Building a team is the greatest opportunity and privilege for a leader. It means putting aside your personal biases and looking out for the good of the team. A team built with diversity in both thought and composition is key to creating, innovating, and building the best solutions. It also sets a precedent for breaking barriers that were previously considered obstacles in the workforce, including gender bias. A team built with the right framework will instill confidence and encouragement in each member. We must always remember that we are better as a team than even the most talented individual member.
If you know you have the power of the team behind you, it makes the path to follow much clearer, especially when you reach that fork in the road and a decision needs to be made. This is true in challenges involving diversity and adversity. It is so important to surround yourself with trusted advisors and team members who will pressure test your thinking and your approach. It may open your eyes to intentional or unintentional biases. Receive feedback and be open to new ways of approaching challenges. Embracing differences, and sharing how those differences have influenced and changed your course of thinking, is powerful.
I like to focus on the progress and the many opportunities that are in front of us. Building a diverse team becomes an essential ingredient for these many opportunities. Finding ways to make sure barriers are being broken and that we give individuals the opportunity to have a strong and confident voice is paramount. This means that we find ways to have all voices at the table reflecting the diversity of thought and leadership.
We all have choices to make, and we can make them in a narrowly defined swim lane or we can look across the sea of opportunity and the many people that can help shape that opportunity. When that door opens, as women leaders, we need to walk through it and be confident in our decisions. We should recognize the people that helped us along the way and find our own ways to help and support others. Empower your team and those around you to shine a light on the strength that comes from having a diverse team.