All of our 35 inspiring speakers at the Women In Leadership Summit last October, have one thing in common — they all have, at some point, gone through challenging setbacks. What pushed them to succeed is the confidence that comes from the mastery of a set of skills.
In this article, we have rounded up some of their best advice on the skills, capabilities and tools to help you advance in your own leadership journey.
1. Self-belief and Courage
“You must trust in your capabilities and be willing to take a chance in the pursuit of leadership. A fear of failure means at times women tend to wait until they feel completely ready before making this leap. I’ve learned that if you feel 100 per cent ready for your next step the challenge is already too small for you.”
“Organisations today need to continually evolve in order to not merely survive, but to thrive and become enduring organisations that have a lasting legacy. As a leader, being able to flex and respond as needed and inspire this agility in your teams is a core skill. I have experienced my share of obstacles and setbacks, but it is my natural optimism, the passion for the Defence industry and the people we support that inspire me to continue to reach for new goals.”
“You need to be able to gather and take on the viewpoints of the people around you, but when it is time to make a decision it is you as a leader who needs to make the call. You must be prepared to do this even in the most difficult of circumstances. This brings me back to having belief in yourself and courage in your convictions.”
“While many may see it as a weakness, in reality vulnerability is a strength because vulnerable leaders tend to inspire, are more authentic, and they build bonds that lead to increased performance overall. Embracing vulnerability means having the courage to face our fears. A vulnerable leader is willing to experience all the ups and downs that come with it and they know they can confront the brutal realities while maintaining faith they will ultimately prevail and also learn.”
5. Flexible Thinking
“There is a way ‘life’ looks like on paper and then a thousand small adjustments you may need to make to achieve your end goal. Don’t get yourself stuck working point A to point B. There are swings and roundabouts in every plan, it’s not a straight paved road to success.”
“When you know you have a great idea it doesn’t mean that everyone will believe in it. You need to be able to back yourself 100% and keep finding new ways to express your ideas to a multitude of different people, in a broad range of circumstances, to be able to cut through with it. If you don’t have that conviction you will never be able to get others to back it.”
“As women in business we are up against it all the way, from business loans and capital raising, to the hours we spend away from family and friends driving toward our goals. We are judged on a very different level than our male counterparts. Often, we end up feeling like we have to justify ourselves to everyone for wanting success in all areas of our lives. This is something unique to being female. You will be tested and will need resilience to keep going through the emotional blackmail you will be confronted with daily.”
“Vital for growth of any business. You need to be able to go into every situation with the ability to negotiate the outcome and close the deal. If you don’t learn how to push for sign off on any idea, contract or collaboration, you can waste months of time in meeting after meeting with no end in sight and going around and around in circles. The deal is never done until the paperwork is signed.”
“Reach out to every person in likeminded business you think of who can give you ideas or help to refine your own. Word of mouth is the most underrated tool for all businesses. Also sharing your thoughts and ideas in the spirit of collaborating and lifting each other up creates a village of likeminded mentors and peers that will be invaluable over the life of your career.”
If you want to learn from inspiring women on how you can create greater impact in your organization through leadership, register for The Empowered Woman 2020.
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