There has never been a greater opportunity for female business leaders to leverage their uniqueness and make a formidable difference than right now. We can pave the path into the “new normal” with bricks of compassion, active listening and of course, action. By embracing our nutrturing inclinations, we can learn our personal power to effect change.
My personal playbook has a few simple rules:
- Take nothing for granted in all your scenario planning and strategic trajectory.
- Embrace all creative alternatives in mapping a new journey for products, services, staff and customers.
- Express gratitude until you ache, embrace change and welcome adversity.
- Hug those closest to you — and strangers who need a hug.
- Wear no fake masks; instead, be authentic!
- Wash your hands of the past and do not social distance from advocates, evangelists and optimists.
- Drop the baggage; requalify every cost and if possible, detach from anything that hinders profitable growth.
- Treat every single person in your universe like a world-class citizen, and they will act accordingly.
Female leaders are paving the way
The United States has its first-ever female vice president. She holds the power of the swing vote in a 50/50 shared U.S. Senate. It is a watershed moment and cause for celebration, regardless of your political affiliation.
Women rallied under the leadership of Wanda Mosley, senior state coordinator for Black Voters Matter, and brought out the female vote in Atlanta, Georgia, USA, to spark a pivotal leadership change on the back of a disputed election. Again, regardless of your political affiliation, the undeniable election statistics on Georgia women voting levels shine a light onto the impact of empowered female leadership. Her teams packed and arrived with much-needed food baskets and left with votes.
Mostly female nurses continue to rush back into pandemic-compromised hospitals every day in unwavering support of critically ill COVID-19 patients, emulating their mostly male 9/11 first responders who dashed upstairs in the Twin Towers to save those who could not make it down.
Similarly, the lessons of COVID-19 will endure across generations to come — long after the pain of the lives lost has become numbed.
Women leaders stand perfectly positioned at this crossroads through their business interests to entrench their own special blend of compassion and common-sense pragmatism in crafting enduring changes across the global corporate landscape. Having juggled dual roles of self-care, child rearing and business leadership through waves of lockdown isolation, we are more “future-fit” than ever before.
It is back to the drawing board for many of us in the global business community as we re-unite, re-ignite, re-align and re-inspire our human assets to deliver value to colleagues and customers like never before. We need to stretch a new canvas, learn different techniques and paint a fresh picture that brings our vision into focus in ways that embolden and compel our followers to be courageous while they feel safe enough to be cautiously creative under our caring stewardship into a post-COVID-19, new normal.
It is back to the drawing board for many of us in the global business community as we re-unite, re-ignite, re-align and re-inspire our human assets to deliver value to colleagues and customers like never before. ”
— Kim Faclier, Managing Director, Property: Liquidity Services SA (Pty) Ltd. share
What else are you capable of learning this March? A new language, bolster your stale gym routine with something new, or hit up YouTube to expand your personal global awareness, cultural insights and spiritual perspectives?
Just like you have learned to do during these surreal, unprecedented pandemic times, waste less time worrying if your teams are actually doing their work and trust more.
Women should be celebrated across the globe, not just this month, but every month. As women leaders we can empower others more often. Here are a few options:
Go back to your roots. Deploy your company’s social responsibility budgets in the neighborhood or community in which you grew up to create learnerships and internships for women who wish to run their own businesses or monetize their unique talents. Active remembrance of our roots is personally therapeutic as well — keeps us humble and grounded.
Set up preferred supplier procurement sourcing from young women entrepreneurs. This way you will give them the leverage to compete with more established, traditional vendors and suppliers with whom you conduct business.
Actively run campaigns and programs with the families of existing employees who have daughters. Some of these younger women may wish to learn more about business and entrepreneurship whether inside or outside your industry.
Incentivize existing staff to involve themselves in grass-roots programs in the community. These employees can serve as volunteers to assist, uplift and empower young adult women and students in business development. Gift those who wish to “pay it forward” with paid leave, time off or additional employee benefits or privileges.
Share your space. Allow company assets, conference auditorium or training rooms to be used by young women entrepreneurs for meetings or outsourced micro-projects.
Start and fund a “shadow program.” This can serve disadvantaged young women entrepreneurs by pairing them with successful women role models from your own company to serve as mentors. Launch an innovation forum where they contribute their thoughts and observations on how you can improve on business and service delivery. Thereafter, take visible action on their expressed genius and creativity.
Get back to basics and enjoy the simple joys of life. Buy more flowers and fewer cosmetics. Grow smoothie fruits outside and cleanse yourself inside. Nourish your soul and eat more wholesome foods. Reach out to lost friends and embrace new tech trends. Stretch your mind, body and soul every day!
Be optimistic. If you think the worst and get the worst, you suffer twice. If you think the best and end up with the worst, you only suffer once. It pays to be an optimist; so, feed your laughter with some comedy every day you are blessed to be alive!
Life is for living and being in the moment. Grab every opportunity that crosses your path; with power and passion as most things only happen once!