Women vs. Men Superstars, An Interesting List, a Good Blog

I was on Robert Sutton’s Work Matters blog today because Guy Kawasaki suggested his post Steal Women Superstars But NOT Men, which tracks some new research published in the Harvard Business Review. More on that below, but before I get to that, serendipity in the left-hand column: his list of 15 things he believes.

His list includes some real gems, such as:

  • Sometimes the best management is no management at all — first do no harm!
  • You get what you expect from people.
  • The best test of a person’s character is how he or she treats those with less power.
  • The best single question for testing an organization’s character is: What happens when people make mistakes?

So anyhow, back to his post from yesterday, on research pointing to why you should hire women “superstars” but not men. He’s quoting an HBR article (sorry, not free) about research by Harvard Business School Professor Boris Groysberg:

According to Groysberg, talented women who switch firms maintain their stardom, and their new employer’s share price holds steady. Groysberg provides two explanations for this discrepancy:

  • Unlike men, high-performing women build their success on portable, external relationships—with clients and other outside contacts.
  • Women considering job changes weigh more factors then men do, especially cultural fit, values, and managerial style.

These strategies enable women to transition more successfully to new companies. And that has crucial implications for all professionals. By understanding successful women’s career strategies, women and men can strengthen their ability to shine in any setting.

So I’ve heard about several of Bob Sutton’s books and was delighted to discover his blog. It’s an instant favorite. His conclusion, by the way, for men wanting to be hired as superstars: be more like women superstars.


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