Your phone is ringing. The email is suddenly filling up with subject lines such as ‘approval needed urgently’, ‘contract to be signed, check clause 4′ and ’employee review meeting-reminder’.
The world of Bosslady ness. It’s exhilarating, it’s inspiring, it’s full of deadlines and expectations. Suddenly you are not only expected to go above and beyond to full fill your role and then some, you are responsible not just for a few but The with capital ‘T’ employees on a day to day basis that will provide you the workforce and results you need to get the nod of approval from those Directors during your updates.
As of the past six months + I’ve found myself placed in the mad world of boss lady working, in perhaps one of the most male dominated (gray haired, no offence foxes) sections of the Media world there is, Sports Broadcasting. It’s been exciting, there’s been programming to Produce, and there’s been staff to manage and hire. And perhaps most exciting, there’s been plans and pitches however insane to build and follow!
One of the three most important things I’ve learned from this business, which is repeated again and again, is the value of people. Businesses aren’t built solely on money, big badassers on top or a good ideas. They are built and continue running successfully because of their people. At a recent conference on the future of Digital (which FYI bloody hell, get on that band wagon!! 11 year olds are our future programmers and the whole world is waiting to get connected! Our kids will laugh in our faces when we show them DVDs!) some of the most successful entrepreneurs out there graced us with their presence and discussed how important is to surround yourself with not average, not ok, but excellent people. And then look after them! Value your employees, value their opinions, and make sure they are happy. Unhappy mistreated staff result in unhappy halfhearted client service and a lack of loyalty within. No one benefits there.
On that note, Richard Branson recently published his ‘Top 5’s on running and starting a business’ and emphasises the exact same thing (have a read here).
The second one, is probably enjoy what you do. If you come into work miserable everyone else will pick up on it. Creativity will halt and without passion and forward thinking there isn’t going to be much business development to speak of.
Thirdly you need a healthy work v private life balance. You need to be passionate enough about work that you don’t’ quite view it as such. Equally, we all know that it’s not quite that easy. Sometimes you’ll need to pull three week stints of ridiculously long days. That’s just part of your job, whatever it may be. You need to put the effort in when needed to push boundaries and backup the ideas and ventures you believe in. However, keep that up for much longer and rather than firing at 110% you’ll be falling down, from 80% to 60, 40, 25%…
One of my directors once sat me down and told me his most successful learning tool was a very simple one (he teaches major corporations, Banks in particular, about maximising their potential): shut off your blackberry/iPhone. Not just vibrating and checking the emails every half an hour. If you spend your life constantly with one foot halfway at work even while you’re meant to be focusing on living life (family, friends, those moments where you laugh and cry and live) you need to put 100% into it. 50/50 never works, because you end up giving some here and some there and never fully putting all your ability into one project. Fingers in many pies is one thing, as long as you remember which one is which.
A sort of unspoken fourth one I’d say is gamble. Take chances. If you don’t nothing new ever gets done. If no one ever tried silly or crazy things nothing clever would ever get done (I believe that’s a bit of a ripped off quote, yes :). Believe in yourself, whether you’re working in a massive organisation, in a small business, or you’re starting your own venture. Don’t forget, sometimes you’ll fail. That’s ok. If you didn’t you’d be Batman. And then you probably wouldn’t need this really, beyond loose the freaky voice (seriously, what is that!). You need to know you can fail, and feel comfortable enough knowing that you’ll be backed up in case you do (or if you are literally your own boss with no backing, know you have a whole cupboard full of noodles until you can get a new pay cheque. That’s ok too ;). Point is, take a chance, no one got anywhere exciting without scary obstacles but trying anyway.
Anyway, back to bossladynessing… It’s been quite a journey so far and, to be honest, in between the moments of panic and seriousness the feeling that this is actually just a little bit amaze balls is pretty exciting! It’s amazing what can happen when you have a little faith in yourself, suddenly others do to. So work your ass off! Don’t ever think it isn’t hard work, but always know nothing’s impossible. When a 24 year old turns up to a meeting and demands respect, especially if she is a woman, even in this day and age you’ll still get a few raised eyebrows. But don’t for a second think they won’t give you the time of day, don’t expect it but demand the respect you’ve earned.
And look after your staff!! They make or break :).
Gotta go, business development meetings to attend!!