This account is pending registration confirmation. Please click on the link within the confirmation email previously sent you to complete registration.
Need a new registration confirmation email? Click here
TheStreet Open House

4 Leadership Lessons From Marissa Mayer's Surprise Rise

1. Throw your hat in the ring.

You'll never know if you can do something unless you try. So try. Mayer may not have the experience of a seasoned chief executive, but is it fair to say that just because she hasn't done this job before that means she won't succeed?

In fact, Mayer has been in a similar "here come the naysayers" position before.

Specifically, this is not Mayer's first time at being a first female. When she joined Google in 1999, she was the company's first female engineer. Mayer's resume most recently included being vice president of Google's local, maps, and location services, however, she has held numerous executive positions in the company and launched more than 100 well-known Google features and products.

>>>3 Leadership Lessons From Tim Tebow

Mayer "got herself into a position where she could take a huge career risk with impunity and become the CEO of a large company," says Peter Cohan, an adjunct professor at Babson College and owner of a strategy consulting and venture capital firm, adding that it's, "a very unusual example of somebody who starts off as an important player in a small business and ends up turning herself into a big company executive." Taking the top job at Yahoo! shows that she is willing to take a risk, even if it might be more of a risk to her reputation than to her financial situation at this point, he says.

Cohan started his company in 1994. At the time, he says, he thought the idea was extremely risky, but in the end a good decision.

"Sometimes taking a risk is actually less risky than not taking a risk," Cohan says.

It is also clearly a risky bet from Yahoo!'s perspective.

2. Women need to network.

"Women are kind of lacking of the good old boy network or the ability to leverage their peers," says Robin Toft, president and CEO of Sanford Rose Associates - San Diego, the La Jolla, Calif.-based division of the international executive search firm. Toft's office focuses on placing female executives in C-suite offices.

"What I realize by working with them is that female CEOs don't know each other and don't leverage each other for best practices or intelligence or support," she says.

2 of 4

Select the service that is right for you!

COMPARE ALL SERVICES
Action Alerts PLUS
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer and Stephanie Link actively manage a real portfolio and reveal their money management tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.

Product Features:
  • $2.5+ million portfolio
  • Large-cap and dividend focus
  • Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
  • Weekly roundups
TheStreet Quant Ratings
Try it NOW
Only $49.95/yr

Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.

Product Features:
  • Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
  • Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
  • A custom stock screener
  • Upgrade/downgrade alerts
Stocks Under $10
Try it NOW

David Peltier, uncovers low dollar stocks with extraordinary upside potential that are flying under Wall Street's radar.

Product Features:
  • Model portfolio
  • Stocks trading below $10
  • Intraday trade alerts
  • Weekly roundups
Dividend Stock Advisor
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer's protege, David Peltier, identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.

Product Features:
  • Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
  • Alerts when market news affect the portfolio
  • Bi-weekly updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
Real Money Pro
Try it NOW

All of Real Money, plus 15 more of Wall Street's sharpest minds delivering actionable trading ideas, a comprehensive look at the market, and fundamental and technical analysis.

Product Features:
  • Real Money + Doug Kass Plus 15 more Wall Street Pros
  • Intraday commentary & news
  • Ultra-actionable trading ideas
Options Profits
Try it NOW

Our options trading pros provide daily market commentary and over 100 monthly option trading ideas and strategies to help you become a well-seasoned trader.

Product Features:
  • 100+ monthly options trading ideas
  • Actionable options commentary & news
  • Real-time trading community
  • Options TV
To begin commenting right away, you can log in below using your Disqus, Facebook, Twitter, OpenID or Yahoo login credentials. Alternatively, you can post a comment as a "guest" just by entering an email address. Your use of the commenting tool is subject to multiple terms of service/use and privacy policies - see here for more details.
Submit an article to us!
DOW 17,055.87 -116.81 -0.68%
S&P 500 1,982.77 -11.52 -0.58%
NASDAQ 4,508.6880 -19.0010 -0.42%

Brokerage Partners

Rates from Bankrate.com

  • Mortgage
  • Credit Cards
  • Auto

Free Newsletters from TheStreet

My Subscriptions:

After the Bell

Before the Bell

Booyah! Newsletter

Midday Bell

TheStreet Top 10 Stories

Winners & Losers

Register for Newsletters
Top Rated Stocks Top Rated Funds Top Rated ETFs