Success Mantras for Women Leaders

SI TeamThere is no denying the fact that we have a death of women leaders globally. This is clear from the fact that as per a study done in 2018, women are leading as CEOs for only 5% of the Fortune 500 companies. This brings us to rethink that diversity is no longer a tick-in-the-box activity that is good-to-do for corporates, but it’s a business imperative and very much the need of the hour. These remarkable women who have made it to leadership positions have made consistent, small yet extraordinary efforts to get there. Here are some mantras that make a successful woman leader who inspires more to follow suit.

1. Be your own person- It is most important to know who you are & play to your strengths. Women tend to look for validation from external sources more often than is required while most successful leaders operate from a space of authenticity. They listen to the voice within, strengthen it and let it guide them towards success in the external world. This inside-out approach is a powerful one to apply, especially for women. A deep-dive into one’s career and life priorities, core values, strengths and possibilities is required, rather than losing precious time ruminating about how to be liked by others. Find your own balance instead of trying to emulate what others are doing.

2.Choose your battles- Reshma Saujani, founder and CEO of Girls Who Code, said “While girls are taught to play it safe, smile pretty and get all A's, boys are taught to play rough and swing high.” In other words, we're raising our girls to be perfect, and we're raising our boys to be brave," she said in a TED talk. “ Even when women are ambitious, the socialization of perfection often leads them to risk aversion”, Saujani evoked.
There is no greatness in trying to be a superwoman, instead learn to say no. Remember that you can’t do everything and you don’t need to do everything perfectly either. It is more impactful to just get out there, choose what you can do and do it well.

3. Learn to Leverage- A lot of times women find it difficult to ask for help. As a result, they load up more work than their capacity warrants.
Free your bandwidth by making your partner a real partner, dump maternal-gatekeeping and share house hold tasks more openly, assertively and appreciatively. Tread light and rid yourself of the burden of guilt. Only when you have enough support can you brace yourself for the dynamic & demanding world out there. Leverage will reduce your stress, increase your productivity, agility and happiness quotient. As Susan Wojcicki, CEO of YouTube says, "Things are always changing. Part of being successful is being comfortable not knowing what's going to happen." So leverage your support system to keep things organized on the home front so you can be more comfortable operating in chaos at work

4.Get Yourself Noticed- Women are driven by competence. A lot of times they stick their nose to the grind stone and are dead sure that their work will speak for itself. In the process they fail to get their dues as per their passive expectations because of a lack of consistent effort on the marketing front.
There is no point undermining yourself in this way by slogging out and then waiting to get noticed, rather get out there, hustle your way through and network like a bee. Sheryl Sandberg, COO of Facebook rightly said, “Don’t leave before you leave”. Don’t give up before your time, lean in, sit at the table and speak up.

5.Follow a Guru- The guidance of a mentor and sponsor is paramount. Alongside, patching onto a strong support network of other women leaders can play a huge part in keeping an ambitious woman on track towards success.

6.Take risks- Apart from career breaks and family responsibilities, there are a whole list of internal biases and limiting beliefs that keep women from speeding up the corporate ladder. This is a result of our own social conditioning.

Move beyond barriers and constraints and start focusing on the job at hand. If we keep our eyes closed and keep thinking of ‘not getting relegated’, we will only get relegated. Instead, it is time for women to think of how to succeed. Afterall, equality exists when you don’t feel gender at the workplace and a big way to do that is to keep it simple and focus on getting desired results rather than worry in excess about the barriers. As Indrani Nooyi says ‘ Accept that turbulence is here to stay’.