Empowering Women in Business

Discover the guiding principles for success

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Guiding Principles for Women in Business

Around a third of our lives is spent at work, so we want to help you get the most from this time. This year in celebration of 2024 International Women’s Day, we asked our expert female trainers and coaches from the #KSL community:

“What top tip would you give your younger self to overcome challenges and become more successful in the workplace?”

In L&D we’ve been lucky to learn from thousands of women from diverse backgrounds and industry sectors. We see the pressures on women to compare and compete rather than share and collaborate.

From our collective top tips, we want to share our guiding principles, the 6 C’s:

1. CORE Find your purpose and stay true to your core values

  • Create a vision for your life
    “Have a vision for your life; you need that north star to guide you. Remember you are perfectly imperfect. Set good boundaries, pick good friends for laughs, to call you out and be there for you.” Charlotte Angus
  • Focus on the core
    “Life’s not a competition, it’s not about ‘having it all’, it’s about finding out what’s really core to you and feeling contented and guided by that.” Claire Brown
  • Stay true to your values
    “Be true to your values, help others on their journey, be generous, find great mentors and challenge the nonsense!” Melanie Icke

2. CONVICTION Appreciating your unique value and resisting comparison

  • Stop comparing yourself to others
    “Stop comparing your journey to others. Just stop. Compare it instead to where you were a year ago, 5 years ago, 10 years ago … and smile; your strength, resilience, and zest for life will take you on a different path than most, and it will be worth it.” Fiona Wilkinson
  • Be the best version of yourself
    “Be the best version of yourself, as everyone else is taken (Oscar Wilde). Stop trying to compare to other people and trying to change and adapt to be like them. Believe in your own value and skills and be your own brilliant self.” Rachel Powell
  • Believe in yourself  Louise Whelan

3. COURAGE Digging deep, acknowledging the fear but doing it anyway

  • Have no regrets
    “When you feel fear but are excited by the potential outcome – take a deep breath and do it. We mostly regret what we didn’t do in life rather than what we did. You’ll be amazed at what you can achieve.” Annabel Stewart
  • Just do it
    “Give it a try, if it isn’t for you, try something else. For the tough days, remember that this too shall pass. Finally, only buy dresses with pockets in them!” Alison Cassidy
  • Be brave
    “I’d tell myself to be braver, worry less and dance more!!! Sam Ellis
  • Go ‘in full’ anyway
    “Challenges and obstacles, whatever the outcome, teach us so much about ourselves, so be brave and go ‘full in’ anyway.” Tamsin Regnes

4. CONNECTION Connecting with those that inspire and reinforce your purpose and values

  • Lean-in and raise up other women
    “Keep doing the things that make you nervous, no-one knows you are nervous but you, it’s your superpower! Lean-in and raise up other women on your journey, they will be your energy and will make your heart feel full.” Corrina Thewlis-Smith
  • “Find your cheerleaders” Sharon Dixon

5. CURIOSITY Asking more questions, being open to learning and trying new things

  • Ask more questions
    “Never be afraid to ask the question you think might be stupid, chances are at least half the room have the same question. How many times have you sat in a meeting and thought ‘that’s what I was thinking but didn’t have the courage to ask’? Be courageously bold in the knowledge that the person asking the questions is the person in control.” Gilly Thompson
  • Explore and try new things
    “It’s OK not to know where your career is going. Explore and try new things. If something doesn’t work, then it’s a strength to move on not a failure. You’ll find what you love eventually” Claire Palethorpe

6. CONTRIBUTE Sharing your views and perspectives whilst respecting others’

  • Speak up
    “It’s OK to speak up and share your view. No-one walks this journey in your shoes; being true to you is the best gift you can give yourself.” Michelle Tranter

Putting the learning into practice

Now reflect on the 6 C’s to identify your real strengths and areas for development. We recommend some simple steps to help you create great habits, bounce back from challenges or renew your inspiration.

  1. Identify which of the 6C’s guiding principles are your development areas
  2. Write the principle onto a post it note
  3. Place the Post It note on the fridge door or car dashboard
  4. Write down and store the principle on the Notes page on your phone
  5. Set a daily reminder of the principle on your phone at a specific time

Boost your skills further

Moving on, think about which area still needs developing to help you achieve your professional growth and aspirations:

Most of us need to go to work. In order to make the most of our time at work, implementing these 6 C’s will give you great grounding for a happy and fulfilling working life.

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