Women have begun to take on a more prominent roles in many levels of the AV industry, but the push for more equal representation and a stronger voice for females in what’s traditionally been a male-dominated industry for several decades.
As we celebrate International Women’s Day today, transformational mentor Sara Simmonds, who pivots conscious leaders and their businesses to hone in on their unique hero products that make supercharged impact in 2021, shares some lessons men can learn from women in the business world.
Brandy Alvarado, chairwoman of the AVIXA Women’s Council, says the ideas Simmonds shared have been topics of several of the group’s regional meetings in recent years and she expects the lessons to continue to be shared.
For what it’s worth, BoldData reports less than 3 percent of the CEOs in the tech sector are women.
Trust others and learn to let go
Simmonds says she has seen the best results in leadership is through trusting others and letting go.
When we control others and dominate a conversation, we are really getting back from others a version of ourselves vs. when we let go, and allow others to flow, and to lead, which is a feminine way (even women have struggled with as we have lived in a male orientated culture of control).
As a female conscious leader, Simmonds says she has struggled with this. When she allows herself to let go and trust others, magic happens. By allowing others to lead, she can “supercharge my learning,” because when she listens to others and create space for them to lead, “they can guide me into new areas where I can expand my growth.”
“The process of collaboration comes from allowing space for others to lead and to shine in their genius, which reflects back and shines the light on yours,” she said.
Get vulnerable to relate to others
When Simmonds mentors others, she has found the best way to supercharge growth is “to share your vulnerabilities—sharing personal stories of how I have struggled, or personal insights I have experienced.”
“These are things I would have previously kept private, but I know today that to lead by example is to give the deepest part of yourself, so that you can serve others in the greatest way,” she said. “Real courage, real power and real strength not in sharing your achievements but sharing your struggles, pain and how you transcend through your own conscious evolution.
“People trust you, relate to you and follow you and have a deep sense of lasting loyalty as it’s not easy,” she said.
Don’t be afraid to shift with the times
Our world is moving at incredible speed to the era of impact capitalism. Simmonds moved into the area of impact in 2006, when this was a topic on the fringe.
“I pivoted into a new space,” she said. “I learned to do this by listening to my intuition and feelings, I didn’t know then that impact was the future. I felt it. Don’t be afraid to pivot. Don’t stand still. Move forward, even if you don’t know how it will work out. Jump and pivot, because your heart and your intuition know your purpose, and will lead you to the greatest places.”
Dreaming means creating
Learning how to dream has been one of the hardest things for Simmonds to do, she says. Why?
“Because to dream, you have to allow yourself to believe you can be the biggest version of yourself, and that is scary because it means jumping out of your comfort zone to a new, bigger comfort zone,” she said. “To dream, means creating the new.
“I had to allow my fears, by mediating, or taking time out to let the fears come up, so I could feel them, and then make space to dream a new dream. I rode the wave of fear until it passed and created a new safe space for my new big dream and gave myself the reassurance to allow myself to receive my new dreams,” said Simmonds.
“No one tells you to be a dreamer is scary,” she said. “This is how I face dreams, and what enables me the courage to create and achieve new bigger dreams, through facing, letting go, reassuring myself, and taking action to make them happen, then looking back and seeing the results of what you made happen.”