BY CHRISTINA GREENBERG

 
“It takes a village to raise a child.”

We’ve heard that many times.  But what does it take to build a resilient leader?

I say, it’s a tribe.

Your tribe of women who share similar goals and perspectives but who aren’t afraid to challenge you, and force you to consider alternate ideas and opportunities. I know you understand the value of a tribe, but do you know who your tribe is?  Can you name them?

What if you haven’t found your tribe yet? 

Get out there and build your tribe. 

No, it’s not easy to do.  It requires you to be vulnerable and to open up to others.  It requires you to tell someone that they inspire you and you want to learn more about them and from them.  But it will be worth the risk, I promise you.
 

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Here a few ideas to help you get started:

  • Make a list of women in your life who you admire.
  • Reach out on LinkedIn; “I’ve been interested in you and your career for a while and would love to connect for some advice and guidance.”
  • Invite them for a coffee and learn how they got to where they are. 
  • Take them to lunch and talk about career goals and plans.  
  • Keep in touch – think about what you would want if the situation was reversed?  How could someone connect in a meaningful way with you?

In short, build relationships. 

Luckily, that’s something that women are particularly good at.

We know that women reach out to each other in times of stress but did you know that there’s science behind this as well?  A UCLA study on female friendships discovered that while stress produces a “fight or flight” response in men, women often adapt this into a “tend and befriend” response.  They draw together with other women to make a stronger group to cope with the stressors.

According to Jane Fonda “Friendship between women is different than friendship between men. We talk about different things. We delve deep and go under. It’s my women friends that keep starch in my spine and without them, I don’t know where I would be. We have to just hang together and help each other.”

You know you’ve found your tribe when you can be your true self, your authentic, whole, colourful self and you trust that these women are the same with you.

“I learned that my network of women are the women who show up for me. When we allow ourselves to see one another as we really are…we become sisters. My tribe is made up of women who learned to say, ‘I need you,’ people who are brave enough to be needed.” – Nicole Leigh Shaw, writer and co-author of I Just Want to Be Perfect. 

I am thankful for each and every member of my tribe. They’ve helped me get where I am today.  These women have supported, encouraged, and pushed me throughout my career, helping me to focus my attention and efforts where they were most needed.  I turn to them for advice, drawing on their expertise and experiences, and I do the same for them.

You’ve met some of these women; our Scala Mentors.  I’m always excited to introduce them to you in our sessions and I encourage you to make them part of YOUR tribe as well.  A bigger tribe is a stronger tribe and that’s good for everyone.