You've worked your butt off, you've sacrificed. You set your goals, and you achieved them. Now you're the boss. You are the CEO. The woman-in-charge. Welcome to a challenging career in an environment dominated by men who desperately need perspective and leadership from women. What does that leadership look like? Every woman is different, and your style will invariably be your own.
Here are 4 tips for women CEO’s:
1. Know Yourself
Why do you get up in the morning? Why do you get dressed and go to work? Why did you take on the challenge of the position, and what do you hope to accomplish? Are they personal goals you'd like to achieve, or are you trying to improve the world through your work? Knowing your own personal “why” will get you through the toughest challenges ahead. Furthermore, it will inform your decisions moving forward, and give you a reason to celebrate when you start accomplishing those goals.
You didn't get this position without characteristics that set you apart. Is it your determination and tenacity, your negotiation skills, or are you a networking guru with a knack for putting the right people together? Identify your strengths and play to them. Be honest with yourself when assessing your strengths.
Knowing your weaknesses is the best way to surround yourself with the right people. Delegate those tasks you know will be better accomplished by others with the right skill set. Build a base of trusted advisors to pick up the details you're likely to miss. Get a more complete picture with those you are confident can, and will, offer the right recommendations at the right time. Not only will this cover more bases, but it will also free up your time to tackle the next set of challenges waiting in the wings.
2. Be Confident
You made it this far, so why doubt yourself now? Well, it's only natural for the dreaded imposter syndrome to settle in sooner or later. Learn to shrug it off. Push it out. Believe in yourself and your ability. Speak confidently and hold your ground when necessary. Let others know when you do follow a recommendation, it is of sound mind and judgment. You know your strengths. You know your weaknesses. You have your advisors. Use them. Boldly and confidently embody your authority. You. Are. In. Charge.
3. Be Resilient
This isn't a happily ever after fairytale we're playing with here. Achieving the title is only the beginning. There's a lot to do. But you knew that already didn't you? Think of all you want to achieve. Know why you want to achieve them. Know your strengths and weaknesses. Be confident in your ability to get the job done. Now? Keep it up! We all have bad days. We all run into unexpected challenges. There's always that one person in the room trying to make our lives hell. But guess what? You got this. End of story.
Steering the ship with a clear vision, delegating necessary tasks to achieve your goals, and seeking advice from trusted advisors, are all important. All of these are mandatory at your level. And yet there is still more. More to do, more challenges to face, more obstacles to get through and around. You never know who might be waiting in the wings with the right answer at just the right time. This is where your network comes into play. The more people you know, the more people you put together, the more tricks you'll have up your sleeve when the time comes. Gather those contacts and keep an eye on them. Next time you hit a seemingly insurmountable wall, you might just find yourself with some magic in your contacts list.
Embrace the Journey
You know this better than anyone: Being the CEO and the Woman in Charge is not easy. These four tips aren't nearly all there is to know, but they're solid steps to take. Assess. Know yourself and those you trust. Embody your authority and persist. Keep that network growing and perform magic when necessary. No, it's not easy, but you got this. That's why you're the CEO.