3 myths that keep women stuck in middle management

If you think women are achieving parity in management roles, think again. Sure, women are now smashing through glass ceilings at an impressive rate. But once you’ve done that, what happens next? Sadly the answer is often that your career momentum stops. Stuck in cycle of perfectionism, imposter thinking and toxic persistence you get stuck in middle management. So how do you break free? Well, first you need to stop slavishly working on things that don’t have strategic results. Second, you need to break free of social conditioning. Your brain has been programmed to believe three myths. Which of them is keeping you trapped in a mid-level job?

Myth 1: Control breeds success

This myth drives the belief that the more control you have, the more successful you will be. However, this mindset will hinder your success as a leader. Trying to keep across every minor detail is a shortcut to disaster, not success. You need to focus on making progress, not being 100% in control of everything. Remember that control is an illusion anyway. There is always the potential for things to go wrong or changes to hit unexpectedly. Great leaders know this and are willing to live with ambiguity.


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Myth 2: High standards drive results

So many women tell me they believe in going ‘above and beyond’ at work. When I ask why, they say it’s a sign of commitment and dedication to the job. This is another load of BS. You see, having high standards doesn’t drive results – it leads to perfectionism and paralysis.

Myth 3: Confidence equates to competence

If you believe this, I bet you spend all your spare time getting more qualifications and shining up your CV. But learning more will NOT make you more confident. Oftentimes, it will distract you from being a gutsy leader who takes risks and learns from mistakes. Savvy female leaders know that true confidence comes from taking action and getting strategic things done, not just accumulating certificates and degrees.

So if you’re a woman determined to break through to senior leadership, it’s time to let go of these myths. Stop trying to control everything. Focus on making a difference. Most importantly, power up your leadership skills instead of trying to be a Jill of all trades. Then you’ll reach your full potential and be a leader with credibility, impact and difference-making success.

This article was created by Eleanor Shakiba

Eleanor is a leadership trainer and success coach. Her mission is inspiring talented people to become leaders who make a difference.  Since discovering her passion for training and development, Eleanor has trained more than 60,000 people. She delivers face-to-face workshops for corporates, online masterclasses for leaders and Positive Psychology retreats for trainers, HR practitioners and leaders.