“A brave leader is someone who says I see you. I hear you. I don’t have all the answers, but I’m going to keep listening and asking questions.” – Brené Brown
Leading a business that grounds in ethical values, such as truth, integrity, freedom and trust, as well as in sustainability is not about gender roles, corner offices or C-level titles. It is not about performance, which individual shines brightest and blank, number-based KPIs.
For us, leadership is about the willingness to be seen, to put ourselves out there and to lean into the wisdom of our courageous hearts. We believe that great leadership is rooted in the connection to ourselves, the earth and its inhabitants. We believe in leadership that considers humans over sales, Mother Earth over solely fast and efficient production procedures, We believe in leadership led from whole hearts. Not hurting ones. It bears the intention of service and mutual support rather than filling pockets and growing egos. It also means to share vulnerability along the way.
A business led from the heart
To consider the needs of today’s world in light of recent events and to question how this knowledge reflects onto one’s company culture is a driving force for us to claim intention, to compassionately reflect on business practices and ways and to always commit to make improvements that are in the interest of our home – Mother Earth.
“I define a leader as anyone who takes responsibility for finding the potential in people and processes, and who has the courage to develop that potential.” – Brené Brown
To place humanness at the center of our business asks for presence, empathy and vulnerability. A business from humans for humans speaks from a place of truth, without armours, with the desire to learn and understand.
What makes a business a business led by female principles?
Firstly, the term female leadership isn’t one that means necessarily that a business is led by women only. It is a business that is grounded in feminine values and principles.
These could be (but not exclusively):
- Humans over products: to act from a place of connection and authenticity, to establish close ties, to tune in, to strengthen commitments and relationships amongst one another, driven by a greater and commonly shared desire for being seen, heard and to connect more deeply with one another
- Team work is dream work: it speaks for inclusivity, equality, mutual respect and compassion. It encourages participation and shares information and power with everyone involved. It is here where business turns into family.
- A space of connection and intuition: Decisions based on intuition might not always make sense in the first place (logically) or will be hard to explain, however, made from a place where ‘it feels right’ has greater rewarding effects than the ‘I-told-you-so-attitude’ based on numbers.
- Change management: to operate from flow state, to allow the mystery and with it all of its potential to unfold opens up the floodgates for change and nothing else but change. Flow state removes rigidness and enables the capacity and trust to ride the waves, to surrender into the slipstream of life, bearing witness to its own unfolding. Change becomes a strength.
Principles like structure, strategy and a go-go-go mindset are virtues in the business world, so leading a business from more feminine principles has required, and continues to require us - daily - to anchor in a lot of trust and commitment to our mission.
Sure, there are always going to be moments when we have to operate more from the masculine - and this is not necessarily a negative thing, rather it can create a container for flow to occur. It is a constant dance and we don’t pretend to have it all figured out. We keep navigating this journey with a curious mind, asking questions that bring us to challenge the traditional trajectory of leading a business.
Studio K was sprouted from a love for creation, so when the outside world of demands, competition and expectations rears its ugly head, we tap back into our hearts and remember how we want to show up, interact and contribute in this world. That is from valuing collaboration over competition and to not subscribe to the concept of power as a finite source that you need to hoard, rather as something that becomes infinite when we share it with others.
We keep walking the yellow brick road by watering our creativity, moving from joy, sharing from love and remembering that how we do the work is the work.