Tuesday, December 1, 2015

12 things Successful Women do differently*

Casually surfing, I found this article by Emma Gray - Senior Editor of HuffPost Women. I decided to share an abridged version of it in 2 posts - and my comments will be in purple. I believe that they are tips that we can use as we build our plans for Leaping in the Leap Year ahead... 

1. They are deeply passionate about what they do.
"Without passion, all the skill in the world won't lift you above craft," wrote dancer Twyla Tharp in her book, The Creative Habit. If you don't love what you do, you're probably not going to be motivated to go above and beyond, to innovate and to stand out in the workplace. But if you're passionate about your career, it will make putting time and effort into it pleasurable, not a chore.

2. They don't expect perfection - of themselves or those around them.
Research has shown that wasting time and energy trying to be "perfect" only leads to unhappiness. Successful women know that that they can't do everything well all the time. Beating yourself up for your perceived flaws will only dampen your abilities at work, not to mention your mental health. "We each, if we're lucky, will have our chance to leave a mark on the world, but we are trying too hard to be perfect," wrote Barnard president Debora Spar in an op-ed for Glamour magazine. "So don't emulate Wonder Woman; think about what's wonderful to you instead. Then boldly, audaciously, joyfully, leave the rest behind."

3. Often, they become the boss.
Many successful women have figured out that if you're the boss, you can set your own rules. As editor-in-chief of Cosmopolitan Joanna Coles said at the Third Metric Conference in June: "The higher you go in a corporation, the easier it is ... The truth is you get more control." And when you're in control, you have the ability to create a more sane, happy and balanced workplace for yourself and your employees. EW: If you ask me, I prefer the word "Leader." Leaders inspire while bosses instruct.
We should aim to inspire & empower more people.

4. They marry well -- or not at all.
Successful women know the value of a true partnership. As Sheryl Sandberg observed in Lean In: "I don’t know of a single woman in a leadership position whose life partner is not fully - and I mean fully - supportive of her career." And many successful women forgo marriage all together. Despite not being wed, women like Oprah Winfrey, Condoleeza Rice and Diane Keaton seem to be doing just fine. EW: Indra Nooyi (PepsiCola CEO) who I wrote about** attributes her success to her husband. For any married woman to be successful, she needs a (very) supportive husband. Having said that no woman should hold up her aspirations and drive to success because she's not (yet) married.

5. They believe that they will be successful.
Not to go all "If you build it, he will come," on you, but believing in your own success - no matter how crazy your idea might seem - is integral to achieving it. Kay Koplovitz, founder of the USA Network, echoed this sentiment in a July interview. "You have to be comfortable that you can think your way through and actually execute your way through to the desired outcome," she said. "I expected to be successful." Bottom line? Confidence - and faith in yourself - is key.

6. They're not afraid to take risks.
Sheryl Sandberg says that all women should ask themselves the question: "What would you do if you weren't afraid?" Affecting change - in your career and beyond - requires the ability to stop playing it safe every once in awhile. Successful women don't make reckless decisions, but they do know how to take a calculated risk. Sandberg took her own advice, and wrote the bestseller, Lean In.

* http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/08/26/things-successful-women-do-differently_n_3787406.html
** http://empowered-women-excel.blogspot.com/2014/06/behind-every-successful-woman.html

Can you?

That is a question that comes up now and again...as leaders we need to help those around us give the right answer.