Confident Leader

9 tips to stay true to yourself and lead like a woman

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Lately I’ve been thinking a lot about how women can be even more impactful leaders by staying in their feminine. I’ve been observing women in business and leadership positions and noticed that a lot of brilliant ladies are compromising their feminine approach and trying to lead like men.What happens when you run your business and lead like a woman with grace and flow? Will you be taken seriously? More than that! When you lead from your authentic self, magic happens! You feel more aligned with yourself and your mission, leaving those around you inspired to step up too.

I’d like to share 9 tips with you that will support you in embracing true feminine leadership to make a bigger impact.

Lead from the heart

We recently did a brand strategy workshop for a brilliant business woman who supports leaders in leading from the heart. It dawned on me yet again how impactful it is when you lead from the heart rather than the head. Both men and women have this incredible ability. Leading from your heart helps you to tap into an abundance of creativity, compassion and energy which makes you an inspiring leader.

A few years ago I set the intention to always keep my heart open even when it’s easier not to. It has not only helped me to lead from a place of love instead of fear but also allows me to honour myself and my peers for who we truly are. It’s okay to be vulnerable as a leader. And it’s also okay to not always have it all together and let chaos momentarily take over.

Surrender to chaos

As you may have experienced many times, running a business is not always smooth sailing. Turbulences, storms and chaos are all part of the journey. Rather than fighting against what’s out of your control, surrender to it gracefully. If you are a little bit of a control freak, this may be more challenging.

Have clarity on your business purpose, but don’t get attached to how you get there. Make peace with chaos, find flow amongst the storm and lead your team out of it with calm.

Patience is a virtue, not mine!

I must admit, I’m also writing this lesson for myself! Patience is not one of my strengths. Why can’t I have everything done yesterday?
Patience really is a beautiful virtue to embrace. In business there are times when you need to push, and there are times when it’s appropriate to slow down and take your foot off the pedal.

If you feel that you are banging your head against a wall or that you are not performing at your best, it might be time to give yourself a break, reassess the situation and come up with a different approach.

Look after yourself

Leadership starts with self-leadership. Are you looking after yourself just like you are looking after your team? Do you take the time to recharge?

Your energy matters and it not only affects you, but also those around you.

Towards the end of last year I felt pretty drained. I was overcommitted with work, social activities and a crazy travel schedule and started to wear myself out.

This year I have said no more often than I have said yes. I’m also practicing a philosophy I’ve learned from the Italians; ‘Dolce far niente’, the sweetness of doing nothing every now and then. I must say, not something that comes easily to me. And a daily meditation also keeps me pretty zen!

Lead by example

Looking after yourself will inspire those around you to do the same. Rather than pointing the finger, behave how you would like others to behave. Raise your own standards and you will see those around you do the same.

If you expect your team to keep learning, invest in your own growth and give them the encouragement to do the same. If you expect them to address the challenging conversations, do so first.

Elevate others

Allow your team to be great! Give them responsibilities rather than micro-managing them. Encourage them to make mistakes, because it is from our failures that we learn the most.

Always give credit for the great work they are doing. Do you know what makes your team members happy? Get to know your team and help them elevate. A happy team is a healthy and productive team!

Be bold

Take more risks. In general, women tend to be more risk-averse than men, however it doesn’t have to be that way. Step into your courage and make the tough decisions. And be ok with stuffing up! If you are unsure about taking action on something that could potentially lead to a huge outcome, ask yourself “what is the worst that could happen?”
See, it’s not that bad!

I’m working on my latest book which is all about how to tap into courage to live a full life, stay tuned!

Be inclusive

One of my favourite proverbs is “If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.”

Build a team around you to support you on your mission. Women are natural connectors, use those skills to collaborate. You don’t have to go this journey alone! It’s more fun together! 

Always respond with kindness

Lastly and most importantly, be kind. To yourself and others. This is one of your strengths as a feminine leader. Kindness goes a long way!

At Basic Bananas we use the mantra ‘always respond with kindness’ any time we are faced with a challenging situation. It works a treat! Try it!

You are a beautiful woman in business, use your strengths to lead from the heart and see those around you be impacted positively.

About Franziska Iseli

Franziska Iseli is a maverick entrepreneur, leading marketing and brand strategist, speaker, author and the co-founder of marketing education company Basic Bananas, as well as Oceanlovers, Yours Socially and The Business Hood. In 2013 Franziska was awarded the Young Entrepreneur of the Year award recognising her innovation, creativity and philanthropic involvement. A Swiss-born Australian, she is known for being a true visionary, doing things a bit differently, her irreverence and thought-leadership. Franziska is the co-author of international bestsellers Bananas About Marketing and Perception and regularly contributes to various publications including The Huffington Post.

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