When it comes to female CEOs and leaders, there are still a lot of stereotypes in the business world. Although women tend to perform better than their male counterparts, in terms of ‘potential’, they suffer lower ratings.
People make decisions based on stereotypes, and this is holding qualified women at a significant disadvantage compared to male CEOs. Apparently, these differences are most obvious at the top-level leadership positions where even the slightest fluctuations in work hours and commitment face scrutiny and affect results.
The main reason is that women tend to dedicate more time to home and children than men. However, even if that’s the case, this raises questions about whether female top performers suffer discrimination because of who they are. In fact, women are more ambitious to meet workplace standards and more capable to cope with crisis than men (despite their other commitments at home).
Female leaders thrive at institutions where the assessment of their performance is objective. For example, at school or at university, there are clear KPIs that show up who is better committed to the work at hand. However, while in academic settings women are praised for completing tasks and projects, men tend to be prompted more to shine with skills like independent thinking and leadership.
In this article, we will attempt to help female CEOs stay on top of their game despite the disparities between genders that are still apparent in 2022. So, here are XX tips to keep in mind as a woman and a leader.
Accept Your Mistakes
According to Bumble founder Whitney Wolfe Herd, failure can be a huge propeller to success if you accept it as a good thing rather than a mistake. Every time something does not go as planned, take it as a lesson about similar future situations. This way, you can turn failures into opportunities.
Listen To Your Team
It is not always easy to admit that there may be a better way to do a task than the way you suggest. Neither when someone directs your attention to an important detail you have neglected.
Faced with a lot of misconceptions, female CEOs often feel attacked and vulnerable when facing different opinions than their own perspective. However, the worst you can do is automatically turn on your defense mode.
Mind you, your subordinates know their daily responsibilities in-depth so they may be able to give you surprising solutions that you were just too busy to see.
Don’t Be Afraid to Ask for Help
There is no shame in admitting that you need help to complete a project or achieve a goal. In fact, asking for assistance shows strength and ability to plan ahead.
Create a healthy working environment in which everyone feels comfortable enough to lend a helping hand when needed and contribute ideas. Employees who feel appreciated are more likely to go the extra mile for the common good of your business.
In a study by the Harvard Business Review, it was found that people perceive female leaders as more agreeable than men. This can be a double-edged sword because being too nice can make you seem weak and indecisive.
Of course, there is nothing wrong with being polite and compassionate. However, learn to say ‘no’ and be assertive when it is needed.
Do Not Try to Please Everyone
In general, people tend to be more agreeable with those who share their views. This means that if you make an effort to please everyone, you will end up pleasing no one.
It is better to be clear about your ideas and what you expect from your team. If someone does not share your vision, it is probably best to find a solution that works for both of you instead of forcing them to comply.
Be Confident in Your Abilities
One of the most important traits of any leader is confidence. After all, people are more likely to follow someone who is sure of themselves and their abilities.
If you are a female CEO and face a lot of scrutiny from society and certain colleagues, it is easy to let this dishearten you. However, if you do not believe in your own skills, it will be difficult to convince others to do the same. So, learn to accept compliments and use them as motivation to keep pushing yourself forward.
Don’t Be Afraid to Take Risks
In order to achieve great things, you have to be willing to take risks. After all, the biggest rewards always come with the highest risks.
This surely does not mean that you should blindly jump into every opportunity that comes your way. Just the opposite – carefully consider each decision and weigh the pros and cons before taking any actions.
Also, keep in mind that if you always play it safe, you will never know what you are truly capable of.
Set Your Priorities and Stick to Them
As a CEO, you will have to juggle a lot of different responsibilities. It is important to set your priorities and stick to them in order to avoid getting overwhelmed.
However, this doesn’t mean that you should never deviate from your plan. If you always keep your goals in mind, it will be easier to make the necessary adjustments along the way. There will be times when unforeseen circumstances require you to change your course of action.
Be Prepared to Face Challenges
Sometimes things in business do not go as planned. This is inevitable no matter how well you prepare or how talented you and your team may be.
How you deal with the challenges, is what matters the most. Do you give up easily or do you find a way to overcome them?
The ability to face setbacks and continue moving forward is what separates successful leaders from the rest.
A good leader should be able to make decisions quickly and confidently. This does not mean that you should never second-guess yourself.
However, you should learn to trust your instincts and make decisions based on logic rather than emotion.
Of course, you may feel the need to consult with others before making a final decision, and that’s OK. However, you should always be prepared to take full responsibility for the actions that you and your team take.
No matter how well you plan, there will always be unexpected challenges and obstacles along the way. This is why it is important to be flexible and adaptable.
The ability to change your plans on the fly is what separates successful leaders from the rest.
This does not mean that you should never stick to your guns. There will be times when it is necessary to stand your ground and defend your convictions.
However, you should always be open to new ideas and willing to change your plans if it means achieving a better result.
Know your strengths and weaknesses
It is crucial for you to be aware of your own strengths and weaknesses.
So, as mentioned above, delegate tasks that are outside of your area of expertise. This will allow you to focus on the things that you are good at and leave the rest to someone who is better suited for the task.
You should also be willing to learn new things and step outside of your comfort zone. However, you should always delegate tasks that are outside of your area of expertise.
This will allow you to focus on the things that you are good at and leave the rest to someone who is better suited for the task.
Be Passionate about What You Do
If you want to be a successful female CEO, you need to be passionate about what you do. After all, your team will only be as motivated as you are.
Of course, this does not mean that you should never take a break or take some time for yourself. However, you should always be striving to improve and reach new heights.
Passion is what drives successful leaders to achieve great things. If you want to be a successful CEO, you need to find something that you are passionate about and never give up on your dreams.
As a female CEO, you will have to juggle a lot of different responsibilities (even to a bigger extent than your male counterparts on some occasions). This is why it is important to stay organized.
However, it’s normal to deviate from your plan if necessary. Remember, always keep your goals in mind, it will be easier to make the necessary adjustments along the way.
These are just a few pieces of advice that we hope will help you as you continue on your journey to the top. We highly recommend joining CEO Hangout, an online community where female CEOs can exchange business advice and support one another. The community is filled with experienced professionals who are more than happy to share their knowledge and offer guidance. You never know who you might meet or what opportunities may arise, so don’t be afraid to take risks and put yourself out there.
Remember, it’s always important to stay confident in your abilities and remember that you have what it takes to succeed. Good luck!