14 June, 2010

Maternity Coaching Pioneer Jennifer Liston-Smith joins My Family Care

Jennifer Liston-Smith joins My Family Care as Head of Coaching Development, adding her strong presence in the maternity coaching field to MFC’s leading-edge range of services.
Press Release 15th June, 2010

28 May, 2010

One Reason Women Don’t Make It to the C-Suite

I re-read today this smart article from HBR by Louann Brizendine, MD
http://hbr.org/2008/06/one-reason-women-dont-make-it-to-the-c-suite/ar/1

Louann points out that making a push for leadership roles in our forties is bad timing for women, especially those with children. Could organisations helps themselves improve the gender balance by widening the window of promotion opportunity to women once in their fifties when life’s day-to-day stresses may be less distracting?

02 May, 2010

Maternal Leadership: the first 90 days

I’m struck again by the relevance of thinking on leadership transitions to the new mother’s return to work. Michael Watkins’ 2003 book (The First 90 Days: Critical Success Strategies for New Leaders at All Levels: HBS Press, 2003) offers advice for the leader who is new in post and is also highly relevant here.
The return to work looks a lot like the new leader’s first 90 days in this HBS Working Knowledge interview by Senior Editor, Martha Legace
The First 90 Days: Critical Success Strategies for New Leaders at All Levels (HBS Press, 2003).
The extract from Watkins’ book, further down the page, offers a helpful list of points of focus.

In the HBS interview with Martha Legace, Watkins says:
“Transitions also are times when small differences in a new leader’s actions can have disproportionate impacts on results. Everyone is straining to take the leader’s measure and people are forming opinions based on very little information. It’s a bit like starting high school; those early impressions, right or wrong, can really stick. And the stakes are high. Failure to create momentum during the first few months guarantees an uphill battle for the rest of their tenure in the job. Building credibility and securing some early wins lays a firm foundation for longer-term success.”
Just as the description of transition sounds familiar, the advice for new leaders extracted from the book is also very sound for the returning mother who wishes to make an impact and work out where to focus her (limited) time and energy.

30 April, 2010

Mum Ultrapreneur Book

The Mum Ultrapreneur book is an upbeat, honest yet encouraging look at the factors that support success in business for women who are also mothers. Advice is offered through a fictional format for part of the book, as readers become involved in ‘Gemma’s’ entrepreneurial journey. The other main part of the book provides tips under different categories from leading ‘mumpreneurs’. Research for the book included Susan Odev’s discussions with contributors, including an interview with me Jennifer Liston-Smith and my former business partner Anna Hayward discussing Managing Maternity, a pioneering corporate maternity coaching consultancy which we ran for five years until January 2010. (I continue corporate maternity coaching now under My Family Care). The main part of the interview starts around 1min 20secs in.

Mum Ultrapreneur is written by Susan Odev and Mark Weeks. Susan’s bio reads: “Susan is a proud, working mother with four beautiful children. She is a skilled writer, performer and human development specialist with nearly 20 years experience of designing, coordinating, managing and delivering training.  She has written on subjects such as time management, customer service and training for several trade journals. She has acted as an “expert” contributor on handling stress as a working mum for magazines such as Women’s Own and Women’s Weekly.