Women are commonly left out of the leadership conversation, but many aspire to get those roles. Getting into a leadership role requires being strategic. Kate Brodock, founding partner of W Fund and CEO of Women 2.0, joined us this past fall to talk about how young women can take the leap into leadership. She also gave our INSIDERS tips on what to do when they get to leadership positions in order to be successful.
Kate on knowing when to consider pursuing leadership roles:
“There are usually a few basic indicators: Consistent positive reviews, promotions, increased responsibility, becoming a project lead, given direct reports. One thing I recommend is to be conscious of both these advancements, and also areas of weakness/improvements.
A great way to do this is to actually record them. Have a separate, ongoing list–your “Path to Leadership” list, so to speak–and update it accordingly. Then review it on maybe a quarterly basis. This gives you a personal gut check of where you might be.”
Kate on making yourself seen when it comes to leadership opportunities:
“Being conscious and direct with the process of becoming a leader is important. But probably one of the most powerful things you can do is find personal advocates. This can come in a lot of different forms: team members who know your work, managers, mentors, etc. The key here is finding someone who can also highlight your skills when it matters (reviews, meetings, conversations with higher ups).”
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Kate on qualities of leaders:
“There’s a big movement to start talking about how we should also be focusing on the strengths associated with “the feminine” [like] empathy, for example. Note, a man or woman can and usually does have both masculine traits and feminine traits. Interestingly, there’s research that suggests that the people who advance the quickest are those who can effectively switch between both their feminine and masculine traits.”
Kate on how she handled burnout:
“I’m a recovering workaholic (still not perfect). It was affecting my personal life, I was feeling really burnt out. A few things I did:
– Prioritized myself (working out, spending time with family and friends, shutting off devices. This sounds obvious, but it’s really hard to stick to it.
– Learning time management skills was life-changing for me. It not only allowed me to be more efficient with my time, but it also allowed me to prioritize, set goals, and have a plan of what to do with my time (including time off). It also made me much more comfortable stepping away.”
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