Event Recap by Ekaterina Ramirez
On November 1st I had an opportunity to attend the 4th annual Leadership Lessons from Influential Women in Business organized by Business in Vancouver and the Professional Women's Network – the event I certainly had been looking forward to.
The goal of the conference was to dig deeper into the topic of leadership from the female perspective as well as create an open environment where women can have honest conversations about challenging issues they face in a workplace.
Panel One | Your leadership style: Why knowing yourself and how you fit in your organization and industry is important to your success.
Valuable take-aways from discussions:
- Keep in mind that people don’t work for you. They work for their families. Strive to understand what motivates them, then lead.
- As a leader, focus on a strategy rather than execution.
- Learn about your values and strengths to understand your leadership style. (StrengthsFinder was recommended as an effective tool to use.)
- Learn from people you are surrounded with. Observe how they speak, act and lead. Also think of a leader you admire. Adopt what resonates with you.
- It is good to be a woman. Do things differently. Don’t apologize for it. You have an advantage. Use it! Any man would.
- Proactively manage up! Hone your leadership skills earlier. If you don’t get any feedback, make sure to ask questions.
Panel Two | Increase your influence: How to build a leadership profile and influence in the community.
Valuable take-aways on how to build influence:
- Understand the community you are in. Listen to their needs and wants. Make sure to speak their language so people you are striving to reach can understand you.
- Build your reputation one step at a time.
- Volunteer to expand your network and gain new experience.
(Picture was taken by @humairahamid)
Valuable take-aways on how to build a public profile:
- Be willing to stand out. Let people know what you have to say. (You can do it through writing, social media and public speaking.)
- Consider volunteering and entering awards in your industry.
- Being authentic on social media is crucial. Be who you are.
- Have a strategy for social media. Decide what you want to say and what you shouldn’t talk about. Also figure out how you are going to manage it.
- Take one step at a time while building your reputation as a leader. It is not an overnight success.
Some points from the keynote speech delivered by Tracy Theemes:
- Always know your objectives before you start speaking. Ask yourself: “When I speak up what am I trying to achieve?”
- Practice thinking about your objections first not only at a workplace but also with everything that you do.
- There are times when we have to say: “This is not my battle today. It is not aligned with the outcome I want.”
- When you want to make a point, talk directly and precisely. Use less words.
- Men respond better to a deep low slow voice. Take a deep breath, get grounded in who you are and then speak.
And a final point!
If you want a position of leadership, you need to be conscious of how you project yourself in a workplace. Not only how others see you, but also how they hear you.
I wrote about my experience of learning how to lead on SmallBusinessBC blog. I love the topic of leadership, feel free to continue the conversation with me below or on twitter. (My twitter handle is @Ekat_Ra.)