Updated: Aug 25
How do you make a difference and become an authentic influential leader others will collaborate with, offer new opportunities, recommend and promote.
Female Leadership was one of the keynote speakers at a diversity event in Oslo, Norway. One of the questions we got here and often get in various events and sessions is: What career advice would you give to a professional woman? Our answer is always the same: Own it and be intentional!
However, we thought it might be helpful to elaborate a bit further and organize our career advice. We have summarized our knowledge and experience into 10 suggestions on how to develop career advancement, growth , feel empowered and becoming an impactful authentic leader others want to collaborate with and is known for significant achievements. We expect that the suggestions below most likely are applicable for all people no matter where they are in their career.
Be yourself: Embracing your authenticity and leading with integrity allows you to establishing yourself as a more daring leader and navigating likability traps. By aligning your actions with your purpose and values, you inspire those around you and stand up for what you believe in. Becoming an authentic leader will help you make a difference.
Lean into your strengths: Invest in your talent and do not aim for average. Knowing, appreciating, and understanding your strengths can help you feel self-assured, create your identity as a leader and a more meaningful and purposeful career path and stronger collaborations. It will give you a chance to develop your talents and become skillful in what matters most to you. It is an opportunity for self-reflection, self-development and self-compassion. Keep investing in your potential and development. Be intentional and own your career: Take control of your career path and don't let others limit your potential. Make deliberate choices aligned with your goals and limit tasks that do not contribute to your growth or are undervalued. Don't aim for perfection sometimes average is good enough. Set boundaries, especially regarding office housework, and focus on what matters most for yourself. Own it!
Be influential: Focus on what you can control and create a safe space for yourself and others. Avoid dwelling on factors outside your influence and instead channel your energy towards making a positive impact. Embracing a growth mindset, being curious and keep seeking new opportunities to learn and expand your skill set and knowledge will enable you to contribute, stay relevant and pursue new task, goals or roles. Be your best self.
Be an inclusive leader: Show leadership based on equity and facilitate a psychological safe culture for all you collaborate with. Make others feel included, appreciated, and make it safe to fail and speak up. By fostering inclusivity, appreciation, and psychological safety, you encourage collaboration, innovation, and growth. Be curious and listen.
Be kind and show gratitude: Cultivate a giving mentality with healthy boundaries and treat others with kindness and practice gratitude. Building trust through your actions is essential for establishing a reputation as a reliable and trustworthy individual. People always remember how you made them feel. Those you helped will always be eager to help you later in your career. Acts of kindness increase your wellbeing and always comes back. Remember to always be kind to yourself as well, nobody is perfect. Learn from you failures and move on. Stop overthinking.
Take care of your well-being and thrive: Prioritize self-care and make time for what matters the most to you. Set healthy boundaries and respect them – these should not be negotiable. Your wellbeing, happiness and needs must be a priority.
Find a sponsor, mentor, or coach: Seek out allies who can support your growth and advocate for you in a room of power. Surround yourself with individuals who believe in your potential, acknowledge your achievements, and can provide guidance and feedback. A strong support system will provide valuable insights, development and new opportunities.
Network strategically: Actively expand your network within and outside your organization and across all levels. Participate in various events and reach out to role models. Collaborate across silos and demonstrate competence, compassion and co-creation of solutions and products. Help others and build mutually beneficial relationships. By fostering connections and being open to collaboration, you create opportunities for personal and professional growth and friendship that will be beneficial now and in the future.
Seek help at home: Recognize the importance of managing your personal life effectively. Seek assistance and support systems that allow you to maintain a healthy career and private life. Finding harmony between your professional and personal responsibilities is crucial for long-term success and wellbeing.
Furthermore, the rapidly evolving landscape with AI solutions and robots like ChatGPT will transform the way we work. As AI technology continues to advance, it's crucial for individuals to consider their future relevance and the services they can provide. While it's true that certain tasks and services may be automated or taken over by robots, there are still several areas where human expertise and skills remain invaluable. By focusing on your strengths, embracing adaptability, and continuously learning, you can position yourself to thrive in this AI and robotic transforming landscape.
Written by Charlotte Søndergaard