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Lead And Succeed: What Creative Women Do Differently

Lead And Succeed: What Creative Women Do Differently

While you can’t quantify success or the precise skills that lead to it, for women working our way to the top, we know that it takes something different to reach a position of professional leadership. But in order to compensate for the disadvantage that comes with being outsiders to the “old boys clubs” that drive so much of corporate networking, women have to apply creative strategies to navigating the business world.

The best path to success for women, may be to have great role models on the road there. Great mentors can provide guidance and falling into a company that already has women in strong positions of leadership can be a fortuitous difference. As Cosmopolitan editor-in-chief Joanna Coles notes, women driven to succeed become the boss to make their own rules, and that can also be a way in for other women. The right role model helps open a path.

Where Creativity Comes In

Increased studies on childhood exposure to the arts have shown that access to these creative outlets as part of education also helps children build self-confidence, but the value of such exposure doesn’t end there. Creativity can also be one of the the ways women stand out from our peers in the workplace.

By recognizing the value of creativity, and not just more traditional hard skills like finance or computer skills, women are often the source of the next big idea - even if it takes a few failed ones to get there. Of course, that’s how virtually every big idea comes about, but by being willing to risk the creative endeavor, women may be more likely than men to strike upon those ideas.

The Perfectionism Trap

The flip-side of harnessing creativity for success, is being caught too easily by the damaging forces of perfectionism. This is a real risk for women who feel a lot of pressure to keep up with men in the workplace and who worry that mistakes can leave them singled out for criticism. But creative thinking is also an antidote to perfectionism, and that’s where it’s value is really multiplied.

The unexpected twists and turns that come from raising children, for example, have trained us as women not to get overly caught up by perfectionism. When something unexpected happens, we adapt and come up with new solutions. We don’t play by the rules that have already failed us.

If you want to make it big in business, doing what everyone else is doing won’t work. That’s why women in the business world should find ways to be creative - even if just to blow off stress - on a daily basis. The more often you exercise those brain pathways, the more limber your thought processes will be and the better prepared you’ll be for the next idea and the next solution. And that idea could be the one that helps you make it big.


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