Five Leadership Strategies for Women in Business

By: Katie McDonald

We know how to show up for our business and for everyone else, but showing up for ourselves is much harder. Here are five steps to success.

1) Get over yourself.

What’s enabled me to take risks is that I know when I screw up, I’m willing to take responsibility. I stay pretty vigilant; every day, I assess what worked, what didn’t work, what I did well, and what I didn’t do well.

And when I haven’t done something well, I do my best to rectify it. It gives me permission to screw up. Because I’ll do everything I can to make it right.

[Related: Rewiring the Brain to Bounce Back from Setbacks Faster and Easier]

2) Start with your habits.

If your business is not thriving, I would encourage you to first look at yourself, and start with your habits. What are you eating, what are you thinking, what are you doing? That is the most effective way to turn your business around.

That’s why the work I do, a six-month deep dive into our habits and thoughts, all of the micro-choices that we make — that we established decades ago and haven’t renegotiated — that’s why it’s such a dramatic game-changer. When we see our lives through that lens, it’s fascinating. And then we start utilizing our strengths, outsourcing our weaknesses, and claiming the power of who we are.

3) Nurture your own voice.

Our wisdom is already there. But we need to quiet ourselves long enough to hear it.

[Related: How to Find Your Voice — When You Feel Like You’ve Lost It]

4) Set realistic expectations.

It’s really important to get context in your life and set your expectations to that reality. We often weaponize that discrepancy instead, holding ourselves to standards that aren’t in alignment with the current and often temporary reality of our lives.

5) Stop asking for advice.

So, my homework assignment for those clients is this: Don’t consult anybody else for the next two weeks. Between this session and the next, you’re going to feel the urge to do it, and I want you to stop and consult yourself.

We give our power away because we don’t have faith in ourselves. And what happens is that we end up not developing our leadership because we’re immediately hot-potato-ing it. It comes to us, and we throw it away.

Women are consultative, and that’s a beautiful thing. But I believe we need to consult others only after we’ve consulted ourselves.

Asking my clients to shut down their advice-seeking habit is a really powerful task, because they start getting their own voices, and they start listening less to other people and really tuning into themselves. And as the visionary and the entrepreneur or business owner, it’s really important they stay connected to themselves. For a business to be done well, it requires deep self-knowledge.

One last thing.

[Related: The #1 Reason You May Have Lost Confidence]

Katie McDonald is the CEO of bnourished. She empowers high-achievers to leverage self-care as an alternative to reactivity and the “good-girl syndrome” of abandoning ourselves in service to everyone else.

Originally published at

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