When it comes to leadership, there’s no clear-cut ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ style. There are many different approaches to leading a company, which oftentimes depend on the company’s culture, its financial stability, and any number of internal and external circumstances. With female CEOs like Marissa Mayer and Sheryl Sandberg making headline news for certain leadership styles (and who are oftentimes faced by backlash from other women and critics), it’s hard to know what style would work best for your company.
Inc. magazine features two stories about what factors contribute to successful leadership by female executives and entrepreneurs (and which can be applied to any successful leader male or female)!
Don’t try to lead like a man
It’s not to say that male leaders cannot be successful leaders—they absolutely can and they absolutely are. But women have some natural instincts and mannerisms that help to make them effective in a leadership role, such as focusing on people (rather than just on the numbers) and tend to be a bit more empathetic.
Personality traits that make for successful leaders include collaboration, inclusion and consultation—successful women leaders strategically use these qualities when building successful companies.
Secrets of successful leaders
There are several things that you can do to become a leader who listens and excels, including some of the following:
- Owning your own destiny: define success in your own terms (it doesn’t necessarily generating $1M in revenue after several years—or ever) and create your own metrics and measurements of success (but be sure to hold yourself accountable)
- Learn the business’s finances: not only is it important to know your industry inside and out, but it’s also very important to be able to talk about the industry and your specific business in terms of financials—learn the numbers and be ready to talk about them at all times
- Build an exception team: hire people who you can work with that can handle an entrepreneurial, ever-changing environment; start-ups function much differently than larger, well-established corporations—it’s important that your employees are able to adapt to new situations, think creatively/critically, can appreciate risk-taking behavior, and be comfortable working in an entrepreneurial environment
Becoming a better leader
In order to put your knowledge to the test and become the strongest leader you can be, it’s important to follow these steps on the path along your entrepreneurial journey: establish a tangible vision (be realistic and create metrics to measure growth); put others before yourself; and talk to your customers and employees (and really listen to what they’re saying).
What are some of the most important qualities do you see in a successful leader?
To read more about the strengths of women leaders, please visit the following:
Thanks for reading, and until next time… stay WISE!