INTERNATIONAL WOMEN’S DAY 2021 # IWD21
My leadership tip…..
Be strong, be kind, be you.
(And most of all, be badass!)
I had the absolute pleasure of sharing my story with ten other female entrepreneurs across the PR, Retail and Media landscape today on this most important of days to women (and all humans) globally – International Women’s Day. Thank you to CIJ Group https://www.cijgroup.co/, who organised this Lunchtime Power Hour webinar, it was an honour to take part.
If you didn’t tune in, below are my pearls of wisdom, as told in 5 minutes….
So, I’d like to start with a story.
Early on in lockdown, I was sent a link to one of those online Leadership questionnaires; you know, what sort of leader are you, what’s your leadership gold? I don’t usually bother with quizzes (or have the time to do them), but having some new time on my hands, thanks to working from home, I got a coffee and filled it in.
And what did it say.
You are KIND.
What the hell, I thought? Kind? That isn’t me.
I’m daring and different and Brazen. I’m a bad-ass Warrior Boss. I’m a powerful woman in business. I persuade clients to step out of their comfort zones and be more daring. I’ve been fearlessly steering the troops into battle for 20 years, especially now, in the face of COVID, where I’ve had to rip up the business rule book and start over.
So, I filled it in again – this time thinking really carefully about my answers.
But there it was again.
And you know what, it was one of the most profound moments of my career – my lightbulb moment!
Because I realised that the quality I thought was a weakness – my Achilles heel for 20 years as a female boss – was actually my strength and saviour.
Because secretly – I AM KIND – I admit it.
So, I’ve embraced that strength – and honestly, it’s re-energised me completely – plus it’s got me and Brazen through this most tumultuous and terrifying time in our lives.
So how has Being Kind – and trusting in myself – guided me through lockdown and the past 12 months and given me purpose?
1. First – I put Brazen’s people, our heart and soul, above all else. So making the team feel safe, secure, trusted and valued, at work and in terms of their mental wellbeing, was my No1 priority. I supported and guided them personally through all the changes thrown at us – including closing the office, going into lockdown, learning to work from home, going on furlough, coming back from furlough, all while supporting our brilliant clients, who were all going through similar.
Essentially, I asked the team what they wanted from me, and hopefully I delivered it – servant leadership, if you will. I put a Life Coach in place and now we’re working towards getting back to normal on June 21. We’ve even made the 22nd a Brazen bank holiday so everyone can enjoy their first day of freedom to the max.
2. Secondly – I threw myself into my Ambassador work with Girls Out Loud – the non-profit organisation that helps teenage girls be the very best they can be and give them a voice. I love it because I get to give back AND help inspire the next generation of female leaders. Plus, with two teenage girls at home, I personally know how tough it is right now for them.
3. Thirdly – I pledged to give 10% of every piece of new biz we were lucky to win as an agency through lockdown to charities and causes close to our hearts. Something I’ve been extremely proud to do.
In fact. Being Kind has universally emerged as the most powerful leadership trait of our times, hasn’t it? Just look at the brilliant Jacinda Ardern’s “Be Strong Be Kind” winning political mantra. Game changer.
I believe that through COVID, those stereotypically “female leadership” qualities like, kindness – empathy – inspiration – loyalty – compassion – generosity – have truly come into their own. It’s their moment in the sunshine.
So, let’s bask in this sunshine together today as female leaders!
Saying all this – it doesn’t mean you can’t still be a fierce leader – IF THAT’S WHO YOU ARE. Ultimately, you need to trust your gut instinct and be authentic to yourself. You do you.
Truth be told – I do consider myself a Warrior Boss, because it’s in my Brazen DNA; it’s how I make the tough decisions and steer the business, our team and our clients through the good times and bad.
That fearlessness gives me personal strength and vitality.
But I’ve also accepted that Kindness, as a female boss, is my secret power.
So, I for one am embracing my true nature on International Women’s Day!
And in a PDA – a Public Display of Accountability – I’d like to say:-
I’m Nina Webb. I’m a Kind Warrior Boss. And I’m proud.
So my mantra and key takeout for you today (and all days) is:-
BE STRONG, BE KIND, BE YOU.
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