If you've ever aspired to secure a leadership position in your organization, you can learn much from women who have risen to the top and seen it all. Here are 10 ways to make that jump with the perfect blend of strength and grace:

1. Be competitive.You have to want to win, and you have to act on that desire.

2. Don’t sweat friendships. It’s not about being liked. It’s about being valued and delivering results. Friendship may come, or not.

3. Defend yourself. Protect the interests of your clan. Think of Nancy Pelosi back in a Republican-controlled Congress.

4. Trust your gut. Consider what the naysayers are putting out. Then move forward anyway.

5. Radiate confidence. Present yourself as in control and happy.

6. Wrap yourself around success.
Dismiss fear and anxiety. Make decisions using your best judgments.

7. Help other women.
Otherwise, they won’t feel good about you or you won’t feel good about yourself. “Create communities of support,” says Oscar-winning film producter Cathy Schulman.

8. Hold out for good money. A recent survey said 87% of HR professionals agree that male candidates typically ask for more money than female candidates during salary negotiations. Since men decide on their futures considering the bottom line, you should, too.

9. Make mistakes. Give it your best shot. Take the plunge. Don’t obsess.

10. Solve problems. If something on Schulman’s desk seems particularly dicey, she goes after that thing first. Big problems, she notes, are your best opportunities.


—Adapted from “10 Power Tips,” Newsweek.

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