There are numerous articles, blogs and books about what successful business women need to do in order to get to the next level. Most have hundreds of pages of text, tips, practices and tools that the author say will help you be successful. However while well intended, we’ve often wondered how much they actually those who aspire to become successful business women.
Following their exercises seems to be like creating a New Year’s resolution that you make on January 1 only to forget before February 1. Change is hard especially when it affects your career, business and life. The more you write down on the list, the less likely successful business women will succeed and the more unfulfilled they may become. We’ve worked with many female leaders over these past 12 years and have found that when it comes to strategies and tips, less is more.
We’ve tried to focus on a small subset of strategies that has the greater potential impact on performance. We’ve found that improvement in a just a few of these will scale up into significant business and professional improvements for successful business women. We’ve validated these strategies in real time and real world settings during our programs, peer groups roundtables and one-to-one coaching sessions.
Our goal is to provide you with a few tips that we’ve seen make dramatic improvements in performance and results. Leveraging any one or two of the following secrets, could make a big impact on your success. They are:
1. Find your right fit instead of fitting in. You can’t compete in a man’s world no matter how hard you try. So why keep trying? The most successful business women are comfortable in their own skin and do not try to be something different. The best fit for you may or may not be where you currently are. Business women need to fit the right place for them as opposed to trying to fit in.
2. Don’t wait for others to let you get there – Successful business women know that they can’t give up control or leave their destiny to others. Despite good intentions, your business and career goals and aspirations are not the highest priorities of others. Why leave this to chance? The goal for successful business women is to self-empower themselves to get through obstacles. Never give up control of this to others. Be proactive in pursuing your goals
3. Continue to grow – Complacency is a recipe for disaster. Too many things are changing at a rapid pace for you to not keep up. It’s the main reason why businesses as well careers start to plateau and then fail. Successful business women should continue to pursue opportunities, jobs, careers and people that can stretch them and encourage their growth
4. Find those people who are most important to your success – Not everyone can help you in the same way or have the impact required to help you push through barriers. It may or may not be your boss. The goal is to identify those key influencers who can help you reach your goals. Then become an advocate for them. The most successfully business women have a group of others that they can count on for help, support and success
5. Get a reality check – Many successful business women are way too hard on themselves. They expect perfection when perfection isn’t required to be successful. Find an impartial advisor, mentor or someone else who can give you honest feedback and put challenges and opportunities in the appropriate light
6. Don’t try to work harder than the men – Just become the best problem solver around. This may require you to work less hard and spend more time thinking about the cause and solution for tough problems. Successful business women have an advantage by using their “women’s intuition” to dig deep, peel the onion and determine how to solve tough challenges. Organizations are desperate for problem solvers so become the one they can’t do without
Trying to do too much is not going to help you join the ranks of successful business women. It’s a much more effective strategy to leverage a few of these secrets and apply them for improved results. We’ve learned this the hard way by conversations with other business women who have read much but achieved little.
Successful business women should focus on a few things that will give them the best opportunity for success
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