My leadership journey has been filled with challenges, risks and lessons learned. Each of those experiences taught me how to overcome obstacles, drive results, trust my team and celebrate success along the way.
One of the favorite opportunities I have had is to mentor other women leaders. Some of the most common topics that we discuss are self-confidence, the art of delegation and how to motivate others. I always enjoy discussing these areas because they have been part of my development. Learning how to use these skills and cultivate them will make you a leader that others will want to follow.
Self-confidence is about learning to trust your instincts. You have been selected for your role because of your success. Always project confidence and others will have confidence in you. This will free you up to take risks, challenges and dare to make mistakes. It is okay to be wrong if you learned some lessons from the experience and can apply them the next time. I keep a journal to capture what worked well and what did not work well. At the end of the week I reflect on what I learned.
Since women tend to be multi-taskers and problem solvers, we sometimes feel that we have to have all the answers. The best leaders recognize that delegating to their team and giving them the room to innovate will result in better solutions. This also will allow you to prioritize your time professionally and personally and create better life-balance. One of the most important things that I have learned is to carve out strategic thinking time every week. This is a two-hour time slot that I protect in my calendar. It allows me to improve my strategic thinking as well as adjust strategies if needed.
Employee motivation is key to individual performance, group productivity and a positive culture. Your team wants to know that they are trusted and their work is valued. Public recognition during meetings or team calls are effective ways to highlight outstanding performance. Sometimes women leaders are stereotyped as emotional. So be sure to not go overboard with your recognition or you will not be taken seriously. A nice personal touch is to send a handwritten thank-you card.
Believe in yourself, recognize your strengths and build a support network with other women leaders. Enjoy your journey!