How to thrive professionally and personally as a female leader

female leader female leaders healthy boundaries mindset smart goals success Feb 21, 2022
How to thrive professionally and personally as a female leader

Updated Aug 12 2021

As female leaders we are wearing many different hats.

We have to juggle the business side, leading different personalities ensuring the team's performance, making sure we advance our own career, grow as a person and keeping a healthy balance with our (often neglected) private lives.

And it all starts with us. Below I am sharing five practical tips and insights on how to succeed with the above.

1. Know what you truly want.

Setting SMART goals and having a personal and professional vision in place is key.

Why is this so important? Because "if you don't have a plan, you will become part of somebody else's".


Often we chase somebody else's definition of success or try to achieve of what we think is expected of us. Society. Our company's goals. Our circle of friends or family.

And even if we achieve those (often externally defined) goals, we still don't seem to be genuinely happy and feel fulfilled. As your very own definition of success might be different.

When was the last time you put some time aside to think about what YOU truly want? What your values are? The dreams we don't dare to tell?


2. Choose mindset over skillset.

"If you believe you can or cannot, you will always be right."

A lot of the times we are worried about having to get another training or certification done before we give ourselves permission to be 'ready'.

As women, we always tend to underestimate our skills, suitability or readiness for a role or a challenge compared to our male peers.

When working with female clients, we often work on self-confidence, overcoming our natural self-doubt and inner critic.

On a scale of 1-10, how well aware are you of your strengths? What do you stand for? What is your personal brand like? How well do you cope with setbacks and failure?

You might feel like a fraud and don't celebrate your successes enough. You might think if you don't work hard, you are not worthy.


Working with a professional coach or joining a female accountability group can help you overcome those challenges and boost your personal growth and development further.

3. Saying no more often.

A lot of female top-performers and high-achievers tend to place a high value on career success. I have been there myself.

Attaching your self-worth to your career or company success can be dangerous and unhealthy for your body and mind, though.

We all need to set healthy boundaries in place in order to thrive on a personal and professional level.

Saying no, however, does not come very natural to us highly driven women. A certain degree of assertiveness is necessary in order to politely say no to things that are not our priority or simply don't serve us.

We are often afraid that if we say no to things or somebody, that we will no longer be liked. That we will lose respect or status. Guess what? The opposite is the case!

By letting go of people-pleasing behaviour, we earn more respect and trust in our direct reports, team members and within our private circle.

If you know what you want, stand for and stand up for it - it will not only feel right, but simply come across as authentic!


4. Prioritise self-care and your wellbeing.

Managing our time and energy is a major foundation in order to thrive in different life areas.

Taking care of our own physical and mental wellbeing is crucial for sustainable success.

The sad truth is that it is often neglected in our busy work schedules and home office environments. The right amount and type of exercise and a balanced nutrition for my lifestyle regularly help me to be at my best. How about yourself?

Our phones and digital devices in general are a bigger distraction in this process than we tend to think.

Are you aware of how many hours you spend daily on your smartphone or on social media?

How many hours of online conference calls are part of your new routine?

What do you do in order to switch off and digitally detox again?


5. Leading with impact.

If we place a high value on the previous points, you will generally feel better in your skin and be better aligned with what you do.

You will know when to speak up for yourself and when to chose silence. How to take care of yourself, your emotions and thoughts.

If you are an authentic leader, you can act as a role model for your team. You will start walking your talk. Your team will notice it and then follow you.

Your main focus as a leader can then be to focus and empower your team on WHAT to do and HOW to do it.

Managing the right balance, coaching them and keeping a positive attitude, mindset and team spirit - is not only key for yourself, but also when you empower your direct reports to achieve your common goals and vision.


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