Today, being a female leader in business is becoming more and more the norm. Indeed, the playing field is rapidly being leveled out as people are valuing the skills, approaches and abilities of people irrespective of gender, race or sexual orientation.
This means, that in today’s world to be a female leader in business you simply need to develop your leadership and communication skills to enable you to be the best leader you can be.
Acquire the Best Talent
It’s important you don’t try to do everything on your own. The best leaders understand the importance of delegation and apply this principle to their business in order to get the most efficient outcomes for themselves, their team, and their clients.
A huge part of business success comes down to scouting the right talent and being supported by a fantastic team, both inside your business and outside, with the use of freelancers, consultants and external specialists.
The Difference Between Being a Leader vs. a Manager
There’s also a significant difference between being a “manager” and a leader. A manager is there to manage tasks, make sure things get done, and that people are doing things in the right way. A leader, on the other hand, is there to direct and inspire, to motivate and create a vision for people to get behind.
Yes, a part of leadership does involve managing people, but what a lot of people that come from a corporate background fail to understand when they are starting their own creative businesses, is that leadership is not just management – it’s about leading your team like how a general leads his army to war or how a pirate leads his crew to faraway shores in search of treasure.
The ability to manage others is an incredibly important skill that all female entrepreneurs should endeavor to master, yet leadership is multifaceted and often requires more than people think.
The Two Archetypes of Leadership
The main difference between a manager and a leader, as stated above is that a manager manages whereas a leader leads – this means a leader must inspire, direct and empower her team whilst at the same time being mindful of business processes, and a variety of aspects of her business, from accounting to legal aspects… and in this process, she often finds herself feeling completely overwhelmed and falling into one of two categories:
A) The Friend
B) The Boss
The Friend is the person that tries a little too hard to inspire her team and get everyone on board, to the point that she often finds herself neglecting the business basics required for profitability and is motivated more by being everyone’s friend and a nice person to work for.
She cares about the company’s character and work environment to such an extent that she is too warm for her own good and the business suffers as a result.
The Boss, on the other hand is stern and cold to the point that she is so focused on the bottom line that her people skills go out the window. She becomes perceived more as a dictator than a respected leader, and as a result the authentic support of her team dwindles to the point she has to crack the whip in order for people to get anything done.
The Power of Outsourcing
Life can be stressful as a female entrepreneur, and when leading a business with staff, the headaches multiply, which is why it pays to work with other organizations to help support you, for instance the Ogletree Deakins Women solicitors can provide an empathetic and supportive approach to managing labour and employment law issues, as they understand the unique struggles of female leaders in today’s climate and can advise accordingly.
The point being that when the world feels like it’s on your shoulders as a business leader, it’s usually because it is, and it’s necessary to outsource certain tasks and responsibilities to those outside your company in order to develop a support network of reliable partners you can count on.
In summary, being a female business leader is not an easy task. In fact, it’s probably one of the hardest and most risky things you can do, as there are so many different aspects of managing a business and leading your team that it can make your head spin.
The key point to remember is that leadership is not something some people were born with and others were born without – it’s a learnable skill that you can master, but master it you must, as without effective leadership and communication skills your business and your life is going to be an uphill struggle.