I recently attended the Colorado Marketing Summit, and I was drawn to a panel about female leadership. From my perspective, the conversation filtered into three categories: must-dos for female leaders within companies, general office culture observations and good reminders for anyone looking to grow in the workforce.
While I left with dozens of thought-starters, here are four of the reminders that stuck with me. These may be new to you, or maybe you’ve heard them many times. Nonetheless, they’re all important:
- Complement leaders. Some may argue imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, but instead of copying traits of leaders in your organization, look for ways to complement their strengths. It’ll make you a more powerful team in the long run, and there’s no need to lose what makes your own leadership style special.
- Make yourself relevant. No matter your strengths, whether you’re more creative or analytical, show your skills and where you exceed. When others see the talent, you’ll prove yourself valuable and find a seat at the table.
- Be okay with not knowing. In many workplaces, there’s a pressure to know the answer to everything and a temptation to answer every question on the spot. As you find yourself in a leadership position, you’re less involved in specific projects, but tasked with overseeing a broader range of programs. And guess what? It’s okay if you don’t know everything when asked a question. Let people know that, but don’t stop there. Develop relationships internally, find your answers, and circle back with a resolution.
- Act with confidence. As a leader, you need to make decisions and commit. Having the confidence to do so will allow teammates to rally behind you. This can be demonstrated in big or small ways, whether it’s choosing to embark on an industry-leading program or removing qualifiers from language used in emails, such as, “I’m not an expert, but…” If you’ve worked hard and have the research to back it up, trust yourself.
Plenty more could be added to this list but keeping these four ideas top of mind is a good place to start. What else has helped you grow?