Why Women Tech Execs Can and Must Thrive on Risk


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2. What can be done to mitigate the adverse impact of risk?

Assume that you want to be part of an international assignment. Make the effort to periodically visit company headquarters, e-mail or call business associates, and participate in highly visible projects. The key is to get noticed instead of deflecting attention away from yourself.

3. How do you increase the odds of success?

Let’s say an opportunity arises for you to lead a global team. Prepare yourself for the role by finding a mentor or advisor who has done the job before and could guide you. Educate yourself on cultural differences in the team. Focus on efficient planning and coordination.

4. What value will the risk add to your career?

Develop a long-term career plan with clearly identified and prioritized goals. This will help you identify which risks you should take, and which ones you can afford to let go of. Focus on risks that will help you achieve your career objectives.

5. How will the outcome of the risk affect your professional brand?

If a risk entails you compromising either your own ethics and values or those of your organization, it’s not worth taking. At the end of the day, your integrity matters more than your professional laurels.

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A career decision is eventually a personal one. What you may consider risky may not be risky for someone else. The trick is to find a balance between the risk “downside” and the reward or opportunity—to thrive on risk. And of course, to open yourself up to learn from each success and failure. Those are the traits of any successful woman.

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Shellye Archambeau is CEO of MetricStream, a Palo Alto, CA-based company offering governance, risk, compliance, and quality management solutions to enterprises in the pharmaceutical, medical device, high tech manufacturing, energy, financial services, healthcare, manufacturing, food and beverage, and automotive industries. Follow @metricstream

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