Only 11% of Fintech board members are female. My story to this point has been less about finding my place, and more about learning to really believe that my place is wherever I want to be.
One of the things that drives me as a leader is creating more seats at the table for others. The other is sharing what I’ve learned along the way.
To celebrate this career milestone, here are some of the greatest lessons I’ve learned this past year at 3S Money:
For better meetings, have the humility to listen, the confidence to challenge, and the wisdom to know when to stop arguing and get onboard. It might be a cliché, but ‘pick your battles’ is one of the most important lessons I’ve learned.
On work relationships
For better work relationships, ask better questions. Ask your colleagues what they’re learning, what they’re interested in right now and, above all, how they really are. It’s easy to only check in with those on your team, but ask those same questions to people on other teams. You’ll learn a lot more about how the business is doing as a whole this way.
On making better contributions
To make better contributions, read widely and unexpectedly. Seeking different perspectives — regardless of whether you agree with them — helps make better business decisions. It pays to be curious. We have access to unlimited information online, so expand the information you are taking in and consider other sources.
On your strengths and weaknesses
Know and own your strengths. You’re not meant to be great at everything. And if you try to be, you’ll spread yourself too thin and reduce your impact. Spend your time further nurturing your strengths instead, and build a team that you can trust to fill in the missing skills you may have.
Hire for intelligence and coachability. Everything else can be taught. Looking back on the hires I’ve made over the past decade, these two attributes have never steered me wrong. Sometimes the more experienced candidate lacks the passion and attitude a less experienced candidate may have.
On making mistakes
Leadership is about making decisions. Either you’ll make a great decision or you’ll learn from it, which means you win either way. You will never get it right every time. The value comes from the lessons you learn from those decisions that don’t go as well as you thought they would.
Find a mentor, be a mentor, and remember that everyone around you — good or bad — is indirectly mentoring you.
Clear is kind. I go back to this lesson again and again. The clearer you are, the kinder you are. It’s not about being 'nice', it’s about being clear. This applies to your social interactions with colleagues, feedback to your team and their work, external partnerships, and everything else.
Lastly, success is born from community. Surrounding yourself with the right people is always the greatest strategy. From hiring talent to the people in your personal life, the people in your community are integral to how you progress.
Join our team, and support our commitment to gender equality in Fintech.