The Coaching Effect Blog

The Coaching Effect Blog

    5 Silent Career Killers Of Women Leaders

    by Kristi Shoemaker / April 18, 2012

    A recent post on the Harvard Business Review (HBR) explores certain behaviors of women that can hold them back in the professional arena. The article cites studieswomen in leadership roles which show that only half of women display high self-confidence while the other half admit to feelings of self-doubt regarding their performance. As a result of this self-doubt and reduced confidence, women can end up inadvertently sabotaging themselves.  Today's guest blog post comes from Lauren Carlson who is a CRM Analyst at Software Advice.


    Inspired by the information shared by the Harvard Business Review , I decided to dig deeper into this subject and look specifically at a field that has been traditionally dominated by men: sales. There are studies that show that women are actually more successful in the field of sales. And yet, salesmen still outnumber saleswomen. To find out what saleswomen might be doing wrong, I decided to speak to a handful of some of the most successful females in the industry.

    • Jill Konrath: author, trainer and sales strategist
    • Kim Duke: former sales exec and current owner of Sales Divas, a training firm aimed at women in sales
    • Kristine Scotto: sales exec with 25 years of experience under her belt. 

    I interviewed each of these women to find out the top behaviors they see amongst women in sales and sales management that could potentially be sabotaging their career. After a long discussion, we identified the top five "silent career killers":

    • Avoiding self-promotion
    • Undervaluing themselves and/or their services
    • Not asking for help
    • Prioritizing relationships over closed deals
    • Being afraid of messing up

    I go into each of these in more depth on my blog, but even with a quick glance, many females in sales and other professional fields can probably admit to one or more of these things. I know that writing this article definitely hit home for me as I saw several examples of things I do, somewhat regularly, that could be negatively impacting my growth.

    What about you? Are you guilty of any of these behaviors or have you seen them in your coworkers? Please share your thoughts, experiences and feedback. 


    Enjoy these related posts on the topic of women in leadership from the EcSELL Institute Sales Coaching Blog.

    Research Says Women Leaders Add Something Extra

    Women Leaders Are Transforming the Face of Business

    Women Make A Team Smarter According To This Research


    Tags: Women in Sales Management

    previous post More Effective Joint Sales Calls With Your Reps
    Next Post Big Brains on Leadership
    Kristi Shoemaker

    Kristi Shoemaker

    Kristi is a marketing communications and public relations expert with over 30+ years of experience in a variety of industries. She was an integral part of EcSell's go-to-market strategy and execution from 2008 - 2012. Kristi enjoys taking a holistic approach by integrating all the key marketing disciplines to create synergies that generate maximum results. She is currently the president of KLS Consulting in Lincoln, Nebraska.

      Social Networks

      Subscribe to our blog

      Subscribe to our newsletter