LEADERS IN HEELS: Meet Nina the Account Director who works with luxury brands such as Louis Vuitton, Dior, Givenchy, Jimmy Choo. Today Nina is sharing some of her secrets for success. I also asked Nina to share a fun fact about herself and here is what she had to say: “I can’t function without music, love all kinds but hold a special place for 90s old school R&B & hip hop. When I was 18 I had a best friend who worked for a party pics website and dragged me everywhere with her, so I’ve seen a lot of the artists back in the day perform including some really weird shows in Amsterdam ha!”
WHAT ARE SOME TRAITS YOU THINK GREAT LEADERS POSSESS?
While we want to demonstrate our strength and confidence it is also important to acknowledge that we women have another great talent which is compassion which should not be taken as a weakness.
2/Don’t overwork yourself and maintain a life outside of work.
Women are great at achieving a good work-life balance which keeps us longer happy and content
3/Use your femininity to your advantage.
“Women should not try to be men. Men and women are two entirely different animals. They don’t do anything the same, right? So why should they lead in the same way?” – Diane von Furstenberg, I love her biography btw, highly recommend. Women should be proud of the strength we have, we are great at multitasking, focus on teamwork, we make good listeners.
4/Be tough when you need to be.
You will need to show crocodile skin once climbing the ladder, however, I believe once a woman has proved herself this impenetrable facade can and should become somewhat loosened.
5/ Give back
Arriving in The Netherlands with my parents as refugees in 1992 made me realize the importance of giving back at an early age. You can do this in many forms and ways, for me at the moment it’s volunteering at The Soup Kitchen in London where we cook up food for the homeless on a Saturday morning (I know! It’s early as well but very rewarding).
WHAT ARE SOME STRATEGIES THAT CAN HELP WOMEN ACHIEVE A MORE PROMINENT ROLE IN THEIR ORGANIZATIONS?
Don’t be afraid to want to succeed and move up the ladder. The first step is to share with your direct manager the wish for you to change position and to set goals together that if you demonstrate to achieve will help you measure your success and move you to your next step.
WHAT ADVICE DO YOU HAVE FOR WOMEN AIMING FOR LEADERSHIP POSITIONS?
Never wait around for somebody to see the talent in you, always be pro-active and let the business know your aspirations but also prove yourself along the way so you build your confidence and achieve your goals. And if you ever fail (we’ve all been there!), don’t give up. Let it be a learning curve and become better.
WHAT’S ONE-KEY LEADERSHIP LESSON YOU’VE LEARNED ALONG THE WAY?
I read recently that wisdom cannot be taught, people can share knowledge but wisdom comes from experience and this is what I believe is holding a lot of women back from leadership. The belief that they do not have the experience required to inspire and lead. This is far from true. The key is to leave your comfort zone, work on your less strong qualities and build up your confidence so you feel ready to take the next leap!