Women’s History Month is in March every year; a celebration of bold, trailblazing women throughout history honoring the contributions they made that paved the way for others to follow in their footsteps. However, as March comes and goes, so does the end of this month-long event, leaving many female entrepreneurs wondering how they can continue to inspire as leaders in the workplace and support one another throughout the year without losing their zeal or tiring out.
The answer is all in your mindset. Instead of pushing yourself to cram tons of boss behavior into your routine 24/7, focus instead on simple ways you can enhance your natural abilities as a leader each day. Here are four of my favorite tips that anyone, regardless of where they’re at in their career, can begin using now to empower their sense of self and those around them.
Great leaders are the ones who take the time to listen to everyone they encounter. Put your to-do list on pause and meet up with your team members for open discussions.
Listen to what they have to say about everything from their workload to their future within the company. Encourage feedback from your customers and listen to their opinions on how you can improve their overall experience. When meeting up with potential partners, listen to their thoughts on the strategic partnership they envision that can benefit both parties. Take the time to listen to your family and friends too, as they often present ideas and approaches you might not have considered otherwise. By listening, you’re able to focus on the needs of others first and will become a much better communicator because of it.
Why is it that our first inclination, when presented with an idea that is not ours or immediately aligns with our ideals, is to feel compelled to dismiss it? Rather than shut down unusual feedback, take the time to explore it first. See if there is a way to integrate the approach at the workplace and how it may be able to benefit everyone involved. If it just doesn’t work, then it doesn’t work — and it’s on to the next plan of action. Give any and every idea that comes your way a fair shot.
Nobody ever forgets what it’s like to have a horrible supervisor and how much their lack of leadership ultimately affects your productivity and well-being. Entrepreneurs have the power to be the boss they want to see in the world and this means leading by example as well as taking the time to check-in with your team.
One of the best ways you can do this is by rolling up your sleeves and getting down to business alongside your team members — every single day. Be willing to get the job done with a positive, can-do attitude that will reflect off of you and onto your team as well as the business itself. Beyond just getting the job done, it also shows that you value the importance of teamwork as well as working hard on your own to help the business grow and expand in the long run.
When you lead by example, everyone grows and benefits from it. Your team delivers on their best work and feels inspired along the way and as their leader; you can show them how passionate you are about what they’re doing. (Our favorite pro tip is to thank your team as much as possible for all that they have accomplished so far.)
What’s the real secret to empowering your team and establishing your work/life balance? It’s all in taking a break! Juggling all of these responsibilities is no easy feat which is why it’s important to schedule stopping breaks in between.
Beyond just resting up and recharging, make sure that you’re nourishing your mind, body, and soul. Take the time to eat right and exercise to stay healthy and in shape and unplug from the world by meditating or journaling.
While it’s true that work never stops and is always on your mind when you run a business, it’s also key to not get so swept up in it that you’re unable to inspire those around you. Work hard, play hard, and empower harder by celebrating all that you have accomplished now and all that’s to come each day.
Deborah Sweeney is the CEO of MyCorporation.com. MyCorporation is a leader in online legal filing services for entrepreneurs and businesses, providing start-up bundles that include corporation and LLC formation, registered agent, DBA, and trademark & copyright filing services. MyCorporation does all the work, making the business formation and maintenance quick and painless, so business owners can focus on what they do best. Follow her on Google+ and on Twitter @mycorporation.