Leading Ladies: Tips on How to Empower Women to be Leaders
Every day we come across women in many leadership roles. Be it a school principal, a girl boss CEO or the captain of a sports team. Leaders have the power and ability to steer a company or a group of people towards success. No one is born a leader; it takes courage, hard work and determination in order to become a great leader.
It is with time and experience that leaders learn how they can fully maximise their talent . If you have been considering taking a leadership position but are unsure if you are ready for it; here are some tips to prepare you for the role of a lifetime:
Don’t Be Afraid of Failure
“Never let the fear of striking out, keep you from playing the game”. Embrace failure and learn from it. Failure is just a stepping stone towards success. Accepting failure and whatever mistake it might have cost will only help you understand which is the best way to go.
As a leader, your losses should not define you, it should be the guide that motivates you to rethink your approach and try again. Success is not something that can be guaranteed – but as long as you keep trying, no matter how many times you fail, eventually, you will get it right.
2. Take Initiative
Most of the time, as a leader, people would look up to you for answers, to get things done. The responsibility will fall in your hands and you just have to clinch it. Initiate and direct your team towards the right direction.
Let the team know that they can count on you. Gaining their trust by assuming the responsibility will help strengthen the team’s coordination, cooperation and camaraderie.
3. Follow in the Footsteps of Great Leaders
Leaders from all walks of life have been inspiring and educating us on what it takes to become a great leader.
Your role model doesn’t necessarily have to be someone whose success story has been replicated across numerous platforms. It can be someone you personally know that exemplifies success, sacrifice and sensible. By observing the great leaders that you know, you can simulate the traits and qualities they have and incorporate it into your own leadership style.
There are tons of management classes and books available, both offline and online.
Do your research and find the ones that gravitate towards the aspect of leadership and management you would like to achieve first. Basic management classes will give you ample insights and a general overview of what it takes to become a good leader.
Practice Makes Perfect
If you are still in a mid-senior position, chances are when the boss is away, you would have to pick up their tasks. Use this time to get a feel for how to run things around the company/ community.
Although it is temporary, it will give you a chance to understand the advantages and disadvantages of being in a senior position. Giving you the exposure that you need to help you decide whether being a leader is ideal for you.
Nobody likes a leader who pushes the blame to someone else when things go wrong. Webster’s dictionary defines preparation as “the activity or process of making something ready or of becoming ready for something.”
As a leader, you are not only accountable for yourself but to everyone else around you. Staying proactive and carrying out your roles responsibly will result in fewer mishaps. Additionally, you must always remember to set a good example of being effective and efficient. This can be done by:
- Never missing a deadline – If you cannot follow through with the expected timeline, always let your team know, and encourage them
- Pay attention to details
- Ask yourself – Since the team will tend to look at you for answers, you need to be sure of the words that you tell them. Practice this by asking yourself the right questions that may arise in difficult situations and answer them truthfully
Leadership is Not a One-Person Show
To be able to lead a team successfully, it must be a two-way street, the team must be willing to follow.
By paying close attention to your colleagues and employees, as a leader, you are able to understand what drives them and what will help your team become more efficient and effective. Some individuals will be better at public speaking, others are more of the behind-the-scenes work, get to know them and use their talents to fulfil the business needs.
Constantly communicating with them and ensuring that the morale around is high allows you to keep moving forward through motivation and strategy. Try having more sharing sessions or informal team meetings to get to know each other.
Tackle Problems Effectively and Quickly
Evolution is a part of the skill requirements needed to be a better leader. You need to be able to adapt to situations and people. As a leader, you might be faced with hurdles occasionally. Some might be straightforward while others, not so much. Evolution is impossible without better preparation.
As a leader, you must constantly invest in your own skill-sets and capabilities so that you can improve your approach to problem-solving. Great leaders learn how to use their strengths to better prepare themselves for how to solve problems proactively and most efficiently. Time is money and both are lost when problems rise to the surface; confident decision-making allows you to save both time and money as a leader.
Listening is a key element of leadership. Good listening skills enable you to be a good leader. Listening to yourself and ignoring your employees will not work for a leader in the long run. When leaders listen, they can be better prepared. You can’t lead if you don’t listen. As a leader, listening allows you to prepare more intently and solve for things that you otherwise couldn’t if you were only listening to yourself.
By following the tips above, you’ll prepare yourself for a smooth transition and build your confidence levels. Most importantly, you’ll build a strong foundation for future success and career growth.
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