So what does it take to become a successful leader? In previous blogs we have looked at what female leaders can bring to the table, naturally. Today we build on this and look at 6 key steps to follow to help you become an amazing female leader.
1. Develop a growth mindset
To become a successful leader we need to develop a growth mindset. Leaders with a growth mindset believe that intelligence, skills and strengths can be nurtured. This helps leaders who are more eager to develop. learn, challenge themselves, and experiment, and it eventually enhance their performance. We know that success will always require dedication, hard work, and concentration, but you also need a splash of optimism too to keep you going.
2. Identify your values and embrace your emotional intelligence (E.I.)
What can really help is identifying your values and then bringing these to life within your leadership style. This helps empower you to leverage your individual values to drive deeper meaning and impact to your work. Managers have to make tough decisions. When faced with uncertainty, values can be your saving grace. They become your set of rules to guide you.
Building on this, E.I. is the ability to recognise and understand emotions in yourself and others, and leverage this awareness to manage your behaviour and relationships. In other words, it’s a heightened sense of self-awareness. Managers who are self-aware make better decisions, communicate more effectively, and are more relatable.
3. Share your journey
Share your transition to leadership challenges and frustrations with peers, and remember it’s OK to be vulnerable and honest. As managers open up and tell their stories, others can help with advice and guidance providing actionable new strategies. It’s important for all managers to know that you’re not in this alone. Others have faced similar challenges and can help — if you let them.
Great leaders are also good coaches. Good coaching involves;
- giving timely and specific feedback;
- delivering difficult feedback in a motivational and thoughtful way;
- tailoring approaches to meet individual communication styles in regular one-on-one meetings;
- practicing empathetic “active” listening and being fully present;
- being cognisant of your own mindset and that of the employee; and
- asking open-ended questions to discover an employee’s acumen.
Managers’ words have the power to build or destroy. You need to be consistent and unbiased when delivering feedback across your teams, to balance positive (motivational) and negative (developmental) feedback, to be authentic and appreciative, and to state growth opportunities in a clear, compassionate way.
6. Decision making
To make better decisions ask yourself
- What are you solving for, and is everyone on the same page? (Identify and communicate the root cause.)
- Why is it important? (Does it support other business goals?)
- Who is the decision maker?
- How will the decision be made?
- When can people expect a decision? (Keep stakeholders in the loop, and manage expectations.)
Also, to ensure you make informed decisions share your ideas and views, and test your understanding by asking for others’ perspectives (ideas and feedback), and then consider their responses to ensure you fully understand the situation before making a decision.