On January 1, Virginia Rometty will become the first female CEO of International Business Machines Corp. Articles about her have lauded her ability to blend enthusiasm, charisma, clear communication, strategic thinking, and "cool-minded" decision making. But one New York Times story placed the emphasis on the role self-confidence may have played into her success:

Early in her career, Virginia M. Rometty, I.B.M.'s next chief executive, was offered a big job, but she felt she did not have enough experience. So she told the recruiter she needed time to think about it.

That night, her husband asked her,"'Do you think a man would have ever answered that question that way?"

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