The Girl Boss Guide to finding your Tribe

  • Published on:
    June 1, 2020
  • Reading time by:
    4 minutes

Not many people truly understand just how lonely a road it is when you’re a woman in leadership. Most of the time, we have no mentors or role models, we are trying to figure out who we are and find our own voice, we are fighting the patriarchal system that has been in place for centuries and – arguably the worst of all – we encounter other women who are not as happy for us to be in leadership roles. 

What’s the saying? No man is an island? Well, no girl boss can go it alone! You need to find yourself a tribe of supportive, like-minded people who will help you grow and level up. 

Here are 5 types of  people you need to surround yourself with and include in your tribe: 

People who are Authentic and Kind 

There’s more than enough fake-ass BS all around us! Every GirlBoss needs to find people who know exactly who they are and who live in integrity with their values and their truth. People who are kind and empathetic and truly care about the wellbeing and the growth and development of others.

People who are comfortable in their own skin and who totally rock who they are – even if they’re considered to be a little ‘weird’ or a bit of a ‘misfit’.

Surrounding yourself with people – especially women – who are truly authentic and kind like that, will help you to figure out who you are and to embrace your unique gifts in this life, instead of trying to force you to fit into some pre-determined mould of ‘perfection’.  You need people in your tribe who encourage you to shine and be the misfit or weirdo that you are.

People who are Smarter than You

I read somewhere in a Robin Sharma book once, that if you’re the smartest person in the room, you’re in the wrong room. Effectively, what he was saying, is that we all need to surround ourselves with people who are smarter than we are. Those are the people who will encourage us to never stop learning and to want to do better and be better all the time. They will impart valuable knowledge and wisdom all the time and we can learn from their experiences.

You don’t ever want to be complacent and just cruise your way, chilling through life. Surrounding yourself with people who are smarter than you and have different areas of strength and specialities in their careers, forces you to level up and keep learning. 

People who are Brave and Bold 

Office politics and fear of failure can turn even the smartest and most successful woman into a self-doubting mess who is nothing but a pile of nerves. Women in leadership, especially, tend to joy always be outspoken or stand up for for what they believe in or what is right, because this is often a career-limiting move. That’s why it’s important you find some role models who are bold and brave and who will inspire you to take a stand when it’s necessary and to be brave enough to speak your truth at work.

The #MeToo movement gained momentum because more and more women were brave enough to stand up and tell their stories. And the more brave and bold women who came forward, the more they gave others the courage to also stand up and tell their stories or report behavior that is unacceptable at work and in society in general. We still have a long way to go and many challenges to face, but every single brave and bold person who stands up, empowers more and more to do the same. 

People who are your Cheerleaders 

In times when we are doubting ourselves or the choices we have made, we need at least one person we can talk to – openly and honestly – about what we are going through. Someone who will help us to discern between reality and fear that exists only in our own minds and who will encourage us to chase our dreams and take the next step on our journey. Someone who will do so with love and empathy and who will call us out on our own BS in a kind and supportive way and who will help us achieve our dreams in a realistic and progressive way. 

People who make you Laugh

You can’t always take yourself so seriously and sometimes you just need to let your hair down, have some fun and have a good laugh. Find a few friends who don’t care about your job title or the car you drive and who genuinely just remind you to have some fun and laugh so much that it makes your stomach and your cheeks, hurt. We all need more laughter in our lives and people who don’t drain our energy. 

Now that you have this list, take a look at your circle of friends and the people you rely on and go and identify which of them falls into one of these 5 categories. If you don’t have anyone in a specific category, get our there and find someone, sister. Build your tribe, because no  GirlBoss can go it alone! 

Deborah Hartung

She has spent almost 20 years advising corporates on matters relating to employee relations, corporate culture and leadership development. Deborah is passionate about people and technology, the human experience in the workplace and the opportunities for the advancement of humanity in the digital age.  

Especially popular with young or first-time leaders, entrepreneurs and women in leadership, Deborah encourages all those she meets to align with their purpose and to be brave enough to be authentic in all their interactions.  She writes about life, love, leadership, workplace culture, the future of work and the importance of making the world a kinder, more tolerant place. 

Deborah lives in Johannesburg, South Africa and is committed to ensuring that her children – daughter, Reagan and son, Owen – have as many adventures and experiences as possible. Amongst her friends she is known as the woman who always needs at least SPF50 sunscreen and someone who can trip and fall whilst barefoot and stone cold sober. A big fan of tequila, craft beer and MCC, Deborah loves entertaining friends and is secretly a rather big fan of baking. 

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