Being a female leader today is fraught with many pitfalls, challenges, and balancing acts! But it’s always been that way for us, right?
I mean, there is nothing new about women in leadership being expected to balance motherhood, marriage, and business like a superwoman!
But the truth is, there has never been a better time for us as women in business to step up and claim our titles as super leaders! We have more opportunities, choices, and platforms to speak our truth and share our worth with the world than ever before.
Because, thanks to technology, leadership today has no boundaries! We can hold conferences, board meetings, webinars, public events, run businesses, lead teams, and organisations all while balancing motherhood, and marriage right from our lounge rooms!
We can also build powerful brands and reputations as leaders in our field by merely having the courage, creativity, and confidence to put ourselves out there in the ‘virtual world’ to make our mark and turn our dreams into reality.
The truth is, access to the global business world is now just a mouse click away.
So what’s stopping you from becoming the leader you want to be?
Sounds too easy, right? Well, hell, no! I hear you! It’s still tough out there!
There may be more accessibility, connectivity, and diversity in the way we do business today, but that doesn’t mean we have it all sussed as female leaders!
The new sense of freedom and flexibility available for women working from home is great, but with that comes a whole new generation of problems and struggles that we must all face as female leaders in this new super-connected world if we want to remain relevant, remarkable… and sane!
As female leaders today, we need to chart a new course—to become trailblazers instead of followers, be wives, mothers, daughters, and more courageous entrepreneurial women.
It’s time to shy away from the traditional way of balancing a business, family, and leading teams to do it on your own terms, and step up as a more creative, determined, and digitally savvy leading lady.
Challenges Women Leaders Face In The New Digital Age
1. Adapting To The Changing Times
Now more than ever, we have experienced a drastic change in the way we live and work.
Face-to-face meetings have now turned to video conferences, the traditional office work has now been replaced by a regular work from home setup.
The physical borders between office and home life have now been blurred, resulting in a more flexible work-life environment and a big shift in how we lead, communicate and do business.
As female leaders, we can now more readily build for the best of both worlds. And, attaining that healthy work-life balance we’ve always craved is now much easier… or is it?
Sure, you have more freedom to balance home life with business life, but it can also present a ‘discipline dilemma’ if you’re not conditioned to working solo.
So, to thrive in this new playing field requires extra focus and creativity to effectively lead yourself as much as others from a remote work setup.
The other major shift is in how we build relationships and nurture them.
Many of my top female executive coaching clients have found that the lack of traditional office banter, accessibility to quick conversations on the run and face-to-face group meetings can also lead to a breakdown of relationships and deeper personal connections.
Growing a network of key stakeholders or people of influence is more difficult as most professionals don’t tend to use zoom or conference calling for social chats. So, the traditional, “let’s go for a coffee” to catch up is becoming a rare treat for most professionals today.
So what’s the answer?
Today, as female leaders, we must be thinking of new ways to create, connect and push society forward.
We must learn to be super connectors by embracing the latest digital communications platforms and to better shape the way we network and nurture stronger and lasting relationships.
2. Taking Risks
Risk-taking is not traditionally considered a strong female leadership trait, but this is definitely an outdated mindset in today’s times of uncertainty.
Today, as female leaders, we must not let any gender stereotype hold us back!
Because here’s the simple truth…
Male or female, risk-taking is part of the leadership landscape, and you must be ready with a vision and an alternate pathway to success despite uncertainty.
Today, people, businesses, and organizations are all looking for those people who are change agents and have a desire to advance culture and create new realities. And that means, risk-taking!
As a female business coach, I have learned that the number one thing that holds women back from taking risks is their lack of confidence.
Most women in business have years of experience, expertise, and competence in their field, but just lack the self-belief and clarity to make the bold moves they need to make their mark and reach their full potential.
If you want to make an impact as a more empowered female leader in your field today, be willing to set the trends rather than follow them, create opportunities rather than chase them, and lean into your fear rather than run from it.
3. Finding Your Voice And Speaking Up
As women, we are often expected to just go with the flow. But being a leader requires you to LEAD and empower others to make things happen. So, being able to voice your vision and inspire others to follow you is a skill that is critical to your success.
Being a leader used to mean having a fancy title and giving orders, but today it is about instinct, attitude, and vision.
You must elevate people to see beyond any chaos and uncertainty to inspire them to perform at their full potential.
But being a visionary leader starts from within!
When you have a strong sense of self and a vision of who you are and what you stand for yourself, you will find an authentic leadership voice that comes naturally, and you will step into your confidence as a more empowered female leader.
You will unleash an unrelenting passion to lead and serve, speaking up when it matters and sharing your wisdom when needed to empower and inspire others to greatness too.
4. Facing Imposter Syndrome
Dealing with imposter syndrome is a common struggle that every woman in leadership rarely talks about. Many accomplished women still get bouts of self-doubt, inadequacy and low self-esteem despite their many achievements.
Does this sound like you? If it does, don’t worry, 90% of my top female coaching clients have felt like this at some stage of their lives and careers, and I have too!
But more and more as female leaders, we can rise above it.
This is largely due to the changing mindsets of us as courageous business women. We now better understand how critical it is for us to own our worth in the world and not be afraid to be ourselves!
We are more ambitious, curious and driven than ever before, and this is helping us shift to create our happiness and reach our dreams actively.
We are adopting an entrepreneurial mindset that fosters greater growth and success. And with that comes a renewed sense of self and longing to shake the world.
5. Making Your Mark With Your Personal Brand
Women are often seen as too emotional as leaders, and it’s about time to prove otherwise!
Take the time to reimagine this as a top branding tool and start exploring its full power. Female leaders are known to lead with their heart-centred traits such as empathy, compassion, and nurturance.
While these traits are what people don’t usually celebrate in leaders, you’ll soon realize that these are your superpowers in disguise.
You see, these are the most significant traits for building an authentic personal brand and developing your thought leadership!
These traits can positively contribute to your brand’s connectivity, building more meaningful relationships with your audience, and more significant influence on those around you.
So, these unique female leadership qualities are more important than you think!
You can start by developing your authentic personal brand and leadership style around them.
Because today people are looking for more than just your products and services. They are looking for an experience, a connection, a feeling, and an emotional attachment to you, your business, and your products or services.
In that way, you will also influence others’ mindsets to build more authentic and passionate communities, followers, and doers.
The next generation of female leaders are emerging worldwide. Are you one of them?
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Are you ready to step up and shake the world with your goals and dreams?
If you say YES, then remember, to be a woman in leadership today, means stepping up to embrace technology, new ways of thinking, and confidence!
Let’s challenge the status quo to unleash your highest potential!
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To your success,