Successful female leaders have learned to eliminate the ‘good girl’ habits that may have worked for them in their young adult life. However, once adulthood sets in, those habits don’t bode well for a professional leadership career. We’ll discuss the real-world habits that propel women forward to achieve their personal visions of success without abandoning their values.
These 10 habits level the playing field for women leaders.
1. Keep Your Vision Focused
Have a laser-sharp focus on what you want to achieve. Do not be that ‘good girl’ and rely solely on hard work with the hope that your vision will fall into your lap. Clearly identify where you want to be in the future, then go after it with aplomb, even if you believe you are not quite ready. It’s amazing what you can achieve if you actively pursue your goals and not dwell on the ‘what ifs.’
2. Set Hard, Realistic Goals
Goals that are fined-tuned, ambitious yet realistic, and with a perceived deadline tend to deliver the best engagement, performance, and job satisfaction. Put another way, it relates to what is known as ‘flow’. Does time pass quickly because you’re in the ‘zone’ – or is passing slowly because work feels like purgatory?
3. Exude Confidence
You don’t have to be perfect 100% of the time to feel worthy. Instead, possess the belief that you will succeed with the knowledge that others believe that you will, too. To achieve this, you don’t have to make everything completely perfect, as long as you are moving forward with your head held high.
4. Communicate for Traction
No one like to feel like a hamster in a wheel or a cog in a machine, so let people know what’s happening and why as best you can. Keep them updated on progress, issues, etc. so they feel like part of a cohesive team, not simply hired hands.
5. Forge Trusted Relationships
Old habits often mean sticking with your comfortable circle of colleagues. Women leaders know that developing relationships with thought leaders and influencers both within and outside your organization leads to success. This means sharing, supporting, listening, learning, and contributing to other leaders.
6. Lead by Example
Facilitate good personal interactions. Everyone is leading by example all day, every day, but doing it well is a skill. Facilitating opportunities for people to talk is also key – engage them in constructive conversations, whether that is in a business meeting or around the water cooler.
7. Demonstrate Emotional Intelligence
Instead of reacting quickly to troubling work challenges with emotions, good or bad, instead, learn to internally monitor gut reactions. Recognize patterns in these reactions and learn to integrate your gut feelings with intelligence and empathy to manage, lead, and collaborate well with your peers, team, and other leaders.
Again, this is stretching way past one’s comfort zone. Women leaders eagerly welcome new ideas, embrace new challenges and opportunities, and constantly learn and dare to change, even when there is a risk of failure.
9. Encourage and Facilitate Personal Growth
Most of us are well aware that life isn’t a rehearsal and that any chance to do better next time is not guaranteed. Nearly all of us want to excel and make the most of life – not just as an employee, but as a manager, leader, and in life.
10. Be Humble and Build Trust
Being humble and showing humility isn’t about deference. It’s not thinking less of yourself – it is thinking about others more. Studies show that admitting ‘I don’t know’ or asking for help is a wonderful way to build trust in others. Many experts know that level of trust is the best predictor of organizational success there is