Do men and women lead differently? You betcha we do and researchers have found that women tend to have a distinct leadership style that shapes how we run our teams. Specifically, studies have shown we tend to use what’s called the transformational leadership style.
As transformational leaders, we aim to enhance the motivation, morale and job performance of our teams to identify needed change, create a shared vision and guide through inspiration. Here’s some strategies to leverage our natural inclination and excel through transformational leadership.
5 Strategies to Being Transformational:
Strategy #1: Development Over Goals
Setting and achieving goals is incredibly important for business success. However, transformational leaders see employee development as a side door to achieving goals. Female managers should aim to accomplish goals by transforming our teams into better people.
Key tactics of transformational leaders:
Strategy #2: Don’t Be Transactional
The opposite of transformational leadership is transactional leadership. Picture the boss who sits in his or her office giving orders and receiving progress updates from his or her employees, but rarely engages with them on a personal level. It has been proven that people work harder for people they like and trust.
Key tactics of transactional leaders include:
Strategy #3: Banning Bossy and Bitchy
From a young age, girls are taught that when we speak up and take charge, we are bossy or even bitchy, but on the other hand, boys are called leaders for behaving in the exact same ways. Sadly, this phenomenon plays a huge role in why women are significantly less likely to pursue leadership opportunities than men.
Strategy #4: Strength-Based Tasks
One of the best things women can do as bosses and transformational leaders is assigning people tasks according to strengths. Rather than delegating work based on time or workload, learn what each member of your team is naturally good at and enjoys and give them as much work as possible that fits that strength.
Strategy #5: Over-Communicate
As we learned, female bosses already are naturally inclined to verbally communicate. This is the key to success. When your team feels comfortable being transparent with you, you’re less likely to have to deal with major problems because we feel safe coming to you for help the moment issues start to arise.
As women, we have a tremendous opportunity to be incredible bosses, owners and managers. We simply need to leverage our natural female strengths and put them into action.
Rhoda Johnson, 58 | Rhoda Design Group
If there's one person we're thrilled to have met in April at the SecondAct BizCon event, it's Rhoda Johnson. Full of life and taking on the world as a Hollywood-trained image consultant and makeup artist; she means business. As the founder of Rhoda Design Group, offering personal brand and image consulting help for professionals to companies. She provides transformative private sessions and classes. She is a sought after keynote speaker and author of 50 Plus Marketplace News “Ageless Beauty” articles, Entrepreneur Platform Digital Magazine’s Personal Brand articles and her own personal blogs.
Rhoda has consulted with celebrities like Stevie Wonder, Dap Sugar Willie and Freda Payne; ESPN’s Joe Thiesman and Mike Patrick; Politicians, Attorneys, Authors, Tedtalk speakers, Global leader, Thandeka Tutu- Gxashe (Bishop Desmond Tutu’s oldest daughter). She has also consulted sales teams of Realtors, Oakwood Homes, Commons on Champa Entrepreneurs, Women’s Leadership Foundation, Second Act Bizcon participants and more. She has appeared as a Denver Startup Week Panelist, featured guest on Dr. Peg’s radio show and Judith Briles national radio show “Author U”.
Rhoda has a Fashion Merchandising Degree from Brooks College in Long Beach, California. Certificate of Makeup Artistry from Cinema Secrets in Burbank California after studying under the legendary Hollywood Makeup Artist Stein family. She is licensed to teach Personal Development from John Robert Powers in Cerritos, California and JF Images Talent Agency in Denver, Colorado. She received the Certificate of Completion of SBDC Nxlevel Entrepreneur Program in 2005 Denver, Colorado, and the Certificate of Completion Co-Starters Program, Denver, Colorado in 2018.
Q&A with Rhoda Johnson
Q: So, where were you raised?
Indianapolis, Indiana birth till 14; Aurora Colorado 14-18; Los Angeles, California 18-31 years.
Q: What's your second act?
Rhoda: My second act is about showing up with more compassion as the busy professional women I serve struggle with self care. I want to engage with these women by demonstrating how my approach to Image Consulting encourages a beautiful lifestyle. I am committed to learning new leadership skills and ways to connect authentically. I am excited about my second act shifting into a more relaxed way of being so I show up quietly confident.
Q: What word describes you best?
Q: What book or magazine are you reading right now that you would recommend?
Rhoda: "Unstoppable, 7 Steps to Becoming a More Intentional Leader" by my client and friend, Rocio Perez
Q: Okay, you're smack in your second act, what are you pursuing right now as proof life is just as grand at 58.
Rhoda: I started painting with gouche paints, being in nature more, enjoying simple moments with myself, family and friends. I'm also in to optimal nutrition, hydration and plenty of rest and I've actively eliminated all forms of toxicity in my life.
Q: Are there any specific YouTubers you watch and recommend?
Rhoda: Tony Robbins, Les Brown and RC Blakes
Q: What organizations would you recommend to women that you are engaged in today?
Rhoda: Second Act of course! Also, Women of Denver, Women's Leadership Foundation, and Women on the Rise which is an initiative with the city of Denver operating out of The Commons on Champa.
Julie Dorough  Video Producer with MettaMedia Creative | Denver, Colorado
Meet Julie Dorough, aka, the genius video producer that worked with our other partner, Ben Martinez, to create all the videos you saw on social and the powerful videos we used to open and wrap-up the spring conference. And we're also excited to share a little member exclusive – Julie and Ben will be producing our YouTube channel that is set to launch in July!
With that said, we had a chance to catch-up with Julie and ask a few questions to introduce her to all of you. Here’s the skinny.
SecondActWomen: What is your current business profession/career track?
Julie: I’ve been in television video production for 15 years, primarily producing Entertainment and Promotional channels for Comcast. Through MettaMedia Creative, I want to help solopreneurs, small businesses, and of course, SecondActWomen effectively and affordably produce online video content to support their business goals.
SecondActWomen: What business groups, organizations, or associations do you belong to that you'd recommend to fellow SecondActers?
Julie: I’m just starting to explore what’s out there, but I’ve attended few great meetups such as Women Who Startup and Women’s Chamber of Commerce. One free resource I would recommend is Hay House Radio, a 24/7 online station whose tagline is “radio for your soul.” They have a stellar line-up of shows with a variety of hosts leading in the fields of health and wellness, empowerment, spirituality, etc. If that sounds like your jam, tune-in whenever you need a dose of motivation and overall enlightenment.
SecondActWomen: What is your favorite book?
Julie: I don’t have a single favorite book, but I’m currently reading It’s Not Your Money: How to Live Fully from Divine Abundance by Tosha Silver. This is an easy and refreshing read for people who have tried to manifest things, such as abundance, but then feel like they’re a failure when they don’t see results.
SecondActWomen: In a few sentences, describe your SecondAct.
Julie: I knew my Second Act was beginning when I started to question everything. The voice inside grew stronger and louder telling me my status quo wasn’t cutting it anymore. It may sound like I was living some miserable life, but I wasn’t, I just wasn’t living my best life. After that realization, it’s not like I clicked my heels and started living in a fairytale, but I searched within and realized that I had the power AND the responsibility to myself to step it up! Yes, we’re talking full-on dance battle! Ok, it’s more like a very long warm-up stretch. But I’m down for a dance-off. Just saying.
I want to leverage my expertise and video-savvy and help female-led companies get the visibility and traction they deserve. The reality is that there aren’t very many female video producers out there, so I feel a calling and almost a responsibility to use my talents and female lens to make a difference for women.
SecondActWomen: Use one word to describe SecondAct.
SecondActWomen: In your SecondAct, what new hobbies, pursuits or passions have you embraced?
Julie: Mainly, I’m embracing the notion that making time for myself to pursue hobbies and passions is not a selfish act. Also, I have this idea that in my SecondAct, I will become a morning person so that will naturally provide a little more “me” time. I’ll tell you how that goes.
SecondActWomen: List one personal and one business piece of advice.
Julie: Here’s some advice I’ve given myself (I talk to myself a lot.) It may resonate with some of you… Personal: Self-care is vital. When you don’t feel good, it’s impossible to play full out. Business: Quit playing small, especially to make someone else feel big. Embrace your own power.
5 Ways to Ditch the Negative Talk
Words Become Your Experience
Experts estimate that the average person has between 12,000 – 60,000 thoughts per day. Of those, 80% are negative. “Why did they pick me? I don’t know enough to be project lead.” “I’m not as smart or pretty as her.” “I don’t like how these jeans fit me anymore.” Sound familiar?
For several months, we have been very intentional with our word choices and thoughts. Each of us have embraced daily affirmations and we are each other’s accountability partner when we hear negative speak starting to rear its ugly head. Regardless of where you are in your personal or professional lives, incorporating just a few small things into your daily life can make a huge difference.
Sending you good vibes and blessings. You are awesome!
Gina Schley  Flower Farmer with SHEGROWS Lavender & Flowers | Arvada, Colorado
An interview with Barbara Brooks, Founder and CEO of SecondAct
SecondAct co-founder Lupe and I visited with Gina last Saturday morning on her family farm to learn how she's conquered her second act after being in corporate America and settling down to have a family with husband and serial entrepreneur, Rodman. Well, sure enough, she put us to work harvesting tulips for the season and we didn't walk away clean. We did walk away pumped and ready to follow her success because this woman is not slowing down any time soon. She's found her 'thing' and lives for rising early, feeding the chickens, yep! chickens and plenty of them (and our 4 pound mascot Riley B wanted at 'um).
Barbara: So you're 42 and full of enthusiasm. Since opening flower farm last year, tell us more about your second act.
Gina: My SecondAct is growing unique varieties of lavender and cut flowers for Colorado's Front Range. Our family farm is located in Arvada, Colorado and sits on a small 2.8 acres of land. We grow everything using sustainable biodynamic principles and love to educate others on how to grow their own gardens too. My husband and I enjoy using the farm to teach our two teenage daughters, and their gaggle of friends, about entrepreneurism, environmental stewardship, and the importance of hard work.
Barbara: Share with us new hobbies, pursuits and passions you've embraced in your 40's?
Gina: I'm pretty passionate about reading business books now, learning photography to capture the beauty of farm life, writing to educate through my blog, and floristry. My kitchen counter and bathrooms are always graced with the beauty of seasonal flowers.
Barbara: You're in the midst of your midlife quest and that said, what piece of personal and business advice would you give other women over 40?
Gina: Be vulnerable. Do something in your life that reminds you to be vulnerable every single day. For me, that’s embracing my silver hair. It reminds me that being real is beautiful and it helps me connect with other people while teaching me to live authentically. Put your face on the cover. People want to connect with you and hear your story. It’s a powerful thing so put yourself out there and share the story of your business.
Barbara: What one word really describes where you are today?
Gina: Growing - period.
Q: Continuing on the growth pattern, what business groups, organizations or associations would you recommend to others in your field?
Gina: United States Lavender Association, Association of Specialty Cut Flowers, Floret's Flower Collective, Colorado Flower Collective
Q: What's your favorite book right now?
Gina: There are so many but a recent one that pushed me to turn my love of agriculture into a business is called, "Turning Pro" by Steven Pressfield.
Barbara: Want to share anything else with me?
Gina: Love you ladies and what you are doing. Thank you for coming out to the farm, for engaging in this conversation, and encouraging all women to chase their dreams.
It’s official. SecondAct Women now has a dedicated office at WorkAbility near the capitol at 1576 Sherman St., Denver!
As serial entrepreneurs for the past 8+ years, we’ve both had our fair share of “mobile” offices that have spanned kitchen tables, coffee shops, and restaurants, to co-working spaces and literally any place with good WiFi. While the change of scenery kept day-to-day work interesting, there’s something to be said about having a dedicated work space where we both can gather, connect and cement our roots. After all, a dedicated work space is what separates a business from a hobby.
While we are not proposing going out and renting an office (although, if you're interested, we’d love to have you join us at WorkAbility!), it's important to carve out a dedicated space where you can set up an office and focus, be it on your startup, side
hustle or remote working.
WorkAbility offers breakfast in the morning, yoga in a studio, gym, lecture hall perfect for events, library to get your read on, a dog wash room and snacks, coffee and tea all day long. Did we mention a shuttle service to park your car for free up the street? "Won't you be our Neighbors?" They are offering 20% off three months here or drop in for only $15 a day. Us the code: 2ndact20 by clicking here.
6 Tips for a Productive Work Environment
We LOVE our new space and suggestion these tips for maximum productivity in your own work space.
A room with a door. Who knew that having a physical door you can actually close would be so vital to focus and minimize outside distractions – be it family, dog, chores, or my naturally loud voice.
Proper lighting. If you can set up shop in a room with a window, do it. But if that option isn’t possible, invest in proper lighting to minimize eye strain and headaches.
Organization is queen. Set yourself up for success by creating organization systems that take full advantage of your space. After all, filing cabinets (and a good planner in my opinion) are the only way to organize.
Booty and back comfort. Don’t underestimate the importance of a good chair. We spend so much of our time sitting that it’s important to get the best chair for your body type.
A few pieces of inspiration. Surround yourself with things that make you smile, be it pictures, artwork, or flowers. For fun, change them out every few months to keep your work space fresh.
Get dressed for success. That’s right. Get up. Dress up. Show up. While it’s easy to roll out of bed and head to couch aka your desk or grab a pair of jeans and t-shirt coffee shop working, getting dressed and adding a bit of makeup - if that’s you, sets the pace for a productive work day. It also lets the people around you (or your pup), know you mean business. You are the CEO of your future after all.
Wherever you decide to set up shop, make sure it sets you up to accomplishment your goals. If you feel like a badass when you enter that room, odds are, you will perform like one too. So here’s to turning our dreams into action and leaving our individual mark and collective impact!
Citywide Banks is proud to participate in this year’s #SecondAct BizCon. While our Colorado-based bank recently celebrated our 55th anniversary, we are excited about our own second act. Citywide Banks is led by Joanne Sherwood, President & CEO. We boast a deep roster of female leaders across our organization as our team works daily to empower our employees and clients alike with tools to help them maximize their potential.
For us, it’s about listening to our clients and collaborating with our employee team to deliver our various services across Colorado. It’s also about staying connected with our community through employee volunteering, nonprofit board involvement, and financial support to hundreds of Colorado causes each year. A matter of fact, our bank encourages volunteerism by paying every employee for a day of volunteering at a local nonprofit of their choice. We offer our clients a special debit card that supports breast cancer prevention. And, for decades, Citywide Banks has been a leading advocate of mental health wellness across Colorado.
Today, we applaud the inspiring agenda of #SecondAct BizCon and appreciative of the partnership with the Second Act Women's organization.
Please visit www.CitywideBanks.com or find us on social media to learn more how we serve and support our community. Citywide Banks is a member FDIC and an Equal Housing Lender.
Jaci Bridge, VP, Banking Center Manager
Downtown and Cherry Creek