Women have been climbing the ladder of success quite steadily since the last decade. You will find more women in leadership roles now than before, and there are certain strategies for women that help them become successful in their lives sooner. Obviously, everyone wants success, but the definition of success varies from person to person. One very iconic woman, Michelle Obama, defined success as, “Success isn’t how much money you make; it’s about the difference you make in people’s lives.” This definition fits for most, if not all. If you are a working woman who has recently landed a leadership role, you are going to make a difference to the people around you by motivating them, managing them, and building them along with yourself.
Strategies for Women Who Want Success
Success is not achieved overnight. It is earned with sweat, blood, and a lot of emotional strength. Before diving into the strategies, you must identify yourself with the qualities that a leader must-have. A leader should be self-motivated, self-confident, self-aware, wise at decisions, determined to bounce back from failure, aware of surroundings, able to take risks, and able to manage consequences of risks they took.
Once you have check-listed these leadership characteristics, you can move on to the success strategies that will change your life for the better:
1- Get Sponsored to Go Forward
A woman in a new leadership role is as nervous as a kid going off to his first day at high school. You know people will look at you differently, especially your colleagues if you have gotten promoted to this position. There will be people relying on you for advice, and there will be subordinates who would drive you crazy at times, but then you have to stay polite and organized because you are a leader. In this case, what you can do is have a senior who you can confide in. It may be a senior manager, a friend, or anyone in the company of either gender who trusts your capabilities and supports your ambitions. This person, an informal sponsor, will help you with advice on playing your current role efficiently while forwarding your name for any opportunities for higher authority roles as well. Having a sponsor can up your confidence, too, knowing someone is there to help you if things get out of hand.
2- Be Loud and Clear
Stop beating the bush around the corner at executive meetings and just stand strong when you make a statement. Women often complain that due to the male dominance in executive meetings, their voice goes ignored, unheard, or denied, which is clearly unfair if you have something important to say. While more acceptance is being practiced these days to give all genders an equal opportunity to speak, don’t let anyone subside your voice. The solution is to have a confident body language, a strong voice, and a valid argument. When you say, “I believe you are making a wrong decision because…”, you will be more noticed and appreciated rather than when you say, “I don’t think that’s a good idea.” Moral of the story? Speak up, loud and clear, so that your presence is notable. However, before you speak up, ensure you have a valid argument so that you don’t look like an attention-seeker.
3- Confidence is Built by Words
You know how people tell you to be confident all the time, but never tell you how to be confident? Confidence is like love – it is built brick by brick. People gain confidence when they have people who tell them that they are capable of doing more, doing better. If you have a few friends or family members who have your back at bad times, and help you get back up when you are feeling down, keep them around. They don’t have to be people from your workplace. By being around people who boost your confidence, you will have a stronger, more confident approach at work and otherwise.
4- Be Open to Positivity
Shutting out negative energy lets you open your heart and mind to positive strategies for women. Let’s say you have two colleagues who are criticizing you. One colleague tells you, “You don’t have any communication skills. You shouldn’t even be on this role,” while the other one tells you, “You’re a good leader overall but I think you’d be better if you work on improving your body language and have a less intense tone. I’m sure you can do that.” Which criticism would you be more open to? Obviously the second one. Taking constructive criticism allows you to grow, and empathizing with others without judgement or negative feelings will only deter your success.
5- Take Responsibility
One of the most important qualities of a successful leader is taking responsibility for their words or actions, and reacting accordingly. Many women worry too much about reputation and either become defensive, play the victim, or blame others for the consequences of their decisions. It is important for a leader to be answerable and accountable for the decisions they make. Accept your mistakes and apologize if you need to, it will make people look at you as a bigger person.
Successful women have better professional and personal lives. You know the famous Spiderman quote, “With more power, comes more responsibility,” and you are ready to take responsibility by following these strategies for women who want success.