Jackie Streeter, a senior vice president at Apple Computer,
shared her perspective on balancing a career and managing a home life.
With more and more companies offering alternative work programs, such as
flex time, job sharing and telecommuting, Jackie stated women have an
opportunity to pursue careers which they previously may not have been able to
The following excerpt from Streeter's speech emulates the philosophy behind
Channels for Change.
"And this brings me to the centerpiece of my presentations..what you can do
to personally increase your sphere of influence and success....I have a few
suggestions that you might find helpful:
- 1. Communications
- 2. Working Smart
- 3. Taking Risks
The first one has to do with communication skills. I believe it's
necessary for everyone, not just women and minorities, to learn how to
share ideas in a mutually-supportive style.
This is an era highly dependent on information exchange and it will become
even more so. While technology rushes to support global thinking, it seems
that the art of discussion on line becomes even more important. Yet
problems will not be solved unless we learn to negotiate. In my view, the
importance of negotiating can't be overemphasized. And along with that
effectiveness in terms of exposing other quality ideas, building
relationships and sharing information.
Communicate your ideas with efficiency and with clarity. Help others to
articulate their ideas by asking quality questions and you'll be amazed at
the turn of events. Don't go after what you want with a do or die attitude
tactics but remember the win/win.
After communications...what then? Well, most of you have heard the
expression "working smart" but may not know what it really means. Over the
years, I've observed capable people overlooked for recognition and
promotion. They work hard...often harder than others...but they did not
work smart. Working smart means being clear on the results you want and
By now, I've learned to set my work priorities to support the goals and
strategies my boss has set in place. Often in casual discussion ... at
meetings or over lunch... I determine those goals and priorities are...and
adjust my priorities to support them.
Another skill in this list of working smart... is to stay aware of how your
current manager measures success. Sometimes I ask him directly...."How
will you know when I've succeeded on this project?" Too often we expect a
new manager's measurements to be the same as the manager before him.
Staying aware of the terrain and being flexible is the smoothest way down a
steep snowy ski slope and the fastest way up the ladder of recognition and
Next on the list ...the willingness to take risks. Chuck Berger, the CEO
of Radius Technologies, says that anyone who never makes a mistake is a
person whose work will stay at the mediocre level...not someone he would
Breaking boundaries is what it's about...going after the assignment that
crosses divisional lines. That's what holds a potential for making a
mistake, but also holds the potential for much greater exposure and
And last but not least... a few words about mentors. Most women were
mentored into success by a man who valued their capabilities.
However, the time has come for us women to become the mentors too.....to
help others grow and find their way into the epicenter of their careers and
realize their own definition of success.
Consider mentoring others, as a way of making you stronger, making you more
visible, and being perceived as more knowledgeable. Mentoring can be a
growing experience for both protege and mentor.
Another is team based collaborative style of working, that emphasizes
communications skills. This further supports my premise about the value of
A few years ago, there was a Harvard Business Review article on the methods
of women as business leaders. The author commented that the first female
executives adhered to many of the rules of conduct that spelled success for
men. But what she called "the second wave" of women reaching top
management, are getting there by "drawing on the skills and attitudes they
developed from their shared experience as women."
As the collaborative styles of management come to be more widely seen as
desirable, candidates for executive roles will come to be judged on their
success in working with a collaborative style.
- We all exist in an era of continually remarkable developments...and
technology that allows us to make more choices in our lifestyles. As you
return to your organizations, I encourage you to reflect on some of the
business realities we see today:
- - the need for collaboration
- - for smart working
- - and risk-taking
Ideally this will prompt you to think about the choices you have today and
how technology can play a role both as a career choice and as a lifestyle
Thank your for inviting me here today. It was a great pleasure to share my
thoughts with you and experience the wonderful energy surrounding us here
in this conference."
- Jackie Streeter
WITI Channels for Change Conference, 1995
"Technology and Women"