I love to ask questions – perhaps in another life I was an investigative reporter! Asking questions, meaningful questions, provides me with the opportunity to learn, to become more than what I am and to continually remind myself that I don’t know it all!! In other words, to keep me humble!
It is fascinating to me how two people can set out to do the exact same task, go about it so differently and have comparable results. Professional interviewers have interviewed hundreds of executive women, business owners and entrepreneurs with one question being present in each interview – to what do you attribute your success?
You can imagine the broad spectrum of responses. And yet, there are some common themes that have emerged. Here are few captured by Enterprising Women, June, 2010.
When conditions are changing, sometimes we have to change as well. Staying attuned to market drivers and the forces behind them, enables us to make decision based on realistic assessments rather than speculation. Separating ego from business issues is key. The change is not about us, the change is for our business survival and sustainability. If my plan, model or approach is generating the desired results, be flexible and change!
2. Pursuing Multiple Paths
Women are accustomed to juggling several balls and getting the job done. This ability is advantageous during times of change/chaos and there is no immediate answer. Explore numerous options while juggling and ultimately you’ll find focus and decisiveness. There is not just one path!
3. Crisis Management
Good business leaders stay calm in times of crisis. Rather than becoming trapped in analysis paralysis, the savvy leader moves into action, assesses the situation, makes decisions and moves on. Demonstrating optimism, while maintaining consistency is essential. Step in front of the crisis with solid leadership.
4. Seeking Advice
Women are generally more comfortable seeking advice when they don’t know what to do. Have a board of directors or business group you can turn to, rely on and trust. It’s worth a good night’s sleep to have the assurance and solid thinking of ‘people in the know.’
5. Honor your ethics
During times of crisis, companies that are laying off employees and cutting costs need to be more concerned than ever about retaining talent. Ethical integrity is a great attractor.
6. Well being
Effective CEO’s take care of themselves. They eat right, get enough sleep, and exercise. They are physically fit and mentally sharp. Make time for yourself, no one else will. Body, mind and soul – take care of these three and your heart will be strong!