From a start-up in its early days to a multinational brand, leadership is an integral part of every company whatever stage it’s in. With such a dynamic role, however, leadership isn’t easy, especially in a challenging business environment. So what makes a good leader? What is the art of leadership? Taking solid advice from women leaders in business, this article explores the art of leadership for women.
Be afraid but do it anyway
It’s natural to be afraid of something that you don’t know, but being able to acknowledge this fear and jump in and do it anyway is what makes a good leader. You may make mistakes but taking that initial risk and learning from any failures is how you grow and move up the career ladder. You don’t become a Director or CEO without having confidence and striving to try new things, so whenever a new opportunity or challenge comes your way, take that fear and do it anyway. When you do this, you are actually being fearless.
Build a trustworthy support network
Communication is a top attribute in the art of leadership for women, as how else can you convey the overall vision and strategy of your company to your team? Concentrate on communicating goals and objectives clearly to your colleagues, hold regular one-to-one meetings with them, and make yourself accessible to encourage an open-door policy.
As well as in your work environment, make sure to also build yourself a personal support network where you can communicate your own thoughts, ideas and even worries without fearing being judged. Having trustworthy people who aren’t afraid to tell you the truth, such as close friends and family, can make a world of difference to your personal and professional happiness. Leadership in any business can be a lonely endeavour so make this one of your top priorities.
Always trust your own judgement
One of the biggest challenges that came up when discussing leadership for women was self-doubt, especially if you are going into a new business environment that is used to working a certain way. As difficult as it may be to overcome this doubt and worry, it is essential for good leadership that you trust your own judgement. If that is challenging the status quo, then don’t be afraid to challenge it. Change is necessary for achieving sustainability and growth and, therefore, success. Just because something is normally done a certain way, doesn’t mean it’s the best way, so be confident and trust that your ideas are better.
Set yourself goals but always remember your values
A good leader thinks about the overall company vision and sets realistic goals and objectives to move in this direction. While this is an integral part of the job, it is important to have a personal value system as well that you can use to help you when big decisions arise. For example, you may have started your own company so that you could create a life and workplace that fits your values. As the company grows, you may be faced with an opportunity that will potentially help you reach your goals faster but one that doesn’t fit with your values. So what do you do? Bring this big decision back to those values that matter to you and reflect on them. Maybe they have changed as you have grown but maybe they haven’t, either way, being able to step back and reflect on what means more to you allows you to make a better decision for your company.
Always learn and develop and grow
You may think you need to know more and have this or that skill to be a leader and you would be right, the learning never stops there, however. With leadership comes greater responsibility and to thrive in this dynamic position you need to continue to develop every day. Try new things, tackle each challenge, take risks and always learn to keep your mind sharp and fresh. Every company is looking for a sustainable competitive edge so this means that you need to be innovative and creative in everything that you do.
What advice could you give for leadership for women?
Although leadership and strategic style are different for everyone and can be affected by factors such as your role and type of company, being a good leader is having the ability to implement good advice when you’re given it.
Many strong and dynamic female leaders have been shattering the glass ceiling for years in business, so by sharing your wisdom, insight, and inspiration, you could help other talented businesswomen do the same!