Empowering Women in Leadership

As women, we face unique challenges as leaders, whether we work in the corporate world or as a business owner. There are many aspects of leadership, but the core question is this: As strong and capable women, how can we lead by example?

I must admit, in my early days of my career as a leader, I had a few great mentors who cared about me enough to confront me all about leadership. As leaders, we need to be able to recognize people who are not performing at their greatest level and provide support and feedback to them.

I do believe that some people are born leaders and some learn throughout life to become better leaders.

One of the best lessons I learned was that it is not about me. When I made the transition from valuing myself to valuing my people, I was transformed as a leader. When we learn to turn our focus from ourselves to others, the whole world opens up to us. When you understand this and take the focus away from you, it will change who you are as a leader.

As a woman in leadership here are a few nuggets to develop a more authentic Leadership Style.

Yes; authenticity matters. It’s easy to play the game and pander to what others expect us to be in the workplace. Women who lead by mimicking men reveal a lack of professional identity. Professional confidence is not gender-based; it’s all about authenticity and developing the qualities that resonate with who you are.

First, look to leaders you admire. Observe their traits, how they interact within a team and work under pressure.

Second, stop putting yourself first. Leadership is an exercise in service. If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more, and become more, you are a leader. As a woman, it’s a tricky balance because as a figure of authority, you must often be the deciding voice on things. Instead of focusing on your authority, let’s start from a place of service by giving support, training, encouragement, mentorship, and resources to the team and business.

Third, find and refine the balance between personal and professional. Get to know your team and set clear boundaries and expectations. When you’re working, it’s important to perform to get results. Professional behavior and authenticity have to go hand in hand. Often a casual leadership approach, which women gravitate towards, can easily be sabotaged by overly personal behavior.

Other good leadership qualities, you would usually see factors like integrity, effective communication, influence, respect, power, human influence, kindness, vulnerability, listening, and accountability. These are all wonderful qualities of a leader, but I am going to share something I believe has helped me and made me stand out as a leader — putting my people ahead of myself.

Some last tips:

• Acknowledge and appreciate people. Everyone wants to be valued. It is critical as a leader to give your people credit and recognition for the incredible things they do.

• Know your people. Getting to know them in a more personal way will make them feel valued and increase their respect for you as a leader.

• Empower your people. Everyone wants to be trusted to make decisions. Empower your people to make certain decisions.

Deepti (Dee) Srivastava is a health Insurance broker with Healthcare Solutions Team. Her specialty is Medicare for seniors, group health insurance for small to mid-size companies, travel insurance, short-term disability, life insurance, and long-term care. She is a proud mom, daughter, sister, wife, woman entrepreneur, and so much more. Dee is a participant in the 2018 #AuroraLeadership Academy.

One Response to “Empowering Women in Leadership”

  1. Yolanda Dunn says:

    Great insight Dee! You do a great job of leading by example!