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Women's Leadership Initiative

By Women's Leadership Initiative

“Where do I start?” 9 Tips for Success

Wed, May 31, 2017

Networking around a table

If you had just a few moments to chat with CEOs and thought-leaders, what would you want to know? How they climbed the corporate ladder? Their go-to strategies for overcoming challenges?

Or, would you simply ask, “Where do I start?"

That question, addressed by Lisa Skeete-Tatum, co-founder and CEO of Landit, was weaved through the conversation at our WING program’s annual Ready, Set, MENTOR! speed-mentoring event. During the session, professionals from a variety of sectors and experience levels had the unique opportunity to network with our region’s top female executives and influencers. And as Lisa encouraged the attendees to consider what it means to “democratize success” for women in the workplace, particularly in traditionally male-dominated industries, she ultimately helped participants explore ways to make success a habit.

Missed the event? Lisa’s top-nine tips for success are below:

  1. Keep track of your accomplishments – When the time comes to ask for a promotion or new leadership role, you’ll want to be able to speak to your accomplishments, so log your achievements weekly.
  2. Watch your body language – Are you sitting in the corner? Or do you sit proximate to power? In other words, convey control with body language – where and how you choose to sit, stand and talk matter.
  3. Be prepared – Read everything in advance and head into each meeting with a game plan. For example, consider two or three things you want to ask or convey.
  4. Find your voice – Speak with confidence. Don't apologize and avoid using words like "just” or “maybe."
  5. Dress for success – Whatever your “uniform” is, know it and own it. But don't let it be a distraction: your personality should always shine through.
  6. Recruit a personal sounding board – Find a mentor, manager or coach you can trust and respect and check in regularly for both positive and constructive feedback.
  7. Cultivate your network outside the office – Look beyond your workplace for positive guidance. Check out networking events like our Young Leader Speaker Series to meet other ambitious, like-minded professionals and hear best practices from leaders in our footprint!
  8. Negotiate for yourself – You are your own best advocate. If you want something, be direct and clear. For example: “It is important to me that I earn a promotion. Here are my achievements so far (see tip 1!). What may be standing in my way?”
  9. Get your online presence in order – Your personal brand matters, and a key part of it exists online. That’s why talent acquisition will often head beyond your resume to your LinkedIn and other social media profiles to learn how you might add value to their team or organization.

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