Director of Site Content & Operations | E-Commerce | LinkedIn.com/in/riley-bennett
What is the biggest challenge facing female leaders today?
Women are always faced with the idea of being likable. Being ambitious or assertive can be seen as unlikeable and women can pull themselves back to be seen as more likable. It’s more important to earn respect than to be likable.
How would you describe your management style and how do you continue to change as a leader?
I always tell my direct reports that open communication is very important to me If you don’t understand something, say something. Have a question? Ask it. It’s not all on them, maybe I didn’t explain something well, or maybe they see a better strategy from what I came up with. You are a team and their success is your success. I want those that report into me to grow and have the career they want so my job isn’t just to make sure they are doing their job, but to help them achieve their goals. I think I was lucky to have really motivated people work under me and not everyone is that way so it’s then about finding ways to drive others toward being more motivated in their work.
What advice would you give someone going into a leadership position for the first time?
Openly communicate, don’t create a wall so that people feel afraid to ask questions or admit they made a mistake or don’t understand something. Be invested in the future of those you are leading and help them achieve and discover their own career goals. Sometimes a lot of your job can be really about who you work with.
How do you define success?
Feeling that I am challenging myself and growing. I can’t stand feeling sedentary in my work, I want to be a little bit uncomfortable always. You should always be learning new things and pushing what’s expected of you
Is there anyone who had a significant impact on your career growth, and how would you recommend women who might not have a mentor accessible, find someone to push and inspire them?
I have been very lucky to have female bosses that were inspiring to work with and had a genuine level of interest in my career growth. Sometimes the term “mentor” gets put on a pedestal and then you are searching for this perfect person who is going to guide you in your career. I don’t think it’s always that black and white. Mentors to me have been those that stayed after hours with me and pulled the late nights just to get the job done. Mentors can be someone who asks you to take on another project because they know you can handle it even if you don’t. Mentors ask you what you want in your next role. I think almost anyone has had a mentor even if they might not have realized it.
Best Tip For Staying Motivated“Do it for yourself. If you don’t care about your work, then it’s not what you should be doing”