Why Businesswomen Should Embrace Their Inner Sofia Vergara
There’s more to Sofia Vergara, the top-earning actress on television for three years running, than meets the eye, says executive and business coach Debora McLaughlin.
“She’s a wildly successful entrepreneur who embraces herself, including her own beauty, her 40s, her health as a thyroid cancer survivor, her previous status as a single mother, her multiple endorsement deals from corporations that reflect her life – and she does it all with swagger,” says McLaughlin, CEO of The Renegade Leader Coaching and Consulting Group, and author of “Running in High Heels: How to Lead with Influence, Impact & Ingenuity.”
“Vergara represents a new face in business leadership. Multiple studies have found that personality traits formerly thought of as ‘feminine’ are now seen as preferred leadership features in business.”
Research done by Pew, Zenger Folkman, and Gerzema, Young & Rubicam indicates the new business values contributed by women leaders. These days, essential traits include empathy, vulnerability, humility, inclusiveness, generosity, balance and patience – which were not thought of as desirable attributes in the old command-and-control boy’s club, McLaughlin says.
Despite the mighty contributions made by female business leaders, businesswomen continue to face barriers. McLaughlin wants more women to take the initiative during Women’s History Month with her L.E.A.D. Forward Formula. It is recognized by the U.S. in March and in Canada in October.
“L” is for leveraged leadership. You work it. You will learn how to communicate powerfully, engage in a deeper level of influence, and build a powerbase to support you. Those traits previously thought of as too effeminate for the business world are now spot on in leveraging your influence.
“E” is for Engage. Success doesn’t happen alone. You need your people on board. You need a culture that rallies around shared goals and demonstrates its values in day-to-day behaviors. You need a team that is just as excited about your vision as you are, standing ready to make a positive impact on the bottom line. It’s up to you to move people to passion, positivity and possibility. Learn how to engage and mobilize your teams; get everyone on the same page, and increase performance, productivity and positivity.
“A” is for Activate. Many leaders complain about their culture not realizing their responsibility in creating it. Activate will share the secrets of activating a high-performance culture built upon the foundation of trust, courage and innovation. Top leaders take responsibility for driving the company culture with collaboration, joint leadership, transparent communication and innovation. Here, focus on how to create a culture of people who are happy to be part of it.
“D” is for Distinguish. It’s not enough to blend in; it’s more fun to stand out as a leader and as an organization. Every leader has a brand and it’s up to you to distinguish it. Distinction is alluring. People want to get to know you. Your teams are excited to accelerate past your competition. Here you need to figure out how your story, your brand and your message will result in becoming the leader others choose to follow.
“How does one become a leader? – What I describe is an outline for getting started,” McLaughlin says. “Every woman has her own heel print for the character of her leadership, but there are helpful guidelines to follow when tracking progress.”
Debora McLaughlin is the best-selling author of “The Renegade Leader: 9 Success Strategies Driven Leaders Use to Ignite People, Performance and Profits.” Her new book,“Running in High Heels: How to Lead with Influence, Impact & Ingenuity,” is a how-to leadership companion for women in business. She is CEO of The Renegade Leader Coaching and Consulting Group