In episode 15 of the That Solo Life podcast we were joined by fellow Solo PR Pro, Dr. Lori Baker-Schena. In addition to the solo practice she founded in 1987, which she continues to this day, Dr. Baker-Schena is the co-founder of LeadHERship Consortium, working with individuals and businesses to achieve high levels of excellence, productivity and profitability.
Over time, Dr. Baker-Schena and colleague Sabine Liedel noticed the distinct lack of training specific to women leaders. Despite being promoted and having a seat at the table, many women still stumble because no one gave them the leadership skills specific to them. Inspired by this revelation, in the summer of 2018 they founded LeadHERship Consortium, “a company devoted to helping women become successful leaders, focusing on solution-driven strategies that combine joy, empowerment and hard work.”
Read on for Dr. Baker-Schena’s tips on how to step up and become a more effective leader.
LeadHERship Tips for Women (and men!)
- Stop beating yourself up with negative self-talk. The things that we say to ourselves can be far more damaging than what we hear externally. We set the tone for how people perceive us and treat us. Start with a strong internal base of positive talk and affirm the value you have and others will see that too.
- Own your talents and strengths and trust that everything else will fall into place. Executive Coach, Bonnie Arthur offered this advice in a Forbes article, “No one can gift you power.” Bonnie points out that when you have a powerful position, people will assume that you have power. However, if you don’t step up and own it, over time you will diminish it. We often counsel solos to own the power of not simply being a boss but CEO of the company. When you embrace that role and m
- Having support and mentorship of other women is key. Women benefit from learning from and being encouraged by one another. We face unique challenges in the workplace and the world so there is a shared understanding that can make it more comfortable to address issues that might not be tackled in male-to-female mentoring.
- Know your value and learn how to communicate it in a way that people hear you. Dr. Baker-Schena says, “Women are at the table, now we need to be heard at the table.We won’t be taken seriously unless until we take ourselves seriously and ask for what we need and deserve. We can be assertive and effective without putting people off – it’s all about energy you bring and the value you feel about yourself.”
- Replace work-life balance with work-life flexibility. As Dr. Baker-Schena says, “We only have a certain amount of bandwidth. Where do you put your energy? What does that really mean? Sometimes you have to be more family-focused, sometimes more work-focused – all without guilt. Give up the guilt, it doesn’t move you forward; this is how you live a joyful productive life.”
- Live in the solution. Dr. Baker-Schena’s upcoming book, The Solution Shift, will focus on this. Our tendency is to live in the problem. Change your focus to the solution. When you state the problem and use the energy you would spend on worrying on figuring out the solution, you shift from victim to empowered, from darkness to light.
Can you relate to any of these struggles? How have you overcome them? Share in the comments or on social media using #solopr.
Listen to the full episode below.
Through conferences, keynotes, and in-house training, LeadHERship Consortium gives women the leadership tools they need to be productive and successful. Everything from how to lead teams, manage change, and handle conflict to confronting negative self talk and inner beliefs about value that can impair progress. Check out the LeadHERship website for more info about programs and upcoming conferences.