True to Myself
Ethney Gentry was thrilled to have infiltrated the ultimate good old boy network, landing a job with a mid-size Tulsa-based oil company. Armed with solid credentials and what she considered the strengths of female leadership—listening, collaboration, consensus building, and organization—she looked forward to her first meeting with the company’s retiring first female manager, Alexis Bale. Alexis advised that Ethney follow the same path to success that Alexis used—be one of the guys.
If you were Ethney, how would you try to conduct yourself at the oil company? Why do you think your approach would be successful?
Do you think male-dominated cultures like this one still exist? Do you think women have to plot a strategy to be accepted? Would you adopt a strategy in which you acted different from your normal personality? Why?
What does it mean to be “True to yourself”? Is being true to yourself more important than achieving personal career success in a male-dominated company? Is it okay to enable the continuation of an “unhealthy” work environment for women? Why?
The Suarez Effect
Pat Talley and Carmelita Suarez are competing for the CIO position. Pat is task-oriented and doesn’t socialize well. Carmelita is popular with others and socializes easily with individuals at every level.
Who do you think the CEO should appoint as CIO? Why?
Is Pat sabotaging his career by thinking of relationship building as “office politics” that takes the focus away from day-to-day work? What advice would you give Pat, who is not a natural relationship builder?
What sources of power do Pat and Carmelita seem to use in the company? Which person do you believe will be more influential as CIO? Explain.
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