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The secrets of successful female leaders

Today’s guest blog was created by DeVry University.

Sheryl Sandberg, CEO of Facebook

5 Tips to Guide Future Female Business Leaders

What makes a woman a success in business? Is it her inborn drive to succeed or something she learned in school? Two successful women, Debbie Polisky and Angelia White, who both started their own companies, have provided five tips to help up-and-coming female business leaders find success. If you’re a woman who is striving to grow in business, these tips could help.

Tip 1 – Focus on Your Passion

When you are passionate about something, it shows in everything you do. One of the most important tips that female business leaders have to offer is to focus on doing something you love, and then learn about what you love from someone you admire. This not only makes your work feel rewarding and worthwhile, but it also gives you the passion that is necessary to be a successful leader.

Tip 2 – Make a Plan and Prepare

White, founder of AcctPier Business Solutions LLC, indicates clear and attainable goals are important. In order to grow as a business leader, you have to know what it is you are trying to attain, and what your plan is for attaining it.

Your goals are like a roadmap to your success. Without a roadmap, you will flounder as you try to find your place in the business world. With specific, attainable goals, you will have clear direction on how you need to spend your time.

White recommends both long-term and short-term goals. She also recommends writing them down, so you have a measure of accountability and something to refer to as you determine whether or not you have attained success.

Tip 3 – Be Patient

Very few successful business leaders attained success overnight. While there are unique success stories of nearly instant success, they are few and far between. Instead, successful business leaders know how to be patient and allow things to grow slowly.

Consider, for example, Mary Barra. The CEO of General Motors today, she got her start as a plant manager, gradually growing through the company until she attained CEO status. This took time, patience and dedication.

Expecting overnight success is a recipe for failure. Instead, take every experience offered to you as an opportunity to learn a new skill or sharpen existing skills, as Polisky, founder of Nutrition Tango and Words & Health, LLC, recommends. The more you grow and develop early in your career, the better prepared you will be for a future of success in a leadership role.

Tip 4 – Take a Risk

Once you have your plan mapped out and have gained some experience, be willing to take a risk. Risk taking will help you find a new passion or possibly a new career, and it will also help you stand out. This can be critical in a crowded field.

Risk taking often pays off big. Consider this pop culture example: In 2013, Beyonce surprised the music industry by dropping a self-titled album. This was a huge risk, and one that she feared, but everyone knows that it paid off for her. The album had huge sales, and Beyonce was pushed even closer to the stardom she now owns. It was a risk that paid off.

Don’t give up. When things are tough — and they will be, warns White — you have to keep pushing. Ultimately, perseverance makes your successes even sweeter, so never give up on your path toward business success.

If you are looking to gain success in business, find a mentor who will provide help and support when things get tough. Learn these tips and embrace them, and soon you will discover that you’ve found the success you crave.


This infographic was made by DeVry University

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