The book Young Woman's Guide by Yetunde A. Odugbesan-Omede features advice, leadership tips, and tools for young women to live purposeful and well-rounded lives. The book features timeless topics on leadership; professional, personal, and emotional development; as well as advice on empowering practical messages to promote good habits, cultivate positive attitudes, and build self-confidence.
From the same resource, here are four tips--as well as some inspirational quotes--on what business leaders need to do, and better understand, to groom our young women leaders:
1. Identify young female employees' passions and aid them in turning those passions into a profit machine.
"In order to truly be successful, a young woman must first find what she is passionate about. Passion will always serve as her compass to finding her purpose."
Helping young women to turn their passions into a product-based or service-oriented business early in their careers is vital. Yes, "passion" is the foundation. But to build an empire or even just a sustainable business, young women must understand the fundamentals of building and maintaining a revenue model. Grasping the importance of monetization is an important step toward building a woman executive.
2. Invest in 'leadership camp.'
Work with a leadership development and training organization to develop programs and courses for young women. An example is Yetunde's own leadership development and training organization, Young Woman's Guide, Inc.
3. Educate young women on where to access funding opportunities.
"Life is all about seizing opportunities, making the right decisions and being prepared."
Providing information on where women can access business loans and grants, especially those specifically designated for women-owned businesses is, again, vital. Obviously, money is critical to any business.
4. Help women develop a rich network of advisors and 'divine helpers.'
"She needs to realize that opportunities, wants and needs are at times in the hands of someone else. So, encourage her to speak up and never be afraid to ask questions or express her needs. "
Teaching young women to develop long-lasting relationships and strategic partnerships will help them further achieve their business goals. Networking goes hand in hand with developing businesses. But all this is much deeper than the cliché term we know as "networking." We need to ensure that our fiery young women learn the rules of engagement. These include: connecting to those who inspire them and eliminating the "sales pitch" while mastering the art of relaying their business ideas and being explicit about their needs.
We need to encourage innovation and ensure that young women gain the opportunities to create and build lasting brands and companies, because, as Yetunde says, "Harnessing the talents and gifts of young women is key to future economic development."
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