Today some of the most powerful female CEOs in the biz gathered for a panel moderated by Katie Couric (pictured, far right) at the Women in the World Summit in New York City. These leaders of global companies, like Weight Watchers and the Boston Consulting Group, have seen and been through a lot during their careers—like having their values challenged and figuring out how to raise families while maintaing CEO status. But they’ve ultimately come out on top and are sharing their wealth of knowledge via tips that future female leaders should use as mantras for success.
Dominating in your career isn’t just about staying extra late and taking on additional projects. According to these brilliant execs, it’s a lot more internal. Here are six must-know tips that will help you change the way you think about yourself and your future.
Read these 6 must-know leadership tips from powerful boss babes.
1. Always put on your oxygen mask first
You know how flight attendants always tell you to take care of yourself during an emergency before you try to take care of anyone else? Well, that rule applies in real life, too.
“Put your oxygen mask on before assisting others,” says Leila Hoteit (pictured, center), partner and managing director at the Boston Consulting Group. “If you keep pushing yourself and don’t listen to your body, you’ll be no help to anyone. You’re going to run out of steam.”
2. Believing in yourself is mandatory
When it comes to being a great leader, believing in yourself isn’t an option—it’s a must. But you have to make sure you think about how others are impacted by your sky-high confidence, too.
“How are you going to get others to believe you when you don’t have that power internally? It’s so critical,” says Mindy Grossman, CEO of Weight Watchers (pictured, center right). “But at the same time, you have to have acute self-awareness of your impact on others. It’s the combination of those two things that are really important.”
3. Don’t be afraid to be vulnerable
Being vulnerable is often thought to be a negative quality for leadership, but according to Christa Quarles, CEO of OpenTable (pictured, center left), it’s actually a good thing: Vulnerability allows you to talk out your issues with other women when you’re not sure how to handle them yourself.
“When you own your vulnerability, you become the most powerful person in the room because you own the narrative of whatever thing could potentially hold you back,” Quarles says. “It took me until my forties to really recognize that paradox because I was so afraid of not being perfect.”
4. Raise your son how you would want to be treated
Designer Diane von Furstenberg (pictured, far left) thinks a big part of creating future generations that hold the highest respect for women in the workplace is how they’re brought up. We should raise them to view females as powerful leaders.
“We need to spend time thinking about how we’re raising our sons,” she says. “I think women have the future in their hands with the children, and how we raise our sons is so important to how they’ll behave 20 years from now.”
5. Don’t let your job factor into your family timeline
Speaking of kids, too often women feel they need to base their family-planning timeline around their career goals and accomplishments. But Hoteit doesn’t think that should be the case.
“If you decide to have kids, don’t care about when the next promotion is,” she says. “Have a kid when you feel personally ready for it, and then everything will sort itself out.”
6. Applaud men who take paternity leave
When men take paternity leave, one effect is that it helps fight the gender biases surrounding parental leave—and Quarles thinks that’s great for the future.
“When I watch a man take paternity leave, it destigmatizes their desire to be a parent or that you’re taking time to be with your child,” she says. “If everyone could spend time raising their children with love and belief, [just imagine] what’s possible for this world.”
These movies and TV shows on Netflix will inspire your inner #girlboss. Also, you might want to add these productivity apps to your phone this spring.
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