Thursday, April 5, 2012

Two Questions We Should Ask More at Work

Written by Juliet Barbara, Forbes Staff and originally published on in Leadership on 4/2/12

It’s been a great couple of weeks in NYC for events with women business leaders. Last Thursday, I joined over 100 technology and media pros at the IAB AdLab to hear leadership insights from three women who shaped their own unique career paths: Sharon Feder, COO of Mashable, Laurel Touby, founder of Mediabistro, and Tania Lynn, Partner of Deloitte.

The event, hosted by the networking group wimlink (“connecting media and technology professionals, entrepreneurs, innovators and disrupters”) and wimlink founder Tania Yuki was a good time all around – informative, fun (plenty of wine and snacks), open and collaborative.

My favorite piece of advice came from Feder, who in four short years advanced from Assistant Editor to Managing Editor to Publisher to Chief Operating Officer at Mashable. How did she do it?

According to Feder, she always asked these two questions: Can I do more? Can I build this?

Asking if she could do more meant asking people to take a chance on her. But since Feder made sure she always brought a solid track record of previous accomplishments to the table, people (including Mashable CEO and Founder Pete Cashmore, who replied to one of her proposed projects in an email with “Sure, go for it!”) were willing to do that.
Employees at every level are moving a mile a minute in today’s hyper-connected world. Even the best leaders can’t keep their eyes on every business-building opportunity. Constructive leaders rely on their team to stand up and act when more can be done.

Although you wouldn’t know it, Feder said she wasn’t confident growing up. But she learned quickly after entering the workforce that she had nothing to lose and only opportunity to gain from confidence: “Why not have it? What do we risk?

So maybe we should all be asking ourselves more often: Can I do more? Can I build this? If you’ve tried this at your workplace, chime in here to let us know how it worked out.

Interested in attending future wimlink events? Join the Meetup group to learn more. Want to hear more from Sharon Feder? She and a great line-up of thought leaders in the digital space will be speaking at the upcoming Mashable Connect in May.

No comments: