Leading Women co-author Dr. Lois Frankel says that even though women lead every day, they often think it’s presumptuous to call themselves leaders. Tara Mohr, author of Playing Big: Find Your Voice, Your Mission, Your Message agrees, and was recently quoted in Forbes as saying that women need to see their own brilliance and act on it, especially in business. “I’m tired of meeting women who have important messages to share but whose self-doubt is keeping them quiet. I’m tired of encountering woman after woman deluded by the myth that she needs to be more something – more qualified, more prepared, more expert – than she is in order to share her ideas.”
Women Entrepreneurs Face Unique Challenges
Recognizing that women entrepreneurs face a unique set of challenges, Mohr recommends that women get busy on changing the barriers within and start “playing big.”
Many of the behaviors Mohr outlines are easily changed, once the problem, or “hiding strategy” is brought to light. Take for example, the belief that “This before that” is the proven path to success. We don’t need to finish our website before we start on our book, or make this connection before we outline a series of talks. The important thing is to start and then allow things to fall into place.
Women Delay Putting Their Work Out Into The World
Over-complicating and endless polishing is another area where Mohr sees women struggling unnecessarily. Driven by the compulsion to add element after element to their creation, or trying to fix that one thing or add that one feature before the project can be launched just delays putting the work out into the world.
In Forbes, as well as in her book, Mohr outlines several other “hiding strategies” that women are using to keep themselves in check, as well as a plan to move past them. She says that, “In the minds of women around the globe lie the seeds of the solutions to climate change, poverty, violence, corporate corruption. In millions of communities, organizations, companies, and families, women know what needs to be done. Playing big is doing it.”
Women Let Fear Stop Them
Fear is stopping women from taking their place at the table. As Dr. Frankel points out, many women allow the fear of negative labels to stop them from being appropriately assertive, negotiating for success, pursuing non-traditional careers or even recommending other women for management positions.
We Need More Women’s Voices At The Table
We need to change the patterns that fear and self-defeating behaviors have put us in, and move forward together. Dr. Frankel sums it up perfectly, “When women come together, they fix the problem. That’s why we need more women’s voices at the table.”
To find out more about Mohr and “hiding strategies” go to Forbes.com. And to read more about what Dr. Frankel, and other Leading Women have to say, pre-order your copy of Leading Women: 20 Influential Women Share Their Secrets to Leadership, Business and Life today.