Basic Leadership Advice
She Thinks Like a Boss: Leadership

Basic Leadership Advice

Jemma Roedel offers a basic primer of advice for women leaders.

Women face numerous leadership challenges, writes beautician and entrepreneur Jemma Roedel. For example, many struggle with insecurity, perfectionism or a fear of failure. She recommends developing a confident mind-set and incorporating constructive behaviors to overcome personal and professional obstacles and to lead high-performance teams. Roedel offers problem-solving techniques and structured advice for conquering fear and negative self-talk.

Successful Women

One of the most noticeable traits of successful women is self-confidence – belief in one’s own potential and abilities. Build your confidence by trying new things, celebrating small wins and noting when someone appreciates your contributions.

Knowing the common personality traits and habits for success will allow you to not only notice them in other women but also establish habits that help promote these traits in your own life.Jemma Roedel

According to Roedel, successful women inspire others to follow their lead and pull in the same direction toward a common goal. They set a high bar of accountability for themselves and others, and they model this behavior by assuming responsibility whenever appropriate. Female bosses envision future achievements and view their careers as a series of steps that advance them toward a long-term vision. Setbacks and missteps will occur; successful bosses reframe failure as a learning experience.

Managing Teams

Many first-time managers try to do everything themselves instead of delegating. Nurture the talents of the people on your team. Understand that what spurs one person might not inspire another. Get to know your team members personally, ask questions about what they find energizing and put incentives in place.

Avoid micromanaging. Limiting people’s autonomy and freedom suggests that you don’t trust your team. Instead, says Roedel, focus on end goals, not processes, and allow employees to determine the best way to reach their goals.

Your Leadership Style

Knowing your leadership style helps you guide, communicate and collaborate. Hands-off leaders empower direct reports to act autonomously, offer guidance and follow up before deadlines. Controlling leaders keep track of every detail and follow their people’s progress. By-the-book leaders focus on team members’ adhering to company policies and processes. Transformative leaders inspire others to achieve. Collaborative leaders bring people together and let everyone contribute.

Men and women solve problems differently. Men tackle one issue at a time; women see interwoven problems that require a multifaceted approach. Embrace a five-step problem-solving process: Identify the main, underlying issue; encourage everyone the problem affects to contribute to solving it; garner insights from colleagues, friends, stakeholders, books or the internet to gain different perspectives; list 10 possible solutions and assess each one to determine the most viable option; and decide, implement and evaluate to put the solution into practice.


In high-performance teams, members understand and believe in the mission they are working to achieve. Communication is unrestricted and transparent, and team members feel that leaders value their input. When building a team, include a diversity of talent to avoid an overlap of skills. A team with seven to nine members allows for diversity yet remains small enough to adapt to changing circumstances.

You cannot simply put skilled people together and expect them to perform, as a group, at the highest levels. There is some planning and resources that are necessary.Jemma Roedel

Encourage autonomy, continuous learning and skill development, and set specific and achievable goals.

Self-doubt and Imposter Syndrome

Imposter syndrome is the feeling you gained your position through luck rather than skill and that people may regard you as a fraud. Women tend to blame themselves when things go awry and to credit others for successes. Reluctant to apply for a job or promotion unless they meet 100% of the criteria, women hesitate to ask for raises or renegotiate their salaries.

To overcome that feeling of being underpar, Roedel suggests writing and updating an accomplishment list. Eliminate negative self-talk, and acknowledge that the noisy critic in your head does not reflect reality. Gain strength, support and validation from a network of female co-workers and colleagues.

Promote your visibility by contributing during meetings. Work on initiatives that your team prioritizes and align with your long-term objectives. Decline tasks and activities that pull you off your personal development path, and set boundaries on your time.

Effective Communication

Men and women have different communication styles. Women ask questions to discover knowledge; men see asking questions as a weakness.

Noticing the differences in how men and women communicate is the first step toward understanding how to communicate with the other gender in the workplace.Jemma Roedel

Communicating effectively is crucial for career advancement. Become aware of your communication strengths and weaknesses. Making a statement sound like a question, adding superfluous qualifiers and fillers, or speaking haltingly signal a lack of confidence. Speak succinctly and confidently, rely on facts and logic, and get to the point.


Roedel offers these tactis: Do your homework. Know your counterpart’s motives, timeline, concerns, needs and goals. Prepare your best alternative to a negotiated agreement. Ask for more than you want. Make your first offer real and enticing, but consider multiple options and offers. Practice delivering your proposal, and always be prepared to walk away.

Fear of Failure

Fear of failure or ridicule prevents many talented, intelligent women from pursuing their dreams. Even the most accomplished women experience this fear, but they continue to forge ahead.

It is not that the most successful women in business do not feel fear. It is just that they have learned to be uncomfortable and to move forward anyway.Jemma Roedel

To gain control over fear, focus on your unique strengths and experience. Ask for help; you don’t have to be perfect at everything.

Superficial Guidance

Roedel violates much of her own guidance by offering a sloppy work featuring language and formatting errors. This aligns with her presenting the most superficial guidance for women leaders. However, high schoolers and women who have read no other leadership books may welcome this handy collection of today’s most accessible advice.

 Jemma Roedel also wrote Think Like a Boss: Kids Edition. Other books for woman leaders include #Girlboss by Sophia Amoruso and No Explanation Required! by Carol Sankar.

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