Leadership: It’s Simple, But Not Easy

17424764_10154505253015658_1983694791711158164_nWritten by: Amy Boyle Collins, Vice President

Later this month, I’ll be moderating a panel with three leading women in business at the Emerge Summit – a conference coordinated by GNO, Inc. that brings together young professionals to engage and learn from each other’s experiences.

I’ll be joined by Courtney Richard, President of Anchor36 Trucking & Logistics; Quinnie Jenkins, Regional Leader of Community Affairs & Grassroots for Southwest Airlines and Courtney Davis-Hebert, CEO of Bart’s Office, Inc. We’ll be talking about the growing role of women in business and all things girl power.

This is the kind of thing I love – a room full of energetic people and a lively discussion around women in leadership. We’re going to get into the #MeToo movement, equal pay, work-life balance, what it’s like to be a female leader in male dominated industries and more.

Today, there are more women in leadership positions than ever before. According to Forbes, there are 26 women in CEO roles at Fortune 500 companies and 19 female-elected presidents and prime ministers in power around the globe. Just last month, New Orleans was ranked no. 8 for “Best Cities for Women in Tech”, and today, the city is led by its first female mayor.

All of this has me thinking about the leadership advice I often dish to the #GambelGirls (and now #GambelGuy Bret Buckel).

clark-tibbs-367075-unsplashMy words of wisdom are rooted in a very simple phrase I heard growing up from my dad who – even in the 1970’s and 80’s – told me as a young girl that I could be whatever I wanted. (Back then I wanted to be the first female NFL coach. Sidenote: I did get to work on Super Bowl XXXI in my first job out of college – albeit it was not in a coaching capacity.)

So, dad’s advice was this: There’s nothing easier in life to getting ahead than to put your head down and do good work. Simple advice, but not easy.

 There’s a lot here when you break it down. First, inherent in this piece of advice is the idea that you have to show up. No one is going to look to you if they can’t depend on you. Day in and day out, get down to the work at hand and do it well. Second, commit to doing good work consistently. Everyone can do something great once or twice, but true leaders are consistent. Finally, be wary of shortcuts. You have to earn respect and trust from the people around you as you go. The road to leadership is not a McDonald’s drive-thru with instant gratification. It’s a winding path with twist and turns, hills and valleys. So, put your head down, do good work and travel the path with gusto!

I hope to see you at the Emerge Summit on July 26-27.