As we celebrate the success of our first Women’s Leadership Programme (WLP) we’re really pleased to see that our delegates have been inspired to get out there and forge ahead with their careers. Since the initiative has proven to be so valuable to the ladies that took part, we thought it’d be a great idea to share some of the lessons learned with you too!
But first, a little bit of background on our unique initiative.
WLP offers aspiring female professionals a unique opportunity to develop their careers within a challenging and supportive environment. Its dual approach sets it apart from other women’s development courses.
How? Well, programme participants are supported by senior sponsors, who usually come from the delegates’ own organisations. The programme, with the help of the sponsors help the women identify and tackle obstacles at work, and influence organisational culture resulting in a workplace that encourages women’s senior careers. This way the programme not only develops participants’ skills, but it also aims to influence their organisations so more women get more opportunities to become effective leaders.
If you’re an ambitious woman with your eye on a top job, read on for some important leadership advice…
1. Be proud of who you are!
WLP aims to encourage delegates to just be their authentic selves as they progress in their careers. Why? Well, if you ‘pretend’ to be someone you’re not to get to the top, you may well end up making decisions that’ll make you and others unhappy. So, ditch the idea of adopting an ‘alpha male’ attitude – instead, be the best version of yourself, and be proud to contribute ideas that come from your experience of being a woman.
2. You control your destiny
Don’t wait for success to knock on your door. Have the self-assurance to push yourself forward instead of expecting someone else to recommend you for that coveted senior position. Plan your future as if it’s absolutely going to happen, and don’t be afraid to remind your employer now and then what you’re capable of. Remember to balance this kind of confidence with sensitivity and intelligence – there’s a difference between genuine self-assurance and arrogance!
3. Sharing with your peers
If you tend to shy away from talking about concerns that are bothering you, you’re not alone. Many women avoid talking about work-related problems with their peers, but by not dealing with their worries, their careers could splutter to a halt. A remedy is to find a mentor to answer your questions and listen to you without judging. This could unlock huge leadership potential in many women who’ve previously been held back by their own fears.
4. Think beyond your boundaries
All of us are creatures of habit: we can fall into using the same old strategies to tackle problems. To improve your chances of a successful career, learn to think beyond your usual approach. What hasn’t worked before? Why? How can you shift your perspective to try something new? Being more resourceful can get you places, and your creativity will get you noticed. After all, it’s very likely that the Hilary Clintons of our world have had to apply out-of-the-ordinary tactics to achieve their vision!
WLP has been developed by both Pure and People & Performance Ltd, and each course is split into two sessions of two days each. To get involved in future programmes, simply get in touch and we’ll tell you everything you need to know. We hope to see you there!
Lynn is a founding Director of Pure and leads Pure Executive with over 25 years recruiting for Executive appointments. Lynn supports East of England-based businesses with senior management and Board level recruitment. Lynn leads the Best Employer Eastern Region Initiative and the Women In Leadership Programme both of which are aimed at helping companies and people to develop.