I recently had a discussion with a female CEO who validated the recommendations I’ve made for the company over the past three years. I’m in a unique position with the company: I was contracted to write a sales training manual for them, and when that contract ended, I helped redesign and edit content in their product catalog. And that job led to the next job…and now I’ve been working with them for three years!
The company recently brought on a business strategy consultant who can provide a high level view of the next ten years and the CEO shared with me he is making some of the same recommendations I’ve made – but for some, it took a man to say it before they could HEAR it.
I told her it’s okay, I just want the messages to be heard. I’m used to this type of situation because of my work history – I’m often hired into male-dominated industries. When I managed a garden shop and sold lawn mowers, male customers would look for and ask for a male sales person before realizing I was the lawn mower girl. My enthusiasm about the product line and knowledge of the equipment won them over, but it took a few interesting opening moments of conversation.
When I worked in the pre-hung door industry, there were many times at trade shows or in meetings when I was highly aware that I’d better have my act together on all fronts because one mis-step would outweigh the overall value of my presentations.
I’m currently facilitating an all-employee training series for a company who makes ammunition reloading equipment – you can probably imagine my audience made up mostly of men…and I’m there to inspire a higher quality of feedback and listening skills.
Today I also work with a company who manufactures aftermarket fuel tank systems (they make bigger replacement tanks for trucks as well as tanks that go in the bed of pickups so people have more fuel on board – one of their main customers is RVers). Once again I’ve merged with the boys club to help develop the employees and the organization. And this is where I found a female CEO, having taken over leadership in the company her father founded.
With this backdrop for context, I was interested in MSN Money’s Entrepreneur post which listed quotes from 10 female business leaders. No matter your gender, I think you will agree their wisdom share warrants consideration.
- Sara Blakely, founder of Spanx
- “Don’t be intimidated by what you don’t know. That can be your greatest strength and ensure you do things differently from everyone else.”
- Mary Kay Ash, founder of Mary Kay Cosmetics
- “Aerodynamically the bumble bee shouldn’t be able to fly, but the bumblebee doesn’t know that so it goes on flying anyway.”
- Melinda Gates, co-founder of the 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.”
- Lori Greiner, inventor, QVC host and “Shark Tank” investor
- “Dear optimist, pessimist, and realist – while you guys were busy arguing about the glass of wine, I drank it! Sincerely, the opportunist!”
- Mellody Hobson, Ariel Investments
- “If we can learn to deal with our discomfort and just relax into it, we’ll have better lives.”
- Sheryl Sandberg, COO of Facebook
- “Option A is not available, so let’s kick the sh** out of option B.”
- Eileen Fisher, Fashion Designer
- “Life-fulfilling work is never about the money – when you feel true passion for something, you instinctively find ways to nurture it.”
- Arianna Huffington, Editor-In-Chief of the Huffington Post
- “We need to accept fact we won’t always make the right decisions, that we’ll screw up royally sometimes – understanding that failure is not the opposite of success, it is part of success.”
- Andrea Jung, former CEO of AVON and President of Grameen America
- “My parent ingrained in me early on that the perfect score is always something to strive for. I want to win and I want to succeed no matter what.”
- Barbara Corcoran, Real Estate Magnate, and “Shark Tank” investor
- “The difference between successful people and others is how long they spend time feeling sorry for themselves.”
Leaders: how will you use your words to inspire someone today?
Are you interested in scheduling motivational training for your employees? Butte County employers can schedule an on-site training or attend training at the Butte College Training Place. Outside of Butte County, we can schedule a customized webinar for your employees. Please contact me through my website: relatableleader.com