When I was participating in the Women In Fellowship program I heard that the greatest indicator of a woman’s success is her network. At the time, I found this to be a very fascinating statistic and every since then I have continued to observe women and their networks for affirmation of said research. While I believe a woman’s network is an indicator of future success, I’m convinced a woman’s inner circle of her network, professional sounding board is even more indicative of her potential.
By definition, a sounding board is a person or group on whom one tries out an idea or opinion as a means of evaluating it. I believe my greatest indicator of success is the quality of my sounding board, more importantly than my full network. Recently I was having a business issue that I was trying to solve for and after trying my damnedest to figure out how to solve for it, I simply asked two people in my sounding board for their advice. The question at hand was, “How do I differentiate my business from the other salons in a way that stylists want to stay, have a sense of loyalty, and feel a genuine desire to see the salon success?”
I was racking my brain on how to motivate and inspire them, coming up with no new solutions. Then I spoke to a few people on my sounding board and it was like the seas parted and the ideas simply revealed themselves to me (you know from the mouths of my friends). It is not that I am not smart (because I am) or that I am not creative (because I can be) but that I simply needed to try out some ideas and opinions. I needed to hear independent evaluations of those ideas. #ValueOfASoundingBoard
The greatest indicator of my success is the people that I seek advice from: the business owner, the investor, the people leader, the skeptic, the active listener, the motivator, the… I can name each of them and their attribute to my board of informal directors.
Who is on your sounding board? Who do you trust your ideas with, even when they are only 20% baked? I believe my sounding board of people truly save me from myself sometimes. They inspire me. They challenge me AND my ideas and they want me to succeed. I do success better because of my sounding board.
In the comments below, list someone on your sounding board and share how they have helped you personally or professionally.