Gamesmanship to crack the glass ceiling

Mar 16, 2015


Mary Day

Dr. Mary Day is associate professor of music at Briar Cliff University. Dr. Day holds degrees from Briar Cliff University (BA in voice) and the University of Iowa (MA and DMA in vocal performance). She has completed postgraduate studies at the American Institute of Musical Studies in Graz, Austria and the University of Texas. Included among her former teachers and coaches are Albert Gammon, Harold Stark, John Wustman, Robert Evans, and Romanian soprano Yolanda Marcoulescou.

Susan Packard introduces us to New Rules of the Game: 10 Strategies for Women in the Workplace and uses the ideals of competitive sports (gamesmanship - a strategic way of thinking) to crack the proverbial glass ceiling that women encounter.

The 21st century workplace requires, of women, practical tools that will improve communication skills and personal power to lead and ultimately to developing self-confidence. If this is your belief, then reading Susan Packard’s book is a must. I am a singer (a vocal athlete) and as such, I found two chapters very interesting because they put forth concepts that I already believe and attempt to teach.

Chapter 1: It starts with conditioning. To be competitive as a singer, you must learn and develop a technique that will serve you on a daily basis. This is much more than ambition and enthusiasm. You must also know and understand the various languages of both opera and fine art song and finally, you must figure out how to package your talent. In this chapter, Ms. Packard explains how these skills are learned, not inherited, and how they are practiced every day as “line experience, global perspective, and financial knowledge.”

Chapter 6: Practice, Practice, Practice. A crucial piece of advice is given on page 108: The one thing you do learn in sports early is repetition. Let’s do it again.
The good thing about that is repetition does indeed, in any endeavor, build muscle memory. So when you’re leading a group, when you’re meeting challenges, when things become stressful, repetition allows you to not think so much.

There is no substitute for putting in your 10,000 hours of practice. In every career there will be good days, less than good days, and great days. Great days happen when your talent is so rehearsed that you are able to become creative, adjust to any circumstance, and remain memorable to your audience. Ms. Packard sums up this attitude of practice as: ‘Don’t be agreeable, be memorable.’ Distinguish yourself by bringing a greater value to the company and really having the expertise that is recognized, so that you can leverage it to a bigger and broader position. In other words, go beyond your comfort zone and distinguish yourself.

Each chapter in this book provides a straightforward guide to success and should be read by all women aspiring to develop both personal abilities and a willingness to take on tasks that they think are beyond their reach. Each chapter is designed to put you firmly in charge of the timing and pacing of your confidence. The reality is that every conscious effort that gives witness to new possibilities and greater awareness, contributes to the transformation of the whole person and in turn increases the potential for others to become more aware and confident.