Diversity in the workplace is an important and often discussed element of corporate culture. As more and more startups appear, with some succeeding and even more failing, more and more women are taking the opportunity to throw their hats into the entrepreneurial ring.

According to a study conducted by CrunchBase, startups with at least one woman in a founding role are steadily increasing, and depending on the location, the percentage of women in a founding role are higher than the average. Over the next five years, this trend is expected to continue, with more women tackling the entrepreneurial role.

With leadership strategies in place, women can increase their confidence, enter the entrepreneurial race and lend their voices and talents to build better communities.

Leadership strategies for women entrepreneurs

Focus on emotional intelligence. One way that all entrepreneurs can succeed is by focusing on their emotional intelligence , which is a skill that women tend to naturally possess. Emotional intelligence is the ability to assess the feelings and emotions of team members, and to build strategies to work with others based on those feelings. Emotionally intelligent leaders understand how their words and actions affect their team members, and they are able to work with their team members on an individual level to overcome personal obstacles, complete tasks and reach goals. During times of stress, women are more likely to turn to others, rather than retreat into solitude to create solutions. This skill is beneficial for solving problems, building a team-focused culture and overcoming stress.

Empower change.  Transformational leaders are leaders who act as change agents and role models for their organizations. Transformational leaders typically lead others to higher standards, higher levels of trust and a clear vision for the organization. Team performance, team member learning, motivation and job satisfaction are all higher for transformational leaders. Transformational leadership can be learned, but women typically innately possess many qualities found in this type of leadership, including enabling others to act, rewarding accomplishments and modeling the way. Leaders should embrace these qualities to empower change and lead their teams to success.

Engaging Employees To Champion ChangeConsider a collaborative model. In traditional, top-down business models, men typically appear to be more successful than women in leadership roles, but the opposite is true for collaborative business models – the model preferred by talented Millennials. Cohesive, collaborative business models reject the traditional management levels and instead focus on looser hierarchies with flatter structures. In these models, women leaders are seen as more charismatic than their male counterparts because these models focus on creating solidarity and intimacy among teams, which are strategies that women typically excel in. To succeed with their startups, women founders should consider adapting a collaborative business model, rather than a traditional top-down model.

Be engaged. It may sound obvious, but entrepreneurs need to be fully engaged with their startups. By being engaged themselves, leaders are better able to encourage engagement from their team members. According to Gallup’s 2015 State of the American Manager Report, women leaders inspire higher engagement levels than men, with women outranking men in 11 of the 12 engagement categories. To improve engagement levels in the workplace, leaders need to be engaged themselves. By engaging in their work, leaders are setting the example for their expectations, as well as the importance of taking pride in their work and organization. Leaders should share their passion for their work and expect the same from their team members.

There are many leadership strategies that women leaders can implement to improve their chances of successfully navigating the harsh waters of startups. Women are generally innately successful in a number of areas, and they should utilize these skills to carry their startups to success. Some areas to pay attention to include focusing on emotional intelligence, empowering change, utilizing a collaborative business model and being engaged with their work.

On top of these strategies, leaders can also utilize an established program to learn new leadership strategies and improve their chances for success. The TIGERS Success Series offers the TIGERS Den leadership training membership program offers training support for new leaders, entrepreneurs and others in team leadership roles. By learning the important leadership skills of decision-making, planning, employee coaching, conflict resolution and other skills, entrepreneurs will be better able to lead their teams and organization to success.

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Copyright TIGERS Success Series, Inc. by Dianne Crampton

About TIGERS Success Series, Inc

TIGERS Success Series is a Bend, Oregon Leadership and Team Improvement Consultant that helps committed leaders build more cooperation among employees and collaboration between departments for improved growth and revenue.

We do this by deploying the TIGERS team process that improves workforce behaviors that are anchored by trust, interdependence, genuineness, empathy, risk resolution and success. Providing diagnostics and customized team interventions you can improve both work culture and transform your adequate teams into exceptional ones. We also license and train HRD Executives, Project Managers, Managers, Trainers and Team Consultants in the use of our award winning resources.  For more information, call 1+ 541-385-7465.