Recently, I read an inspiring article based on an analysis by Fortune Magazine which revealed that on average, Fortune 1000 companies with female CEOS actually earn higher returns on their stock compared to those with male CEOs. The study revealed what many savvy female entrepreneurs have proven over the past couple of decades in business: women are excellent leaders and entrepreneurs.
With the number of successful startups run by women cropping up and more companies looking to diversify boardrooms, it is clear that women are naturally better wired to be leaders and to deliver both tangible advantages in business.
Wondering how you can become a great leader? Here are five leadership lessons from successful women leaders who have left a mark in history for their success in business. They helped me successfully start a successful online business and I believe they will inspire you to do great things as well.
- Clear Communication is Critical
After working for renowned brands and personalities including Starbucks and Magic Johnson, the AMC’s VP of Special and Alternative Content Nikkole Denson-Randolph professes that the most important lesson her previous positions taught her is that communication is a critical aspect of successfully leading a team.
“To be an exceptional leader, you must be approachable,” she says. “You must be welcoming and ready to address any issue that any of your team member may have. More importantly, you must paint a clear picture of the message in the appropriate context to prevent confusion and unwelcome surprises.”
Communication is only effective when it is two-way. This means that as a leader, you must encourage the team to communicate clearly with you and amongst each other, not just you to them. There must also be a consistency between your words and your actions.
- Put your People Ahead of Yourself
Cindy Gallop, the founder of Make Love, IfWeRanTheWorld, and Not Porn is a trailblazer for women who are looking to launch game-changing startup or run large scale enterprises. The best advice she has for young women entrepreneurs is that nothing beats investing time and resources to find and hire the best people for tasks at hand.
“Find the very best talent, inspire them to wholeheartedly join the team, and compel them with a vision of what you expect them to achieve for your business,” she wrote on her blog. “More importantly, as a leader, you must learn to free your talented members and empower them to meet project goals using their skills and techniques.”
John Maxwell is famed for his leadership quote: “Leaders become great, not because of their power, but because of their ability to empower others.”
- Make Timely and Informed Decisions
The secret to effective delegation is empowering your team members to make decisions and act on them even in your absence. Nicole Munoz, the founder of Start Ranking Now http://www.startrankingnow.com/ says that one of the biggest obstacles every female leader must overcome is the risk of becoming a micromanager.
To become a great young leader, you must be able to make informed decisions under stressful circumstances and see them through with action. When you can demonstrate how to make decisions quickly, you empower your team members to make decisions too and this will be highly rewarding to business.
- Don’t Neglect Culture and Team Spirit
As a leader, the best way to make your team more committed and productive is to nurture the spirit of oneness and belonging and by cultivating the culture of gratitude, collaboration, appreciation, and transparency. Jill Salzman, the founder of The Founding Moms, founded an entire business on the culture of being a mom and it is now a thriving business.
While she didn’t know how to run even a small business when she started, she says that all her employees now feel like a family to her and they are a part of the company because they want to, not because they want to.
- Be Present and Lead by Example
In the world of business, being a leader means your actions set the tone of the whole organization. Your team will look to your actions for baseline expectations. Ania Rodriguez, the founder of Key Lime Interactive says that learning to set an example for your team is possibly one of the greatest assets a woman leader can have aside from being present. Being present not only motivates the team members, it is also a great way to avoid delays and mistakes occasioned by confusion and uncertainty.
While there are still so many women struggling to cement their roles as leaders while managing social complexities of the commercial world, stereotype hindrances, and lack of opportunities, however, today, the world is starting to become more balanced and we, the women entrepreneurs of the world, are set to take it over as leaders.
Uyo Okebie-Eichelberger, Serial Entrepreneur, Wife, Mom and Duke MBA, has successfully built a seven-figure empire in the maternity industry with You! Lingerie and Preggo Leggings, two leading designer brands of chic maternity/nursing intimates and apparel cleverly made for fashionista moms.
The former Kraft Brand Manager and her brands have been featured in several publications and TV shows like The New York Times, Glamour Magazine, Cosmopolitan, The Huffington Post, CNBC, The Today Show, E! News, OMG!, The Daily News UK, Pregnancy & Newborn, American Baby and Fit Pregnancy.
Currently, Uyo Okebie-Eichelberger’s brands are sold online and in over 120 stores in North America, South America, Europe, Australia, Asia and Africa. Uyo Okebie-Eichelberger recently partnered the world’s largest retailer, Walmart.com to launch an exclusive line of maternity/nursing lingerie called Love Xoxo by You! Lingerie.
She shares business tips on her blog: www.UyoOkebieEichelberger.com
Follow her social media pages on Twitter: @UyoEichelberger and Instagram: @Uyo