Sheryl Sandberg, COO of Facebook and Founder of Lean In, gave her top three tips for women aiming for leadership roles in her evergreen TED Why We Have Too Few Women Leaders.
Her advice revolved around assertiveness, work-life balance with an equal life partner, and keeping focused and committed to your career instead of subconsciously withdrawing from opportunities in advance of the necessity to do so (to have children, for instance).
Three of our own experts have shared their top tips to enhance your career as a leader.
1. Hone your emotional intelligence
Professor Suzanne Young, Acting Associate Provost of Academic Partnerships and International at La Trobe University gives these tips for women in business:
- Continually work on your emotional intelligence. This is not a static characteristic but can be learnt and improved upon.
- Think strategically. Be proactive rather than reactive and move from detailed cross checking to big picture thinking as you progress in your career.
- Expand your circle of influence through external and internal networks.
2. Lead by doing what you love
Dr Susan Inglis, Honorary Associate at La Trobe Business School, has experienced a career spanning more than 20 years as a management consultant, coupled with extensive postgraduate study in organisational learning, leadership and management.
‘Surround yourself with people who remind you of your strengths,’ says Susan. She offers the following tips for women in leadership roles:
- Don’t be afraid to take up space. You have a unique range of gifts to offer the world, so share those gifts.
- Surround yourself with people who believe in you, support you and remind you of your strengths.
- It’s easier to lead when doing what you love. Reflect on what brings you joy and then go for it – create an opportunity to inspire others.
3. Make complacency your enemy
Dr Geraldine Kennett, Director of La Trobe’s MBA program and Former CEO of the Institute of Public Administration Australia (Victoria), applies both business and collaboration skills as a leader. Her tips for women in leadership are:
- Play to your strengths. Empower yourself by understanding your strengths and using them to overcome your weaknesses.
- Engage others. Seek advice from those senior to you, motivate your peers and coach your staff for success.
- Make complacency your enemy. Apply passion, performance and persistence instead.
Some things to remember on your journey as a leader:
- Know and trust in your knowledge and abilities.
- Look for opportunities to build your self-knowledge, skills and networks.
- Support and motivate your team to reach their potential.
You don’t have to change the world single-handedly, but you can be part of the change. With passion, awareness and a drive to bring your team with you on the journey, there’s no limit to what you can achieve.
Become a business leader. Get there with a La Trobe MBA.