A leader’s work is never over. That was a major theme during our Women in Executive Leadership roundtable. On Thursday, February 13, 2020, Webolutions invite more than 25 Denver-area women executives to discuss ideas on defining and building their personal and professional leadership, empowering one another to be better leaders in and out of their careers and offices.
To start the roundtable, Webolutions asked attendees what leadership means to them. One executive in the life-coaching industry said being a leader means supporting and bringing up your staff and providing the tools to succeed. “It’s all about keeping promises and following through on them,” she said. “It goes back to the airplane metaphor of putting your oxygen mask on first,” said one Denver executive in the consulting industry, highlighting how focusing on personal leadership first and then others is a vital trait to developing yourself as a leader.
Discussion then flowed into how they apply these traits in their workplace. When asked how many in the audience considered themselves at one point a micro-manager in their career, the majority of attendees lifted their hands in the air. To tear down those bad habits, Webolutions asked attendees what some of the techniques were for allowing a more “hands-off” leadership approach. One attendee said to give employees the gift of failing — with guardrails. “It’s tough sitting back and letting them fail. But when you let your employees fail safely, they learn lessons and we as an organization benefit along with them.”
Rounding out the topic of defining leadership, Webolutions asked how each is living their leadership in their organizations. One executive in the commercial real estate industry highlighted the importance of acknowledging their employees, including team lunches and shout outs in internal newsletters and meetings. “It’s a reminder that we’re all here together,” said one attendee.
For the next discussion, Webolutions asked women executives to really examine their work-life balance. Nearly every attendee said they have had struggles with finding their work-life balance; however, many offered practical advice for unplugging when they are away from the office. One executive in the health and wellness industry said she likes to block off a two-hour calendar window where she can focus on personal matters, whether it be for soccer games or doctor appointments. When setting her blocked time, she mentions to employees and staff that they can only contact her if it’s an emergency. “It’s important to give yourself the gift of time,” said a woman executive in the real estate industry. “It’s important to say yes to no, and say no to yes.”
Other suggestions about building work-life balance included setting up your phone to receive phone calls from specific contacts, also known as Emergency Auto Bypass mode. In addition to limiting phone calls during outside-work hours, Denver women leaders also empowered each other with the courage to take time off to leave early for personal events.
In addition to personal events, one executive in the health care industry said she and her team created quarterly professional and personal goals. This not only helps her keep track of her team’s professional development but keeps track of how each team member and she are tracking their self care. “Sometimes the personal goals are just as important as the professional goals,” she said.
The final conversation of the February 2020 Women in Executive Leadership Roundtable centered around emotional intelligence. According to researchers Peter Salavoy and John Mayer, Emotional Intelligence is the the ability to recognize, understand and manage our own emotions as well as recognize, understand and influence the emotions of others. To help women executives better understand their emotions, extend compassion and inspire others, Webolutions presented the elements of Emotional Intelligence.
If you would like to learn more about Emotional Intelligence, email Webolutions at [email protected].
Like all Women in Executive Leadership Roundtables, attendees shared their favorite books for improving their leadership strategies:
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