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Women are leading the way & reaching new heights in 2018!

Ask successful women in business how they did it, and they will tell you that along with the hard work, you need to practice one thing: Be yourself. Women are succeeding everywhere. We are on the frontlines – and we still lead the cheers on the sidelines of our children’s playing field. Yet, as women, we also tend to question ourselves, think things over (and over) before acting, and we listen to everything everyone else wants to say. The goal -- whether you aspire to the C-suite, do your job at a farm stand or in a cubicle, or you are growing your own small company -- is to build on all of your natural strengths.

It’s a new world

Happily, we’re mostly past the era of women not being taken seriously. We are just as likely to qualify for a bank loan as our male counterparts, for instance. But how do successful women balance it all? Women who are successful are confident in their abilities, knowledge and experiences. We just need to remind ourselves to leverage those good traits. 

Gail McGovern was president of Fidelity Personal Investments when she asked an audience of women how many would keep the CEO waiting 15 minutes for a scheduled meeting. No one raised her hand, of course.

But when McGovern asked how many might make a friend or family member wait the same amount of time – well, nearly everyone admitted they would.
McGovern was making the point that balance is especially important for successful women. Without it, success isn’t so meaningful for us.

Be like you, not them

There is plenty of additional advice for women leaders in books and podcasts. We put together a roundup of the guidance that made the most sense to us:
  • Women (generally) are more likely than men to second-guess themselves even as they gain success, including at 3 a.m. Breathe deeply and work to consciously push aside those thoughts to get a good night’s sleep.
  • Find someone who you can talk through your day with, especially when you aren’t looking for answers. Usually just talking things over will be enough.
  • Be good to yourself. You may be the main earner in the house, but don’t stress over how much stress you are feeling. Even light exercise or a quick walk outside helps beat tension. Take yourself to a yoga class once a week, or a way that you can hit the pause button (even if for one hour per week).
  • Be good to coworkers and staff, too. That doesn’t mean you have to tolerate bad work or laziness. Get comfortable with giving direction or asking for what you need. Meanwhile, don’t be afraid to listen to your colleagues’ problems and joys.
  • Men are sometimes more comfortable being assertive -- even aggressive -- with their ideas. You can do that, too. But it’s important to be true to your own values. Remind yourself that no one has all the traits of the perfect leader, or entrepreneur or manager. Celebrate the traits that come easy to you. Work on the ones that are more difficult.

And keep your sense of humor. As Margaret Thatcher, the former British prime minister related, “If you want anything said, ask a man. If you want something done, ask a woman.” Always remember ladies, you can rule the world – and have a good glass of wine at the end of each night too. 💃🏽