Women should measure their success against other successes not against what successful men have done.
In her response to “What Men Don’t Tell Women About Business,” by Chris Flett, Bridget Ayers gives women business leaders 5 pointers on how to avoid being an us vs. them victim:
1. Don’t approach business like it’s war
How like a man to think business is war. I do not treat business like a war, war is turmoil and casualties, and I’m not looking for either. I don’t need to know what men think, I need to know what successful entrepreneurs think, and then I need to incorporate that into who I am and how I do things.
2. Create your own company through your own inspiration, not someone else’s terms
One woman said that she couldn’t “get into the board room so she left to form her own company.” Having and using knowledge that IS only available in the board room is essential, but some women are so furious about past experiences that they disregard it and refuse to even listen to what is being offered.
Flett makes this sound like a bad thing! A woman who chooses to create her own successful company as opposed to trying to do it on someone else’s terms is inspirational not weak. Work on your weaknesses but play to your strengths, that is the winning strategy. Did Flett have this same opinion of Steve Jobs when he wasn’t being listened to in the Apple boardroom and went his own way in 1986? I doubt it!
3. Knowledge is power
I agree with Chris Flett on this point. Keep yourself educated, informed, and never be afraid to learn from others; be they men or women.
4. Choose talent based on multiple attributes
Choosing people to learn from and business acumen to incorporate into your business should be done based on your industry, business style and, ultimately, your goals. Flett seems to spread his naivety beyond the female gender and into the corporate domain by insinuating that all boardrooms are equal.
All men/women are not created the same, Warren Buffet and Donald Trump are two very successful men but I would wager they are very different in the boardroom. Martha Stewart, Susie Orman, and Oprah are all very successful women and how much alike do you think they are in the boardroom?
I know I could learn from all five individuals, but what I would choose to take from each would be dependent upon who I am and what I want.
5. Learn from mentors, don’t try to be their clone
Business isn’t about conformity. Mentors are important, but they’re meant to be learned from not cloned. So by all means go out there and learn from others, there is no reason to recreate the wheel, but don’t forget who you are in the process.
Be yourself using all your strengths including your femininity. Don’t feel as if you have to measure your self against what men have done in business before you.
Read Bridget’s complete article, “Women in Business vs. Men”