Last year I wrote From Barbells to Boardrooms: Career Advice from Women Who Influenced Me. In the article I listed all my top female influencers and it was something that was very near and dear to my heart. Well, it's that time of year again, the Third Annual Women Who Influence Event and Luncheon is taking place and I couldn't be more excited!
Needless to say, I've been thinking about women in business and strong, powerful and motivational are words that come to mind. To shake things up a bit, I thought we could dedicate this article about women in the workforce, and go over some tips and traits that successful women have. I am truly honoured to say, this past year I was awarded the IHRSA Women Leader Award in Honor of Julie Main.
I've had the privilege of working with motivational women for years and being included in this category is truly humbling. Being a career woman myself I often am asked the secrets to success. There's a lot of contributing factors to creating your own success but below I've listed five common traits that seem to be a contributing factor in the powerhouse women I admire.
Five Traits for Success:
Having confidence in yourself and truly believing if you set your mind to something that you can and will accomplish it is half the battle of achieving anything. I believe, for most people, it's a normal thing to have some self-doubt - it's human nature. However, it's how you handle that self-doubt that is either going to make or break you. If you choose to push through any ill feelings you're having toward yourself and over-come the little voices in your head that are telling you no, you will succeed.
As the saying goes, 'you can do anything you set your mind to.' Successful women, or people for that matter, first believe they can do it and then they do.
Motivation is the desire to do things. You have to want to accomplish something and you have to set your mind to it. It's about figuring out what you want, figuring out what's important to you and having the desire to get it done. It doesn't always mean it's easy but all the women I know who have become wildly successful have leaps and bounds of motivation. They don't take no for an answer. When things get difficult, they power through and make things happen - that's what motivation is about.
In my research I found that there are three emotional aspects of motivation. One of the strongest predictors of whether you will meet a goal are your 'motives.' Things that subconsciously drive your behaviour. Most people will identify will one motive more than the others. The key is to find out what motive fuels you and use it to your advantage!
The three most common motives:
• Power - You achieve gratification from having an influence on others. You enjoy competition and recognition.
• Affiliation - You achieve gratification by belonging to a group and favour collaboration.
• Achievement - You achieve gratification by setting and accomplishing challenging goals.
The most successful leaders in business today seek out mentorship or serve as mentors for others. I firmly believe that having mentors in your life is critically important and I also believe that 'paying it forward' as a mentor for others is as important. Mentors are all around you--those successful individuals who have the experience and who love to teach and share (or lend) their insights and advice to you are potential mentors. Seek them out and learn from their actions. If these people are in your local network invite them to have a coffee and ask to 'pick their brain.'
4. Managing your bad days
Managing your bad days ties in with confidence and self-esteem. To be blunt, there will be days, no matter who you are, that will not be easy. You will find them difficult, you will want to quit and you will feel beyond frustrated. You are not alone. At one time or another, everyone feels this way. We have to manage these days, you chalk it up to a bad day and you move forward. Maybe you let the voices telling you that you can't get the best of you. You take a break, you change your state to manage your stress, you relax and you move forward.
Learn how to cope with stress. For me, I turn to exercise. Nothing makes me feel better physically, mentally and emotionally than hitting the gym or going for a run. It releases endorphins and my stress doesn't seem so unmanageable after a hard workout. Move, sweat it out, or find what works best to help you cope with your stress!
5. Personal Development
Personal Development and being open to learn new things is vitally important. No matter how successful one becomes there is always something new to learn. Learn from those around you, learn by going to events or learn from mastering by a new skill. There is always something we can work on and it is a continuing cycle.
One of my favourite quotes comes from someone who inspires me, Jim Rohn. He says, "For things to change you must change. For things to get better you must get better." Always try and better yourself and remember, knowledge is power.
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