11 #FLNationalAwards Alumni Share Their Best Leadership Tip

We are very proud of our FL National Awards Alumni. They are women who are empowering teams, creating innovative products, challenging and breaking glass ceilings and uplifting communities across the entire UK.

These women are just like you but if there is one instantly recognisable characteristic all these incredible women share, it is leadership. They do not let their success get to their heads neither do they allow failure to define them. They own their success and lead by example.

Here are their single best leadership tips, exclusive just to this list.

Leanne Silverwood – Director, Local Care Force

“Remind yourself of what is important to you in the workplace including your own ethics and ensure your team knows how much you respect those things.  My personal ethics ensure that I respect my team’s personal life and work-life balance. I treat them like adults, trust them and give them a level of autonomy. I respect their opinions and where feasible, will attempt to implement their ideas.

Don’t start like a bull in a China shop and throw your weight around. There are subtle ways to ensure your authority is respected, I find empathy, availability and transparency far more effective and emotive.  Many new managers make the mistake of ‘showing their team who is boss’ but this approach will just antagonize some and isolate others from you.”

Susanna Lawson – Founder, OneFile

“You need to understand your employees and your customers. You need to understand why someone would feel or behave in a certain way. You don’t necessarily have to agree but you understand.  By having empathy, it enables you to build a much stronger relationship with the person involved.  Old school leadership methods of shouting and telling off don’t work. If you have a member of staff who has been taken into a room for a ‘telling off’ when they go back to their desk they won’t be motivated to work – in fact they will probably be distracted and be counterproductive.”

Jan Flawn – Founder, PJ Care

“Get to know your team before trying to bring in any changes. Look for what inspires and motivates them.  Look at their team dynamics – how they interact with each other and learn their alliances. Most importantly what they dislike. Do not try to be best friends with team members as a team leader they are looking for respect from you before they will give you their respect.”

Lara Oyesanya – General Counsel & Chief Risk Officer, Contis

“Everything is possible and all problems have a solution. Work hard, keep focused, and maintain perspective. Do not place any limitations upon yourself and go for gold every time. If you don’t get the gold it wouldn’t be for lack of trying!”

Jillian Thomas – Founder, Future Life Wealth Management

“You need to find people who will gift you their time and expertise, and preferably people who have already succeeded. Don’t just ask them what went right, also ask what didn’t go well and what they learned from these issues.

Also, find positive people. Negative people will drain you, sap your positivity and will prevent you striding towards your dreams.”

Harriet Kelsall – Founder, HK Jewellery

“The thing that separates leaders from others is that we never give up. When something goes wrong, just keep trying, responding and changing things until it works.

Things go wrong all the time and you need to embrace the challenge of problem-solving and see this as part of your journey rather than letting it get you down or giving up.”

Jacqueline de Rojas – President, TechUK

“It is important to know what you want, define it and make it real in your head. This quote from Lewis Carroll sums this up perfectly; ‘If you don’t know where you’re going, any road will do.’

So many people wonder why their careers aren’t going anywhere, but if you ask what their vision or ambition for their next role looks like, they can’t really answer. Being precise is critical. I know this is easier said than done, but without this vision finding the right path will be a real challenge.

You also need to understand your personal brand, because you have a personal brand whether you like it or not. It’s what people say about you when you leave the room. Understanding what you are currently known for and what you want to be known for is crucial. I wish I had known how important that was when I was 30!”

Sally Fielding – Founder, Sally’s Cottages

“You are not the most amazing person in the business – don’t believe the hype. You are a cog. Surround yourself with people who are better than you. Then you’ll start going places.

Foster a culture of positivity, where people take responsibility. Hire people who will keep this culture safe. You will occasionally hire the wrong person. When you do, face up to it immediately.

Stand back. Don’t micro-manage. Let people make mistakes. They will learn from them.

Time is precious. Don’t bother with meetings that are unfocussed – know beforehand what you want to get out of a meeting and make sure everyone else knows it too.”

Zillah Doyle – CEO, Mechanical Engineering Ventures

“Through the various phases of a business, you may not always be liked but if your team believe in your capabilities and you communicate well it should allow it to be possible for you to be respected.  We spend a large amount of our time at work and at times make large sacrifices for our companies so it is very important to me that my employees enjoy what they do and that we have fun, and ultimately this will give you better results.”

Emma McGuigan – Lead – Intelligent Platform Services, Accenture

“Leadership is about anchoring to the bigger picture. I’m always inspired by the story of the janitor at NASA in the 60’s who when asked what he did said he was putting man on the moon – we all need to keep that big picture in mind when we are weighed down with actions!”

Hannah Duraid – Founder, The Great Escape Game

“Leadership is not about perfection. So, if you are aiming for perfection, you are never going to get there! If you’ve made progress that’s perfect. If you have learned something new, that’s perfect. If you push yourself to be the perfect all-knowing leader, that’s impossible. Use your time more practically and stop comparing yourself to others.”

Anna Keeling – MD, Boeing Defence UK

“My leadership advice is “Sleep on it” – there a few decisions that require an immediate answer. And when a decision is really important you do need the time to consider it. Sleep literally wipes the slate clean. It restores you, resets your emotions, it helps you to see things more objectively and with fresh eyes. I always feel good about decisions I’ve “slept on”.

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