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    Learn to see yourself as others do and become magnetic, magnanimous, and memorable! Savvy advice, specific examples, and tactical exercises to develop your presence—in months, not years.

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    Inspired to extend a helping hand to ambitious women working in corporate America, a veteran executive offers honest, practical, slightly irreverent advice about navigating companies that are run and populated predominately by men: how to interpret their sometimes surprising behavior, avoid common mistakes, flourish with the good guys, deal with the bad guys, and nurture a wonderful, satisfying career in a non-traditional role.

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  • TABLE OF CONTENTS

    The Spirit of the Discreet Guide
    FIRST PRINCIPLES
    The Facts of Life
    In and Out of the Men’s Room
    Tuning In and Dropping Out
    Hold It Right There, Lady
    Skeptical Spectacles and a Critical-Thinking Cap
    YOUR SISTAS AND YOU
    Whose Girl Are You?
    Taking Care
    You’re Different, and That’s Only Mostly Bad
    Impressions and the Real Thing
    Sistas
    EARLY MANEUVERS
    School Days
    Your First Company
    The Cubette
    NAVIGATION TIPS
    Guiding Lights
    The Big C’s: Competition, Challenge, and Conflict
    DANGER—FALLING COCONUTS
    Sit Down and Shut Up
    How Do You Get Anything Done?
    He Doesn’t Think You’re Very Smart
    But Don’t Be Dumb
    TOUCHY SUBJECTS
    After Hours
    One-on-One: Danger Zones
    Sex At Work
    GUYS, GUYS, GUYS
    The Big Guy
    The Good Guys
    International Guys
    The Messed-Up Ones
    Bad Guys
    Super Bad Guys
    YOU’RE A BIG GIRL NOW
    Managing—Between a Rock and a Hard Place
    Work—Why You’re Paid
    THE EXECUTIVE WOMAN’S DILEMMA
    What? I Can’t Hear You
    Courage
    Common Sense
    A Powerful Combination
    THE PRIDE OF THE LIONESS
    Power and Risk
    Leadership
    THE DIAMOND

Punctuality: A New Leaf

We’ll address here a small but important point. Social norms have changed, and punctuality is no longer taken as seriously as it once was. However, I notice an imbalance in power between the tardy ones and the ones kept waiting. Let’s be sure you are not the rude one who thinks punctuality is unimportant but is secretly resented by your friends and associates. Waiting for someone is disempowering. Unless you’re trying to pull a power play on someone, thereby certainly losing some of your niceness, don’t be late.

For many of us, tardiness is just a habit. We are so accustomed to being late everywhere that we don’t even think about it—it’s just part of who we are. We chronically underestimate the amount of time it takes to get somewhere. We insist on cramming too many activities in the last few minutes before we leave, resulting in habitual lateness, and sometimes extraordinary delays when traffic, transit, and weather problems aggravate the late start. While friends and family may chuckle about us, not everyone finds this habit charming.

It’s worth thinking about what message it sends. We may not intend for our lateness to be a sign of disrespect or rudeness, but the person who finds herself waiting at the coffee shop for us to arrive, the professor who has set up an appointment for us, or the colleague who is sitting by the phone waiting for our call will wonder if we are really interested in talking to them. It’s unpleasant for them, and that’s our fault.

One of my clients brought up her chronic lateness as a serious issue affecting her personal relationships as well as her performance at work. When I suggested she vow to be on time to all her obligations for a week just to see what her life would be like, she was surprised. It had not occurred to her you could simply make up your mind to be on time to events. She was game. The results were remarkable: her life was less stressful, she had a chance to meet some new colleagues before a meeting, and her boyfriend was delighted. She consciously chose to turn over a new leaf immediately. You too can make punctuality a habit.

Excerpt from You, Not I: Exceptional Presence Through the Eyes of Others

© 2014 Jennifer K. Crittenden

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  • JENNIFER K. CRITTENDEN
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  • About the Author

    Raised on a farm in southern Indiana by an idealistic professor and a feminist homemaker, and after language and film studies in Europe, Jennifer was an unlikely candidate to graduate from a leading business school and enter corporate America. To her surprise, she excelled in her new world and spent the next twenty years building a scintillating career, rising from Financial Analyst to Chief Financial Officer and Corporate Secretary, working for big pharma and biotech companies in the US, Europe, and the UK.

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