Carly Florina was unprepared for the attention paid to her gender.

Her Place at the Table is a practical guide for any woman dealing with a demanding role. Drawing on extensive interviews with women leaders, the authors isolate five key challenges.

  • Intelligence – to make informed decisions you need good information, but getting it can be a tricky proposition for women
  • Backing – no one wants to take on a tough job without the support of major players, but you can’t take those allies for granted
  • Resources – allocations don’t always square with the results expected
  • Buy-In – you can’t lead if no one wants to follow, but bringing a team on board can be problematic
  • Making a Difference – the value you create must be visible before it makes a difference

For each challenge, the authors offer tips on avoiding common traps and then lay out the strategic moves that position you for success. The guides concluding each chapter make it easy to put the principles to work.

About the Authors

Deborah M. Kolb is professor of management at Simmons Graduate School of Management and former executive director of the Program on Negotiation at Harvard Law School.

Judith Williams, former investment banker, is coauthor with Deborah Kolb of Everyday Negotiation from Jossey-Bass.

Carol Frohlinger is an attorney and consultant to corporations on the retention and advancement of women.

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