Golda Meir, the only woman so far to serve as Israel’s prime minister, once said, “You’ll never find a better sparring partner than adversity.” Today, as businesses face myriad challenges to productivity and profits during a global pandemic, adversity is not in short supply. Here’s how four successful female leaders are overcoming it.
Sarah Holtz, senior director of internal communications at Ellie Mae, prioritizes connecting with her team. “It is important for me … to set the right tone and to visibly and actively support my teammates,” Ms. Holtz told the Harvard Business Review. “We’re all humans first, and the more we feel connected to the business, our leaders and each other, the more productive and engaged we become.”
“I’m very comfortable making decisions, and making tough decisions, but this has been like nothing else.”—Rhode Island Gov. Gina Raimondo
Lynn Good, CEO of Duke Energy, emphasizes being clear about your priorities. “Take care of your customers and your employees. Make sure you provide essential services they need,” Ms. Good told Fortune. “Think about scenarios and outcomes over the longer term: financial results, for example, or policy changes.”
Today’s challenges create opportunities, especially for risk-takers, NerdWallet CMO Kelly Gillease told Fast Company. “Great leaders exhibit courage in small ways every day by encouraging risks and bigger thinking or being vulnerable and empathetic when a situation calls for it.”
Above all else, know the playing field and how your leadership will be received. “I’m very comfortable making decisions, and making tough decisions, but this has been like nothing else,” Rhode Island Gov. Gina Raimondo told Fortune. “There are no good options. Option A is bad. Option B is really bad, and Option C is pretty bad. Necessarily, you have a lot of critics.”
This article appeared in the Fall 2020 issue of Insigniam Quarterly. To begin receiving IQ, go here.