The Festival of Inclusive Trade was held online from 19 - 31 October 2020 and showcased world-class presenters, thought-provoking panels, case studies and interviews with organisations and business owners from around the world. Usha Maharaj was asked to join the conversation to talk about women business owners who need to take back control and not fear asking for help.
Usha Maharaj is no stranger to stressful and demanding work situations. She went from a small town Trainee Accountant to Director in a prestigious audit firm and then left it all behind to pursue her passion and purpose.
Now she helps women who are determined to create their own paths to success, who will allow nothing to hold them back. Usha believes that when these strong women hit the peaks in their careers, they stretch themselves further to scale their contribution far beyond just their own personal and professional success.
Most women are notoriously bad at asking for help, believing that it somehow weakens them in the eyes of their peers.
Most women do not ask for help when it comes to taking the next step in their careers or stepping up into a boardroom or leadership position. Many women will not actively reach out and expand their networks with people who can help and support them. And, women are far more inclined than their male counterparts to take a step away from the spotlight rather than shining a light on their accomplishments and achievements.
Do you take charge or ask for help, or can you do both?
Women are often loaded with responsibilities, including caring for family, their careers and if they have time, for themselves. When you keep on adding responsibilities then, any woman, no matter how strong, will reach a breaking point. It is important to recognize when this is happening to you. When the load is becoming too heavy. When you are starting to neglect the things that matter most to you. When you have little to no time for yourself. These are signs that it is time to reflect deeply and to identify areas in your life that you do not have to take responsibility for. Sharing the load begins with delegating tasks better suited to be completed by others to people who can help.
Another question we need to ask ourselves is, “how do we get more women in the boardroom, in leadership positions and in decision making roles?” Getting this right creates more opportunity for women to lift other women as they rise.
Read>> The Key To Women's Success
Selfless or selfish?
For the woman who feels guilty about delegating tasks and asking for help, shifting the context away from guilt to selflessness may help.
Realising that every time you hold on to a task and try to do it yourself, you are preventing someone else the development opportunity to learn from this task and you are preventing someone from feeling good about helping you.
In addition, by letting go and asking for help, you are creating space in your life to take on more significant roles and expand your own growth and development.
If you are a woman holding on to a massive load, take this opportunity to “Let it go”. Ask for help, share the load, delegate and in turn empower yourself and others to achieve greater influence and impact to your companies, communities and families.
When women win, everyone wins!
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Festival of Inclusive Trade 2020
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About the author:
Usha Maharaj CA(SA) is an Executive and Leadership Coach in South Africa who went from small town trainee accountant to Director in a Big-4 audit firm. Her 16+ year corporate career had all of the highs and lows of a high performing workplace where she shattered setbacks, crushed challenges and conquered fears to enjoy a highly successful career. She now inspires women, ambitious individuals and executives to reach their own highest levels of success while living a balanced and happy life.
Find out more at www.ushamaharaj.com.