Local Profile's annual Women in Business summit is an incredible experience that brings together women in all walks of their careers, to inspire and build them up.
In this recap, Melody Lenox of Axxess shares valuable advice for women leaders, or women who want to lead, broken down into five steps just for you!
Meet one of them: Melody Lenox is the Vice President of Operations at home healthcare technology company Axxess. She had some incredible advice to share on being a successful woman leader at our 2021 Women in Business Summit.
Here are her tips on becoming a true leader in business.
Tip #1: Be true to yourself through shift
I relocated to Dallas from Arkansas with no network, and was able to just navigate through that and expand my network by meeting people. That was a different time, because that was before the pandemic. So you were able to get out and network. You were able to go to different events, go to networking events, have coffee, meet people in person.
All of that has shifted.
Now let's talk about shift. And what that means. Because when I think about shift, I talk about navigating. So whatever I'm doing, is it smart? I want to be intentional about the things that I'm doing.
When I think about shift, I think: is whatever I'm doing honoring who I am at my core? That's important. Because if it's not honoring who I am at my core, allowing me to be authentic, then there's a conflict going on within myself. And I'm not able to be my best self. So I often think about that. Am I honoring who I am authentically?
Tip #2: Find and respect commonalities with different people
When you're interacting with diverse people from all over the globe, you tend to learn to appreciate commonalities... human commonalities.
Yes, we all have stressors. What can you change? The only thing that you can really take the time to focus on is the change within yourself first. When you change who you are, how you're showing up, then it becomes an opportunity for others to see you differently. And for others to learn from you.
Now, has this journey been all fun? No, it has not. Have I had some interactions with people in business? Yes, I have. I've worked with people in business that have said, "I don't want to do business with you" without giving me an opportunity.
When we have to work together, how do you handle that? How do you address that? Well, at the core, it's respect. So we have to respect each other. And we have to work together for the common for the good of our people, for the good of our business.
Tip #3: Establish empowering relationships
As a woman of color, one of the things that I do is I establish relationships. So I'm very intentional about reaching out to women of color in the organization, and encouraging them to speak up. So I build that personal relationship with them and help them understand that showing up is half the battle.
Speaking up is where you make a difference. And so I give them talking points. I give them context on why it's important for them to speak up. I give them context on understanding the political landscape, because there are politics within business. So they need to understand how to navigate that.
I encourage them, and I involve them in meetings and projects to give them an opportunity to shine.
Tip #4: Be a mentor that leads by example
How do I inspire and motivate my team? I do that by example.
I'm big on transferring knowledge. So I share knowledge, I share everything that I know with my team. I empower my team to be problem solvers. I give them context on how I make decisions and context on how we do business. And I empower them to then step into their role.
I don't micromanage, but I encourage and coach and develop them. So I ask "What do you want to do? Where are you now?" And then I say "Let's get you where you need to be." So I believe in empowering my team to step into those roles and challenging them to step up.
Tip #5: You make the shift; don't let the shift make you
This one speaks for itself! Melody closed her story and time engaging with the Women In Business summit audience with this powerful closing statement.
Watch the whole thing below: