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10 Success Tips from Today’s Most Inspirational Women

10 Success Tips from Today’s Most Inspirational Women

In the past, women in high-level positions were few and far between. But now, more than ever, there are more women making their way to the top and how they lead is immensely inspirational. Read on to learn the success tips and inspiring nuggets of wisdom 10 of these amazing women acquired through their journeys, choices, and career paths.

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    Anne Sweeney: Ask questions

    Stay curious and ask questions. As co-chair of Disney Media Networks and president of Disney-ABC Television Group, Anne Sweeney says she’s “driven by curiosity” because “it gets people excited” and “leads to new ideas, new jobs, new industries.” Excitement keeps thing moving forward and evolving. Sweeney adds, “The smartest thing you can ever do is to constantly ask questions.” Asking questions is one of the best way to gain deeper insights. The best detectives and scientists rely heavily on asking questions because they know it will eventually lead to a breakthrough.

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      Claire Watts: Listen up

      One of the most important tips many successful women agree on is to listen. As the CEO of retail and media company QVC, Claire Watts schedules open door times every week. She does this so anyone in the company who wants to come talk to her or ask her something, can do so. She learns about social media from the interns and develops her mobile strategy with input from the tech team. No one should be beneath you and you should always keep your eyes and ears open.

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        Tina Fey: Do your own thing

        In her bestselling memoir, Bossypants, Tina Fey writes, “Do your thing and don’t care if they like it.” People may do things differently than you, they won’t always agree with you, and that’s okay. Focus on being true to who you are, stay confident in your abilities and just keep doing your own thing. If everyone did everything the same way, everything would be dull and boring. Own up the good things about you that make you stand out.

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          JK Rowling: Persist, persist, persist

          Things won’t always be unicorns and rainbows, but don’t give up! JK Rowling began working on her series of books starring young wizard-in-training Harry Potter in 1990 and completed Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, the seventh book in the popular series, in 2007. That’s 17 years! That’s longer than it takes for someone to complete undergraduate and medical school! You’re bound to have setbacks and frustrations, but keep your eye on the prize and keep your endurance up. Sure, failure is always a possibility, but the easiest way to fail is to give up.

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            Sheryl Sandberg: Ask, “What would you do if you weren’t afraid?”

            Facebook’s COO, Sheryl Sandberg, encourages women to chase their ambitions in her bestselling book, Lean In. She suggests putting fear aside and suggests, “Ask yourself, ‘What would I do if I weren’t afraid?’ And then go do it.” Fear keeps us from being creative and successful. No matter your ambitions, there will always be obstacles and risk, but giving in to the fear already sets you up to fail.

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              Sophia Amoruso: Nothing is out of your job description

              Sophia Amoruso, founder, CEO, and Chief Troublemaker of the online retail store, Nasty Gal, wrote in her inspirational book #GIRLBOSS, “You want to know what four words I probably hate the most? ‘That’s not my job.’ Nasty Gal is not a place where these four words fly. At the end of the day, we’re all here for one reason and one reason only–to make the company succeed.” Amoruso hits the nail on the head. Doing “your job” is often doing things that aren’t in the job description. The main thing to focus to on is to get things done. We are human beings, not robots. We have to be flexible with what tasks and obstacles are thrown at us in order to truly accomplish what we need and to succeed.

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                Kate White: Keep challenging yourself

                As the long-time editor of the popular women’s magazine, Cosmopolitan, Kate White says the way to know it’s time to leave a job is that you’re happy. This sounds counterintuitive, but often when you’re happy and know the job a little too well, you begin to feel comfortable. When you know exactly how to do the job, you’re not as challenged. Challenge keeps us on our toes, energized and motivated to move forward and evolve.

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                  Oprah Winfrey: Admit mistakes

                  No one is perfect; everyone makes mistakes. Part of Oprah Winfrey’s mass appeal is that so many people relate to her. Despite being one of the richest and most powerful people in the world, Oprah makes mistakes and admits them. Her acknowledgment of her mistakes makes her more likable, thus securing her power as one of the world’s most influential and inspirational people.

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                    Kay Cannon: Get help

                    No one said you need to be super-human to be a super. Get help and learn to use your resources. Kay Cannon, a comedy writer who wrote Pitch Perfect and wrote on the hit TV shows New Girl and 30 Rock, says, “I don’t do it all.  Not even close. I work on a show with a kickass writing staff, I have a kickass partner of a husband who is there for me at all times both personally and professionally.” You don’t have to go at it alone. There are talented people at your disposal; use them to help you grow.

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                      Suze Orman: Lower the shield

                      Like Oprah, financial guru Suze Orman strives to connect with the public on a personal level. People trust her. She often shares the story about when she was 13 and watched her father dive back into a burning chicken shack to retrieve a cash register. In that instant, Orman says she understood how money, or the lack of it, could become more important than life itself for those who don’t know how to properly manage it. Orman constantly strives to help people manage their money while placing it into the proper perspective. By sharing something personal and lowering the shield, you’ll naturally develop a connection with your listeners and reinforce trust.

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                      Last Updated on April 6, 2020

                      10 Powerful Ways to Influence People Positively

                      10 Powerful Ways to Influence People Positively

                      Most discussions on positively influencing others eventually touch on Dale Carnegie’s seminal work, How to Win Friends and Influence People. Written more than 83 years ago, the book touches on a core component of human interaction, building strong relationships. It is no wonder why.

                      Everything that we do hinges on our ability to connect with others and formulate deep relationships. You cannot sell a house, buy a house, advance in most careers, sell a product, pitch a story, teach a course, etc. without building healthy relationships. Managers get the best results from their teams, not through brute force, but to careful appeals to their sensibilities, occasional withdrawals from the reservoir of respect they’ve built. Using these tactics, they can influence others to excellence, to productivity, and to success.

                      Carnegie’s book is great. Of course, there are other resources too. Most of us have someone in our lives who positively influences us. The truth is positively influencing people is about centering the humanity of others. Chances are, you know someone who is really good at making others feel like stars. They can get you to do things that the average person cannot. Where the requests of others sound like fingernails on a chalkboard, the request from this special person sounds like music to your ears. You’re delighted to not only listen but also to oblige.

                      So how to influence people in a positive way? Read on for tips.

                      1. Be Authentic

                      To influence people in a positive way, be authentic. Rather than being a carbon copy of someone else’s version of authenticity, uncover what it is that makes you unique.

                      Discover your unique take on an issue and then live up to and honor that. Once of the reasons social media influencers are so powerful is that they have carved out a niche for themselves or taken a common issue and approached it from a novel or uncommon way. People instinctually appreciate people whose public persona matches their private values.

                      Contradictions bother us because we crave stability. When someone professes to be one way, but lives contrary to that profession, it signals that they are confused or untrustworthy and thereby, inauthentic. Neither of these combinations bode well for positively influencing others.

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                      2. Listen

                      Growing up, my father would tell me to listen to what others said. He told me if I listened carefully, I would know all I needed to know about a person’s character, desires and needs.

                      To positively influence others, you must listen to what is spoken and what is left unsaid. Therein lies the explanation for what people need in order to feel validated, supported and seen. If a person feels they are invisible, and unseen by their superiors, they are less likely to be positively influenced by that person.

                      Listening meets a person’s primary need of validation and acceptance.

                      Take a look at this guide on how to be a better listener: How to Practice Active Listening (A Step-By-Step Guide)

                      3. Become an Expert

                      Most people are predisposed to listen to, if not respect, authority. If you want to positively influence others, become an authority in the area in which you seek to lead others. Research and read everything you can about the given topic, and then look for opportunities to put your education into practice.

                      You can argue over opinions. You cannot argue, or it is unwise to argue, over facts and experts come with facts.

                      4. Lead with Story

                      From years of working in the public relations space, I know that personal narratives, testimonials and impact stories are incredibly powerful. But I never cease to be amazed with how effective a well-timed and told story can be.

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                      If you want to influence people, learn to tell stories. Your stories should be related to the issue or concept you are discussing. They should be an analogy or metaphor that explains your topic in ordinary terms and in vivid detail. To learn more about how to tell powerful stories, and the ethics of storytelling, take a look at this article: How To Tell An Interesting Story In 4 Simple Steps

                      5. Lead by Example

                      It is incredibly inspiring to watch passionate, talented people at work or play. One of the reasons a person who is not an athlete can be in awe of athletic prowess is because human nature appreciates the extraordinary. When we watch the Olympics, Olympic trials, gymnastic competitions, ice skating, and other competitive sports, we can recognize the effort of people who day in and day out give their all. C

                      ase in point: Simone Biles. The gymnast extraordinaire won her 6TH all-around title at the U.S. Gymnastics Championships after doing a triple double. She was the first woman to do so. Watching her gave me chills. Even non-gymnasts and non-competitive athletes can appreciate the talent required to pull off such a remarkable feat.

                      We celebrate remarkable accomplishments and believe that their example is proof that we too can accomplish something great, even if it isn’t qualifying for the Olympics. To influence people in a positive way, we must lead by example, lead with intention and execute with excellence.

                      6. Catch People Doing Good

                      A powerful way to influence people in a positive way is to catch people doing good. Instead of looking for problems, look for successes. Look for often overlooked, but critically important things that your peers, subordinates and managers do that make the work more effective and more enjoyable.

                      Once you catch people doing good, name and notice their contributions.

                      7. Be Effusive with Praise

                      It did not take me long to notice a remarkable trait of a former boss. He not only began and ended meetings with praise, but he peppered praise throughout the entire meeting. He found a way to celebrate the unique attributes and skills of his team members. He was able to quickly and accurately assess what people were doing well and then let them and their colleagues know.

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                      Meetings were not just an occasion to go through a “To Do” list, they were opportunities to celebrate accomplishments, no matter how small they are.

                      8. Be Kind Rather Than Right

                      I am going to level with you; this one is tough. It is easy to get caught up in a cycle of proving oneself. For people who lack confidence, or people who prioritize the opinions of others, being right is important. The validation that comes with being perceived as “right” feeds one’s ego. But in the quest to be “right,” we can hurt other people. Once we’ve hurt someone by being unkind, it is much harder to get them to listen to what we’re trying to influence them to do.

                      The antidote to influencing others via bullying is to prioritize kindness above rightness. You can be kind and still stand firm in your position. For instance, many people think that they need others to validate their experience. If a person does not see the situation you experienced in the way you see it, you get upset. But your experience is your experience.

                      If you and your friends go out to eat and you get food poisoning, you do not need your friends to agree that the food served at the restaurant was problematic for you. Your own experience of getting food poisoning is all the validation you need. Therefore, taking time to be right is essentially wasted and, if you were unkind in seeking validation for your food-poison experience, now you’ve really lost points.

                      9. Understand a Person’s Logical, Emotional and Cooperative Needs

                      The Center for Creative Leadership has argued that the best way to influence others is to appeal to their logical, emotional and cooperative needs. Their logical need is their rational and educational need. Their emotional need is the information that touches them in a deeply personal manner. The cooperative need is understanding the level of cooperation various individuals need and then appropriately offering it.

                      The trick with this system is to understand that different people need different things. For some people, a strong emotional appeal will outweigh logical explanations. For others, having an opportunity to collaborate will override emotional connection.

                      If you know your audience, you will know what they need in order to be positively influenced. If you have limited information about the people whom you are attempting to influence, you will be ineffective.

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                      10. Understand Your Lane

                      If you want to positively influence others, operate from your sphere of influence. Operate from your place of expertise. Leave everything else to others. Gone are the days when being a jack of all trades is celebrated.

                      Most people appreciate brands that understand their target audience and then deliver on what that audience wants. When you focus on what you are uniquely gifted and qualified to do, and then offer that gift to the people who need it, you are likely more effective. This effectiveness is attractive.

                      You cannot positively influence others if you are more preoccupied by what others do well versus what you do well.

                      Final Thoughts

                      Influencing people is about centering your humanity. If you want to influence others positively, focus on the way you communicate and improve the relationship with yourself first.

                      It’s hard to influence others if you’re still trying to figure out how to communicate with yourself.

                      More Tips About Making Influence

                      Featured photo credit: Wonderlane via unsplash.com

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