Today, women remain underrepresented at a senior manager and leader level compared to males, irrespective of the sector of employment. So what can women do in order to become strong leaders? Drilling from her experience, Aditi Cook, Commercial Manager at Inland Revenue shares her four tips on how to become a successful leader.
Balancing family and career
Family will always take precedence over my work. In leadership there is still an assumption that it's career vs. family. There is an idea that you must choose one or the other but with a little flexibility both can be possible. That doesn't mean that I don't have to compromise. We establish expectations so I can ensure my workplace gets the best of me.
Productivity is increasingly measured in outcome, rather than hours spent at your desk, but we need to own that measurement. If we empower people to be outcome focused and trust them to deliver, there will be more flexibility around career and family.
Invest in your work, but make no apologies for having family at the heart of what you do. You shouldn’t ever feel guilty for having aspects of your life that are more important than your work. If we lead with these attitudes, they will flow down to the next generation.
Hold yourself accountable
Leadership is founded on being accountable. Your successes and downfalls are both instrumental in establishing credibility and integrity as a professional.
Feedback can be challenging but you need to able to reflect on your work, accepting responsibility and learning from it. Try to be objective about what’s being said. Sometimes feedback can hurt, but it is provided for you to grow and develop.
Support one another
I believe it is my responsibility to pave the way for young women leaders into the positions they deserve to be.
We need to mentor, coach and support young women that are trying to push the boundaries.
Seek out people you admire in your industry. Use them as role models and support systems. Consider taking on a mentor and learning best practice from them. You don’t have to do it all by yourself.
Don’t let yourself live in the ‘what if’ moments.
Put your hand up
Never be afraid to put your hand up and take a chance on yourself. Believe that you can do it and you will position yourself as someone who is looking out for new opportunities.
Reach out for those big, scary, and audacious goals. Be accountable for your own journey without relying on others to determine your roadmap.
If you won't seize the moment, then someone else will. Don’t let yourself live in the ‘what if’ moments.
About Aditi Cook.
Aditi has been working in procurement since 1999. She is a strong leader and contributes significantly to the procurement industry.
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