Women Rising: The Unseen Barriers

Herminia Ibarra, Robin Ely, and Deborah Kolb Leadership,   Women & Work Harvard Business Review

Many CEOs who make gender diversity a priority—by setting aspirational goals for the proportion of women in leadership roles, insisting on diverse slates of candidates for senior positions, and developing mentoring and training programs—are frustrated. They and their companies spend time, money, and good intentions on efforts to build a more robust pipeline of upwardly mobile women, and then not …

How Female Leaders Should Handle Double-Standards

Herminia Ibarra Leadership,   Women & Work Harvard Business Review

IMF head Christine Lagarde tells a story about a woman leader she met who took over at a tough moment in her country’s history and resolved to be different. They had to cut the deficit and she wanted to set standards by personal example. When she travelled around the country, she took a small entourage of five cars. But the …

Can Companies Both Do Well and Do Good?

Morten T. Hansen, Herminia Ibarra, and Urs Peyer Leadership Harvard Business Review

Many management thinkers argue that it is no longer enough to do well financially; companies also need to improve the well-being of (or at least not harm) the communities in which they operate, the environment, and their employees. (See, for example, “Creating Shared Value,” by Michael E. Porter and Mark R. Kramer.) That’s the good news. The bad news is …

The Best-Performing CEOs in the World

Morten T. Hansen, Herminia Ibarra, and Urs Peyer Leadership Harvard Business Review

It’s no accident that chief executives so often focus on short-term financial results at the expense of longer-term performance. They have every incentive to do so. If they don’t make their quarterly or annual numbers, their compensation drops and their jobs are in jeopardy. Stock analysts, shareholders, and often their own boards judge them harshly if they miss near-term goals. …

What else might I do? Focussing on past success may stand in the way of your potential

Herminia Ibarra Leadership The Focus Magazine (Egonzehnder)

The more successful we are, the more vulnerable we become to limiting mindsets in how we define not just our work, but even more importantly ourselves. Success limits potential. And it’s hard to get out of such traps because the alternatives are rarely clear and the stakes are high. Why do some people continually grow and blossom as leaders, rising …

Despite Quotas, There’s Rough Road Ahead for Women in Europe

Herminia Ibarra Women & Work Harvard Business Review

“It’s done,” said European Commissioner Viviane Reding today. “The Commission has adopted my proposal for a European law so that women represent 40% of company board members by 2020.” Reding has often repeated, “I don’t like quotas, but I like what they do.” A controversial measure, hotly contested by a number of European countries and pundits on both sides of …

Study: Women Get Fewer Game-Changing Leadership Roles

Herminia Ibarra Leadership,   Women & Work Harvard Business Review

Many studies have shown that the representation of women in the senior ranks has been virtually unchanged for years, despite considerable organizational investment in talent management systems. Because leadership development begins early in careers, could inequality in development opportunities explain the gender gap that also emerges so early? To answer this, the most recent Catalyst research analyzed responses from 1,660 …

Why Command-and-Control Leadership Is Here to Stay

Herminia Ibarra Leadership Harvard Business Review

Travelling through Zurich airport, one billboard always catches my eye. The ad for IWC luxury watches says “Engineered for men who don’t need a copilot.” My friends who study advertising as both a reflection and shaper of cultural norms would not disagree with my impression: We talk about the death of command and control leadership, and praise the rise of …

Sex and the Working Mom

Herminia Ibarra Women & Work Harvard Business Review

At one of the companies with which I work there is a legendary story about work life balance. The firm’s most senior line woman was asked to join a newly constituted high-level diversity committee, which included the company CEO. One of the hurdles that was holding women back, everyone agreed, was the high degree of transcontinental travel required of executives …

Top 50 Ranking of China’s Business Leaders Exposes Common Myths

Xiaowei Rose Luo, Morten T. Hansen, Herminia Ibarra, and Urs Peyer Leadership Harvard Business Review

“A general who fears to unsheathe his sword is not a good general,” says Mr. Li Jiaxiang, Chairman of Air China from 2004 to 2008 and the #1 performing corporate leader in China according to our new ranking (just published in the Harvard Business Review China and the centerpiece for the magazine’s launch events in Beijing and Shanghai). Under his …