15 Habits to Copy From Women in Leadership

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Valerie Martinelli, MPA 184
Career & Leadership Development Expert
Women in leadership are role models for other women, especially for those seeking to advance themselves as well. The role modeling effect is an important one because we seek to understand how we can be like the leaders within our society, particularly to compete in a male-dominated workspace.
Gender has long proved to be a challenge for women who continue to seek leadership roles, even if they possess the leadership skills necessary for success. As we know, men have dominated leadership roles, only making it more difficult for women to advance. So, what are some habits that women can copy from other women leaders?
Let’s discuss some of these leader-like habits and how they can benefit women, their roles and their careers.

1. Wake up Early

It isn’t a secret that when early risers take time for themselves in the morning, they are more relaxed and grounded as they begin their day. This does require getting plenty of sleep. It is important to remember as a woman in leadership or seeking to attain a leadership role that you should be grounded in your efforts, which requires clarity and focus- both of which come from getting plenty of rest.

2. Eat Breakfast

This might sound relatively simple, but this habit truly can make or break your day. Food provides the fuel we need to be clear on our decisions and maintain strong willpower throughout the day. This habit may not specifically have anything to do with gender, however, it will give us the drive we need to continue towards attaining leadership roles and becoming a strong female in business.  

3. Exercise

Our bodies crave movement, yet we spend so much time sitting throughout our day. Get in the habit of exercising in the morning, during lunch, or after work. The best way to make it excuse-free is to schedule it in your planner. This is an excellent habit to copy because it will provide you with the opportunity to be at your peak performance. You can even work out while you're working.

4. Practice Gratitude Regularly

By doing so, you can move your vibrational energy into positivity rather than sitting in negativity. Appreciate what has gone well, what you’ve learned, and how you can continue your path towards greatness each day. Be sure to recognize the things that have gone well or helped you in your career or roles as a female in business.

5. Focus on Your Priorities

When starting your day, it is important to have a clear sense of what you must get done that day. This starts with knowing your goals and maintaining a clear sense of the daily work. What works best is using a project management system like Asana or Trello to maintain a direction of your workload and projects. Leaders value their time, so this habit is important to maintain a schedule and standards for what fits into it.

6. Get Outside of Your Comfort Zone Regularly

Leadership is not about living inside of your comfort zone. One of the most challenging aspects of seeking a leadership position in your career is learning to do this. So, how can you do it? Well, that doesn’t necessarily look the same for everyone either. What makes you uncomfortable? Speaking up in meetings? Seeking feedback? Be honest with yourself and what you need to maintain an edge in your leadership role and do it. This tends to differ between genders because men typically get out of their comfort zones much more easily and readily. Here are nine hacks to help you get out of your comfort zone.

7. Stop Comparing Yourself

You absolutely cannot build your brand or your career when you’re paying attention to someone else’s. No two careers are meant to look the same anyway, so why would you want to do this? You need to find your unique path and follow it. Own it and rock it!

8. Write Down Your Goals and Visualize Them Coming True

This is one habit that is worth copying from other women in leadership because once you put your goals on paper and begin to fully visualize them then you are more likely to work harder to make them happen. Also, it is worth sharing them with some friends because you will stick with making them happen.

9. Make Time for Self-Care

This is especially important because as you continue to challenge yourself in your career, it can take a mental toll. Be sure to make time to rest, meditate, clear your mind, and take care of yourself. Meditation has been shown to increase your focus and overall wellbeing. This is key to leadership roles because they are challenging and require balance and a strong mental focus. Here are some affordable self-care activities.

10. Track Your Progress through Journaling

Journaling is one of the best ways to reflect on your day, your progress, why something may have happened- or didn’t happen, and how you can learn from it. You can also begin to see a clear pattern of strengths and weaknesses, which will also help you grow your career and your leadership skills.

11. Seek Coaching

I don’t advocate for this habit simply because I am a coach; I believe that coaching provides the feedback and input that is necessary to grow. Coaches can also help in making sense of the most relevant feedback, determining the most effective action steps, successfully implementing a follow-up process, improving effectiveness and communicating any positive changes that have been made throughout the duration of the coaching engagement. Coaching is beneficial and crucial throughout each of our positions, but it has been shown to impact women in leadership the most.

12. Note Daily Lessons

This is important because we are oftentimes provided with lessons on a regular basis. However, it what we do with them that is imperative. When we notice them, we learn from them. It is when we do not notice them that we may get them with more potency. This can be done through your journaling so that you can assess your lessons from the previous day and what you learned from them.

13. Count Your Successes

We are programmed to take note of what’s wrong, lack, and scarcity, but never abundance. Living in abundance is directly linked to living in gratitude. Be grateful for your successes, pump up your positivity, write down in your journal what went right, begin to celebrate your small and large successes for yourself and your team, and you will see a difference in your thinking and in your career.

14. Have Fun with Your Team

Don’t forget that your team takes its cues from you. So, if you tend to take yourself too seriously and forget to laugh then they will follow suit. Let your team know that you’re human and make fun part of the culture. Have lunch catered to celebrate a team victory and have cake and ice cream for birthdays. As a leader, determine what works for your culture and commit to providing that through fun, memorable, and enjoyable moments in the workplace.

15. Show Appreciation

Everyone wants to know that they are appreciated and recognized for who they are and the good work that they do. Fight the temptation to focus on what isn’t working and keep your focus on what is working. If you focus on what isn’t working, then you will be in a negative headspace and vibrational energy. Show consistent appreciation to increase the value of the relationships and connect with the heart to earn greater influence to lead.
Habits such as these will help women in leadership and those pursuing leadership roles in their career to be prepared for the challenge and in maintaining their drive. They will also help women continue to serve as role models for younger women seeking to overcome any gender barriers and understanding how they too, can become an exceptional female in business.