Why Women Make Better Leaders

 

 

EmpathyWhy women make better leaders can be summed up in just one word – “Empathy”. (The ability to see it from another person’s point of view). Women seem to come by it naturally, while most men have to work at it. Dee Dee Myers – author of “Why Women Should Rule The World” believes that women are more successful at managing small businesses because women can make people accountable for their actions but, they are also there to support them. “Females have the trait, where maybe most males do not”. Mary Matalin, former counsellor to President George W. Bush and Vice President Cheney was quoted as saying – “Women around the world are rewriting history at a ferocious pace with or without mans permission”. It’s easy to argue that men haven’t been doing such a good job lately of managing things. That’s not a political statement – I’m just stating the facts. In the words of Bob Dylan – “The times they are a changing”.

It’s great to see that more and more women are taking up a seat at the boardroom table and leading Fortune 500 Companies. Women are outpacing men in starting their own small businesses. According to research conducted by The Centre for Women’s Business – 1 in 5 of all firms generating 1 million dollars or more in sales is owned by women. The Seventh Annual Business Report, commisioned by American Express, finds that the number of businesses owned by women has more than doubled in 20 years, as has their revenue. Women are starting an average of 849 new businesses per day, up 3% from 2016. There are 11.6 million women-owned businesses in the United States, employing nearly 9 million people and generating more than 1.7 trillion in revenue. Facts and figures published by Statistics Canada on Canadian Women Entrepreneurs tell a similar story. Of all the small and medium-sized enterprises in Canada – 47% are entirely or partly owned by women. The average net profit of female-owned businesses has increased from 52% of male-owned businesses to 89%. Based on these numbers I think it’s safe to say the glass ceiling has been shattered.

Putting gender aside, what does it really take to be a successful owner or manage a small business?

Successful small business owners and managers:

  • Understand themselves and how their attitude affects others.
  • Understand how their reaction to any given situation affects the outcome.
  • Have a positive attitude about themselves – which causes others to have confidence in them.
  • Understand that every situation is different, so they know they must behave and respond differently.
  • Realize that they need their people more than their people need them. They would look pretty silly trying to run things by themselves. There’s strength in numbers.
  • Know they don’t have to have all the answers, all of the time. If they surround themselves with capable people, someone on their team will.
  • Must lead by example. That sounds easy to do but it means never compromising your principles and honouring what you hold to be true – honesty, integrity and always doing what is right.

I could go on and on – but I think you get the point. Women deserve far more credit then they have been given. It’s time that ALL men realize a women’s place is far more than being barefoot and pregnant. If you’re looking to develop 21st Century leadership skills, start with empathy. Learn to count to 10 or 20 if need be, before you react. See things from the other person’s point of view. Trust me – you’ll be glad you did and so will the people who work with you.

Copyright (c) 2017. Brian Smith – Power Link Dynamics. Are you looking for a professional speaker or seminar leader who can entertain and inform on a variety of soft-skills topics? Give Brian a call. He will customize a program that is right for you, your people and your organization. To find out more visit https://briansmithpld.com

I’m Guilty As Charged

judge-with-gavel1I should have known better. I have been in the business of managing and leading others in one capacity or another, as a General Manager, College Professor and Management Consultant, for over forty years. In spite of all those years of experience, I committed the number one cardinal sin. I jumped to a conclusion before I had all the facts.  And worse yet, I posted my comment on LinkedIn. The person, who I  offended shall remain nameless, but T.M. knows who he is.  He may not realize it – but the fact that he called me out – reminded me of a valuable lesson that I had obviously forgotten. It’s time for me to step up and do the walk instead of just doing the talk.

Before I act, either verbally or in writing, I am going to step back, take a deep breath and follow these 3 simple rules.

Rule Number One: I am going to assume nothing. I am going to put my brain into gear before I engage my mouth. How often have you said something that you later regretted? How often have you said something that you wish you could take back?

Rule Number Two: I am going to do some research. I am going to take the time to collect all the facts before I act or speak. How often have you made a decision, only to find out it wasn’t the right one because if you knew then, what you know now, you wouldn’t have done it in the first place? How many times has it come around to bite you?

Rule Number Three: I am going to ask myself, how would I feel if someone posted something about me that wasn’t true? Someone who I’ve never met. Someone who didn’t take the time to find out more about me, and what my motives were?

Leaders will make mistakes. All leaders do, and when they do they should own it, apologize for it, learn from it and don’t repeat it. That’s what separates the not-so-good ones from the great ones.  What kind of leader do you want to be?  You get to make a choice, so choose wisely. Others are watching and deciding who they want to follow. If no one is following you, you aren’t leading.

Copyright (c) 2017. Brian Smith – PLD. Not to be reproduced without permission. Are you looking for a Professional Speaker or Seminar Leader who can deliver a session on a variety of soft-skills topics? Contact Brian today brian@briansmithpld.com – Visit https://briansmithpld.com to find out what Brian can do for you.

Has The Pendulum Swung Too Far?

Choices

Has political correctness gone amuck? James Damore was fired by Google for posting a memo he’d written. Right or wrong, it was his opinion. Just because you don’t agree with it, does it make it a fireable offence? The courts will decide if his dismissal was for just cause. What are we teaching our young people if everyone makes the team – everyone plays the same amount of minutes regardless of skill level? Where’s the incentive to improve? Are we teaching transferable life skills if everyone gets a trophy for just showing up? Is it fair that everyone gets the same bonus, regardless of his or her contribution to the project?

Should we be lowering physical standards so women can perform the same task side by side with men?  When the building is on fire I want someone who is physically capable of carrying me down four flights of stairs. If a woman can do it – have at it. Trust me – I won’t complain. The truth of the matter is there are some tasks that only men can perform, just as there are some tasks that only women can perform. Mind you there aren’t many that men can do that woman can’t.  If someone is physically and mentally capable of performing a task, gender is a non-issue.

I remember singing the National Anthem and reciting the Lords Prayer in school. It didn’t seem to do me any harm. Why are we afraid of hurting someone’s feelings if we call it a Christmas tree and wish people Merry Christmas?  We may not agree with the message but surely we can agree that everyone has a right to freedom of expression – as long as it doesn’t take away those same rights for someone else and it’s done in a lawful and respectful way without causing physical harm to people or damaging property. Everyone has a right to be protected under the law regardless of race, gender, religious beliefs or message.

Just because you’ve worked there the longest doesn’t mean you are entitled to get the promotion. I believe promotions should be based on ability and not longevity. Has the pendulum swung too far the other way? Are we going out of our way so as not to offend anyone? Has political correctness gone amuck? You be the judge. Some people may think we haven’t gone far enough, I respectfully disagree. But that’s just my opinion. I could be wrong, but then again I could be right.

Copyright (c) 2017. Not to be reproduced. Brian Smith – Professional Speaker, Seminar Leader, and Author. Are you looking for someone who can entertain and inform your audience on a variety of soft-skills topics?  Visit https://briansmithpld.com

How to Build a Relationship With Just About Anyone

Conflict Resolution 2Practice the 3 R’s – to establish trust and build relationships with the people you work with and interact with. Have you ever met someone for the very first time and thought, “Yuck – what a dink?”. (I don’t mean Double Income No Kids). There is just something about them that you don’t like. For what ever reason they rub you the wrong way. The truth of the matter is sometimes you have to work with – or interact with – people you don’t like. Even if you don’t like them – you still need to find a way to work with them. I have a solution for you. Think of someone who you work with that for what ever reason, you are having difficulty getting along with them. I want you to try this little experiment and see if it helps repair that relationship or a least make it bearable. I call it the 3 Rs to building relationships and establishing mutual trust with just about everyone and anyone.

Rapport: Start a conversation and find out something about them that you can talk about. What are their hobbies? Do they have children, play sports or read books? What do they love to do in their spare time? You can’t build a relationship with anyone that you haven’t established a rapport with first. Get them talking about themselves or what they love to do, and you are on your way to the next step. You are on your way to likeability.

Relationship: People like to hang around with, and interact with people they like. The more conversations you can have with that person or persons, the more likely it is that you are breaking down those barriers and are becoming more likable. Soft-skills – the ability to communicate and interact more effectively with others is a necessary skill in building relationships. Building a relationship is key to getting along with people – even the ones you don’t like.

Respect:  You don’t respect anyone you haven’t built a relationship with first. Out of a relationship comes mutual respect. You might not agree with everything they have said or done – but because you have built a relationship with them, you will respect the fact that they have a right to their own opinion and a right to live their lives as they see fit. We tend to agree to disagree with people we respect.

If you have navigated the three-step process successfully you will be able to establish trust in your relationship with the people you work with and interact with. You never trust anyone you don’t respect first. As friends, parents, managers, leaders, and coaches sometimes you need people to take a leap of faith. Sometimes you don’t have all the answers and need them to trust you. If you have established mutual respect in your relationships, then they will trust you. They will take that leap of faith knowing that you would never set them up for failure. They’ll know you have their best interest in mind.

Copyright (c) 2017. Not to be reproduced without permission. To find out more about Brian and what he can do for you and your organization visit https://briansmithpld.com