For last night’s Super Bowl XLVI, millions gathered to watch with excitement — and for some, disappointment — as the New York Giants took home the victory. Each team combined skill, strategy, and deliberate action to capture the NFL’s top win, a career-defining moment for both sides to reflect on what was done well and what could be improved for next season.
All of these elements exist in today’s competitive business world, with everyday professionals applying brain and brawn to achieve career wins. Female professionals can take major cues from the men on the field — and in the C-suite.
Lesson 1: Approach career advancement like a competitive sport.
“Women seldom think of their careers as a competition,” Giangrande says. “Instead we believe that our work should speak for itself. The sport teaches that you must do what it takes to win, learn from setbacks and know when it’s time to change your strategy. This is all part of a competitive mindset.” Although education, experience and hard work are vital to success, that alone will not ensure advancement, she adds.
Lesson 2: Recognize that competition is not passive. It’s about strategic action.
Women are oftentimes taught to get along with others and not make enemies. “I know I also learned early on that rules were not meant to be broken,” Giangrande says. “Most of our play as children involved various forms of passive play.”
“Competition is action in motion,” she adds. “When you approach your career as a competition, it causes you to get in the driver’s seat and to do what needs to be done to win the game. … There is nothing passive about taking charge of your career. You must take action if you wish to move forward.”