“Be nice, but not too nice. Be successful, but not too successful. Just be likeable. Whatever that means?”
I was watching Alicia Menendez on Trevor Noah last night and her talk truly impacted me. She talks about women in leadership roles and how we struggle with a problem so unique to us. She says likeability is wildly subjective and as women we’re told we’re either TOO much or we have to blend in. We’re told there’s no way to be likable and be a leader. In that same interview Alicia talks about male candidates running for elections – even if people don’t like them, they’ll vote for them because they think they’ll get the job done. For women, we have to work twice as hard.
I’ve been an entrepreneur and business owner for the last 10 years. I started a company with 3 people to the organisation of 100 + that we are today. Over this decade I’ve learnt several lessons – some the (VERY) hard way . In the early days of my career, I wish I wasn’t so soft. I wish I didn’t have the need for everyone to like me at work. As the company and I grow, I’ve started to change. As someone helming a company I know where our priorities lie, where change needs to happen and what I need to do to see it grow to my vision. When I take decisions today, I know I’m doing it for the best and I don’t need people to like me for my them. I’ve met several female founders in the last couple of years and this topic always comes up. For this reason, I’m choosing Alicia’s book for our December read!
I’m super excited to read it and I hope to learn some new tips and tricks. I would also like to hear from you, male or female, what your start-up journey has been like. Please leave a comment below and I can’t wait to read your thoughts on this issue 🙂