Women Leaders: Set Yourself Up For Success
Life as an executive can be demanding for anyone, and it can get lonely. Women, in particular, tend to “buck up” in these roles, feeling like they have much more to prove as an executive. They may either end up becoming too much of a people pleaser and not stand up for themselves, or overcorrect and are then perceived as aggressive.
Here is some advice I can give in this instance:
- Surround yourself with a diverse set of mentors and peers, both men and women. Have a personal organizational chart or “board of advisors” of mentors, peers and supporters in various aspects of your life. From there, identify gaps, if any.
- Learn to have hard conversations, balancing directness and empathy.
- Create and reinforce strong boundaries for yourself and your team, including time management.
- Develop your critical thinking and systems awareness through exposure to as many business areas as you can.
- Build your personal resilience to step into difficult situations.
- Hire an executive assistant if your role allows it and be willing to embrace other forms of support, too.
It gets political, and it gets messy. That’s just leadership. Learn to let it roll off you rather than consume you. The most important advice I can give is to not base your identity on your executive role. We all have lives outside of work, and those parts of our identity are just as, if not more, important than our careers. Setting boundaries for yourself is crucial here.