Leverage inherent skills to succeed

Supriya : The elephant in the room for most women both as leaders and entrepreneurs is the work / family barrier. What is your take on this?

Sailaja : I agree partly that this is significant. Since women have the default nurturer/ caregiver role - it eats up time, aspirations and energy. The other aspect is overall social conditioning which seems to drain womens capacity to dream and aspire for herself. This is a personal barrier arising from social conditioning related to gender.

Su : Women are biologically designed to be nurturers and builders. Do entrepreneurs/ leaders leverage this inherent strength?

S : I do think I see increasingly women leaders recognizing this as a strength and using it to create their own brand of leading. They use it well in collaborative projects, growing teams through coaching and mentoring as well as creating an open communicative team culture. I wish to see more emerging women leaders to also see this as a valuable asset and use it.

Su : Mobility and Time management are essential skills for an entrepreneur. How can women - despite their challenges in this front - still succeed?

S : This is best achieved by learning to be clear of your focus areas in life and career. We are finite and so is our time. Without focus we can be pulled in too many directions which in the end leaves us exhausted. Design family and social commitments to suit your focus. I believe dropping our ideas of perfection in every personal role is a good start.

Su: What are top mindset barriers for women entrepreneurs/ leaders? What of it is internal? And what of it is systemic?

S : Internal barriers are self doubt and the inner critic as well as overall lack of acknowledging one’s strength and brand and playing to those strengths. When leaders can get sharper on what kind of offers of value they are making to their leaders, organisation and their clients. Systemically I think women need to jump into the value game. I also think an attitude focussed on collaboration would help move into the system rather than mind what is on their plate only! Lastly, coming out to be an advocate of breaking barriers and challenging unconscious bias in every way possible and an attention to building allies in their male colleagues will also create a systemic change needed.

Su: How can we see the transformation of mindsets in a small time-frame, in a format like an acceleration or an incubation program where the focus is also on business skills?

S : Incubation and acceleration programs are a big need. My own acceleration program Power up for senior women leaders has been a phenomenal experience for the cohort of 2021. Each leader has created enviable outcomes and are surging ahead with strength. I think organisations need to in a much bigger way focus on these acceleration programs as the pipeline for senior women leaders in all industries is just a trickle. I am a big supporter of a deep dive program which provides coaching rather than just skill based training. Mindset change is not trivial and needs herculean effort.

Sailaja Manacha is a Women's Leadership Coach, C-Suite Executive Coach, Psychologist, Psychotherapist and #1 Amazon Bestselling Author of Step Up You can meet her here.

This article was originally published by Supriya Panchangam on Linkedin. https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/leverage-inherent-skills-succeed-supriya-panchangam-she-her-/

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