Leadership

Does Marissa Mayer have an Ambition Gap?

Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer has a vision for the company, and we have a vision for her. Does Marissa Mayer have an ambition gap? Listen to the podcast here:

Transcript of this podcast:

Earlier this month, Comscore released numbers that showed, for the first time since 2011, Yahoo beat Google in traffic; Yahoo’s unique visitors were up by roughly 20% compared to July of last year, when the company came in third behind Google and Microsoft. For Marissa Mayer, it’s a success as one of the most scrutinized CEOs in America.

Hello and welcome to Kontrary, a different take on work and life.

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The Young, Motivated & Unsatisfied

I recently met a young woman who wanted to start a blog from a teacher’s perspective that revealed a teacher’s real and true thoughts. Like how bratty the kids are. How she cusses at them in her head and makes fun of how they dress.

She wasn’t alone; a whole group of her teacher friends were planning to anonymously co-author the venomous expose together. I felt sorry for her students. So very deeply sorry and guilty, but Ryan had left my side and I didn’t know anyone else at the party and I was stuck and uncomfortable and anxious for the future of kids I didn’t know and would never meet.

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No-nonsense advice from Yahoo CEO Carol Bartz

Ever since Carol Bartz became CEO of Yahoo, I’ve been watching her closely. I love that she’s a woman leading a tech company, I love that she’s outspoken, and despite all her detractors, I think she’s going to do amazing things for Yahoo. Every interview she does is awesome, and I particularly liked these quotes from a recent piece in the New York Times:

When people come to me and say, “I can’t work for so-and-so anymore,” I say, “Well, what have you learned from so-and-so?” People want to take a bad situation and say, “Oh, it’s bad.” No, no. You have to deal with what you’re dealt.

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Career women should try harder – especially in the Midwest

Ryan and I recently celebrated one year of dating officially. What makes this more impressive is that we’re both extremely career-oriented. Even more extraordinary is the fact that we’re not married with babies.

There’s a lot of pressure to settle down, never mind the fact that I don’t feel anywhere near ready to have children. And while I can imagine my life with Ryan, I don’t see the rush. With previous boyfriends, things could have ended at any moment. Now I have time.

In the Midwest, however, I do not. Twenty-six years of age is starting to get old and the female role models to dispel such rumors are few and far between.

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Become an expert quickly

There are two ways to approach life. Read about it. Or live it.

I read a lot. I like to synthesize information together, saturate my brain synapses, make connections, and curate the exact pieces that will fit my life. Knowledge is my thing.

But it doesn’t matter how much I read, or attend lectures, or watch TED talks, or troll Twitter for the next most interesting blog post. Most of that learning stuff is useless; there’s no better way to learn than to just do.

Become an expert {Phase 1}
Action is the first step. That’s why I encourage job-hopping.

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Is Gen Y teamwork killing creativity?

Generation Y is a kind generation. Our conservative lifestyles and penchants for quiet opinions have led us to work together happily with healthy doses of idealism. We are a teamwork generation, fully in line with each other.

Top-down management and the clutch of hierarchal authority no longer illustrate the strokes of success, but instead lead to siloed rows of depressed employees and opportunistic managers.

Gen Y, in contrast, is all about the team, preferring conformity inside the lines over pushing boundaries or ourselves. “In many respects,” psychology expert Jeremy Dean argues, “[these] norms have a beneficial effect, bolstering society’s foundations and keeping it from falling into chaos.”

We’re the soothing wall fountain over a fire of greed, instability and unethical behavior.

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How to step up and have anything but a normal career

You know, I get that change is hard. But it’s also inevitable. The world in which today’s young “will make choices and compose lives is one of disruption rather than certainty,” argues this report.

Indeed, when I started my current job, there was much disruption. In the beginning, it was the challenge of transitioning from being an employee to running an organization. Of being lonely. Of complete work/life distortion.

And when I say challenge, I am being polite, because what I really mean is not all unlike the walk of shame after a particularly rowdy and untoward night of college drinking.

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The most important thing for a decision in politics

Today, I wore a sweatshirt at the same table as someone wearing a suit. Today, I had lunch with someone who I like. He’s intelligent, successful, good-looking. Today, I had lunch with someone who listens to my ideas, and doesn’t agree with me all that much. I respect that.

So, it shouldn’t have surprised me that today, I had lunch with someone who isn’t voting for Barack Obama.

And yet, never has my stomach risen to my heart so violently after eating just a regular ole’ hummus sandwich.

My whole body wanted to reach out and envelop him in all that is Obama.

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Generation Y is too quiet, too conservative

I was sitting in a classroom. The walls were covered in plaster and moldings, but behind all that was red brick, so red that the color seeped through the cracks of the old windows, and the sun, and the light, and the energy filled the almost summer air.

It was a time when I was – more or less – happy, and we were seated, twenty or twenty-five of us. Our desks outlined a jagged circle, and I was trying not to check out the young man three desks to the right, because I was still dating my first real boyfriend, trying to make it work from four hours away.

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Social media doesn’t create new generation leaders

This post was originally published at Conversation Agent. Thank you to Valeria Maltoni for the opportunity.

We have a deep desire to feel that rise in our chests, the quickening of our breath, the spread of a smile.

Generation Y wants to change the world.

Not the environment. Not healthcare. Not education. Not poverty. Not racism. Not sexism. Not war. Not cancer. Not anything, really.

Just the world.

We want to change the world.

And in wanting so much, we get so little.

Restlessness courses through our veins, for we are never doing enough or being enough. Volunteering, leadership, and entrepreneurship, nor the eventual acceptance of the mundane satisfies our edge.

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12 reasons why being a woman leader is challenging

1. Being nice is seen as flirting.

2. Men say in response to your success, “I always knew you were beautiful, but I had no idea you were intelligent as well,” and you just smile.

3. The female commons is tragic.

4. A meeting is never just a meeting.

5. You’re told to use your sexuality. But not too much.

6. You’re told to ask. But not too much.

7. You’re told to be ambitious, but ambition makes you a dirty word.

8. You’re told that you’ll never marry, but married men love you.

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Life as a Gen Y leader – week eleven

I texted Skinny last Friday night, “I’m just not up for it.” Which really meant that I had sixteen meetings last week, and I was exhausted, and however appealing a nice relaxing dinner sounded, Skinny would have just been a landfill. I would have dumped my entire life on him. And who is that fun for? No one.

The thing is, I’ve been saying “I’m just not up for it,” to my friends more often than not, and I’m quickly losing whatever semblance of balance I used to have. Big Brother claims he keeps his personal life separate because it’s difficult to be a public figure, but I’m increasingly wondering if the real reason is because he doesn’t have one.

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