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Words Of Wisdom From 5 Influential Women Leaders

March is Women’s History Month—a month that honors and reflects on the many achievements of women through history, as well as the vast strides made by women leaders today. At The Execu|Search Group, we have the privilege of working with smart and powerful women every day. They are amazing leaders and role models, and we have a lot to learn from them all!

Read also: 5 Traits Of Powerful Female Leaders In The Workforce

To commemorate Women’s History Month, we thought we’d share insight from some of today’s most inspirational women leaders. Continue reading to learn more from the experts:

Indra Nooyi (Former CEO, PepsiCo)

“Just because you are CEO, don’t think you have landed. You must continually increase your learning, the way you think, and the way you approach the organization. I’ve never forgotten that.”

The takeaway: You should never stop learning. Regardless of how close you get to the top, there are always new skills, strategies, and technologies to adopt. Making the effort to improve yourself will not only help your business stay up-to-date with evolving industry trends, but it also inspire and enable your staff to do the same.

Abigail Johnson (CEO, Fidelity Investments)

“I had many high-powered sales and marketing professionals who reported to me, but I also had thousands of call center representatives reporting to me. I had to learn to communicate to very different types of groups of managers with different orientations, different priorities.”

The takeaway: Since different employees have different needs, a one-size fits all management approach isn’t always going to work. A good manager connects with their employees on a more personal level, adapting their leadership style to get the best out of their individual reports or various teams.

Jennifer Hyman (CEO + Co-founder, Rent The Runway)

“Real-time feedback and coaching promotes learning. When feedback is connected to compensation, feedback is muted, distorted, and given less frequently.”

The takeaway: While promotions and raises are certainly important, sticking to a traditional review schedule can put your team at a disadvantage. Providing real time feedback is a great way to promote professional development and help your employees see their impact on the organization. Encouraging regular check-ins also demonstrates your investment in your team’s success, which can help boost engagement and reduce turnover.

Melinda Gates (Co-chair, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation)

“If you are successful, it is because somewhere, sometime, someone gave you a life or an idea that started you in the right direction. Remember also that you are indebted to life until you help some less fortunate person, just as you were helped.”  

The takeaway: Mentorship can be integral to your overall success, both early in your career and later in your professional life. Don’t forget about the people who help you along the way, and remember to return the favor by mentoring less experienced professionals. While you help your mentee recognize their potential, they might even teach you a few things as well!

Kathryn Minshew (CEO + Co-founder, The Muse)

“Something I’ve learned is that when people tell me I can’t do something, I immediately wonder why and then think it through. It only makes me more motivated to prove them wrong.”

The takeaway: As disappointing as it may be, don’t let yourself get discouraged by hearing the word no. Instead, treat every rejection as a learning opportunity. Think critically about the reasons why you were told no, and use them as motivation to propel you forward.

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