How Do You Do It? Being A Woman in Business

March 20, 2012

How Do You Do It?  Nearly everywhere I go, I am asked that same question… 

I want to confess right on the front end that I don’t do it. Let me come clean.  While the privilege of running a top notch marketing organization at a Fortune 100 company for which I have loved working for over thirty years is a dream come true, I don’t do it alone!  

I want to share with you a few concepts and secrets that answer “how I do it” and will hopefully help you do IT and MORE! 

First, start by knowing who you are.  And then, be your best self!  If you have aspirations, dreams or ambitions that are currently unfulfilled, you need a plan to make them happen.  If your education is incomplete, stop making excuses.  Thanks to technology, classes are available online, at night and on weekends.  Basic to success is your ability to communicate verbally and in writing. So much of business is now conducted in email, and being able to articulate your thoughts in writing is more important than ever.  If just the thought of speaking in front of more than three people makes your stomach turn somersaults, join the club.  Being a powerful public speaker is a skill that can be learned, and fortunately, you can find a myriad of courses that allow you to learn and practice.

Second, set your priorities and keep them straight…as much as you can!  When asked about my priorities, my response is always, “I put my faith first, then family, and finally, work.”  Sounds perfect.  But, perfect, I am not.  What we can do is establish our life values and commit to them.  Raising children, being a committed spouse, having a fulfilling social life all take time that could easily be spent working if we aren’t mindful.  So prioritize what’s most important to you…then be disciplined and deliberate in your actions. 

Next, get good help!  By that, I mean hire the best and then LISTEN to them!

Grow your people by delegating – leaders give their power to others.  And, don’t be afraid to ask for help when the going gets rough.  It will.  

Be resilient!  Learn to graciously accept occasional setbacks…these can lead to bigger and better outcomes!  Remember that timing is everything, and frequently ‘no’ just means ‘not now.’  The way we manage emotions of anger, disappointment, and frustration significantly impact others’ perceptions of our emotional intelligence.  Make sure the impression you make is positive as you grow and learn from life’s inevitable ‘no’s.’ 

Finally, embrace your natural leadership abilities as a woman!  Don’t try to suppress the parts of your nature that are intuitive, nurturing, empathetic and people-focused.  Frequently women are skilled multi-taskers, network builders, and team developers.  Be true to yourself by cultivating your own unique leadership style!