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Millennials Wisdom: Early Career Leadership Lessons

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As part of my course on Leading People for the Master in Management (MiM) program at @IEBusiness, I ask my millennials students to write a report that analyzes a critical event that occurred during their prior work experience. I have them look at it from a leadership and organizational behavior angle and find that this report is much more effective than a traditional exam in determining how much they have learned in my course. It is also far more satisfying, as a professor, to realize how the next generation of leaders are shaping their assumptions and behaviors in regards to leading people and organizations.
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Mentoring- The Key Answer to Women and Minority Retention

While working on my research regarding racial diversity (with a fascinating data set from America’s largest law firms), I came across an interesting article by Monique Payne-Pikus, John Hagan and Robert Nelson about race and retention in law firms. Whereas entry into a law firm is relatively easy, making it to the partner level is not. Particularly for women, and the statistics show this clearly. The numbers at for entry-level law firm employees are basically equal between men and women, but then women constitute only about 17% of a firm’s partners. For ethnic minority members (including African and Hispanic American), the numbers are even lower: about 10% of entering associates are minorities and they make up only 2% of partners. The ratio of minority associates to partner in American law firms is so spectacular that it has been called the “racial paradox” by Sander (2006).

The reason for women lawyers’ limited progress in the legal career track is commonly associated with their divided commitments between work and family. Yet, the explanation for the underrepresentation of ethnic minorities as partner is more puzzling. Only just recently, have their lower levels of advancement to partnership relative to entry associate level received attention from scholars and media. One of the assumptions is that it is due to affirmative action policies: minorities with lower grades might be hired out of law school, which begins a negative self-fueling spiral in their early career because firm partners might be more reluctant to mentor them, in turn contributing to lower performance expectations. This lack of partners’ support – both emotional and knowledge – undermines the subsequent career of these young minority lawyers. Limited partner contact and mentoring is increasingly recognized as the key source of dissatisfaction among minority lawyers as they decide to leave their law firm.

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Friday 20th March Best Links

On this Friday, here are the links to interesting articles I’ve read during the week. My hope is that you enjoy some weekend reading on ethical leadership and women at work.

 

(1) Measuring the Return on Character.  by @FredKiel. Companies whose employees rated their CEO high on four moral principles: integrity, responsibility, forgiveness and compassion, had an average return on assets of 9.35% over a two-year period; that is almost five times more than those with low ratings on morality with an ROA average of 1.93%.

(2) Six Key Principles for Ethical Leadership. by @dovseidman. The World Economic Forum rated disaffection with leaders as the third largest challenge on its Global Agenda 2015. Ethical leadership is the answer to this challenge.

(3) Introverts, Extroverts, and the Complexities of Team Dynamics.  by @francescagino. Extroverted leaders are effective when followers need guidance. Yet, when followers are proactive the introverted leader has the advantage.

(4) Pursuing Purpose at the Expense of Family.  by @EmEsfahaniSmith. Analyzing the movie American Sniper, the author discusses the moral dilemma of the story: Does his responsibility lie with his country or does it lie with his family? As his story develops, he solves the dilemma and writes “Others could do my job protecting the country, but no one could truly take my place with my family.”

(5) How Men can succeed in the Boardroom and the Bedroom.  by @sherylsandberg @AdamMGrant. Gender equality is not a zero-sum game. Women contribute to make their organizations more competitive (more profit) because they bring more knowledge and network and take less unnecessary risk. Furthermore, when men do their share of housework their partners are happier.

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