A Beauty Brand CEO's 10 tips to persistent leadership

A Beauty Brand CEO's
10 Tips to Persistent Leadership
with Wander Beauty CEO Divya Gugnani

Divya Gugnani, author and CEO of Wander Beauty, has a lot of wisdom to share, especially for female leaders.

Here are just some of her most relevant and helpful leadership tips, boiled down to their essence for quick learning.

  1. You are who you hire. Your company culture will be built by the people you bring on: outstanding people build outstanding brands. People who are willing to go the extra mile are the ones who will have the ability to create real change in your organization. So know that who you choose to put on the bus is equally as important as who you don’t.
  1. Diversity on your team drives diversity of thought, which is necessary to create the fantastic outcomes you desire. For everybody to get a piece of the pie, the pie must get bigger. So hire diverse teams with complementary skillsets.
  1. One of the most important qualities for a leader to have is self-awareness. When you understand yourself better, you become a better partner and leader. So take stock of what you are good at and what you can improve on – and be honest.
  1. You can do everything; you just can’t do everything at once.
  1. Work teams are like sports teams: they have a common goal – to win – and they must use strategy and plan to achieve it. On a competitive sports team, the athletes that help you get started aren’t always the ones that will take you to the finish line. Similarly, in business, the skills you need in the early stages are very different from the ones you need later on. In the start-up phase, team members must be able to skillfully wear many hats. But as your organization grows, you’ll need leaders with domain expertise who have done it before and can help you do it better. Your team’s skillset needs will shift: get ahead of it rather than falling behind.
  1. Continuing with the sports analogy: entrepreneurship is a marathon, not a sprint. You have to be able to last for the long haul. Surviving is winning.
  1. Be a learn-it-all, not a know-it-all. A good leader is a sponge.
  1. The business environment isn’t going to adjust to you, so calibrate your strategy and ideas to the current environment. Listen to what is going on around you and then – only then – speak. When you do so, use only a few words – and make them count.
  1. To create successful mentor relationships, seek out several mentors with different skill sets. Make sure you have good chemistry and build the relationship slowly and organically over time. Be careful not to only reach out to your mentor when you’re going through tough times. Connect and maintain the relationship when things are going well, too.
  1. Your business won’t succeed if its founder (you!) is floundering. Focus on self-care. Take the time to make sure you are mentally and physically healthy. Block out time for quiet alone time as needed.

For more tips and advice from inspiring, successful South Asian women leaders, check out our New York City Networking Events for Women.

More Useful Advice 

Check out CEO of Wander Beauty Divya Gugnani’s top five actionable fundraising tips for business leaders.

  1. Only raise money if you really need it to take your business to a place where you know it will be successful.
  2. Be clear about what type of funding you need.
  3. Connect with networks.
  4. Google funders who have invested in your competitors.
  5. Look for funders who might be interested in your business model.

Here are CEO of Wander Beauty Divya Gugnani’s four best hiring tips for business leaders that you can actually use.

  1. Take your interviewee to a social setting to see what they are like outside the office.
  2. Nip bad behavior in the bud.
  3. Only hire people you trust and respect. If the trust dissipates, let them go.
  4. Hire slowly and fire fast.

Planning to work with influencers for your business? Divya Gugnani, CEO of Wander Beauty, has a tip for you.
Build authentic, organic relationships. Once you start paying people, the relationship becomes transactional, and authenticity is lost. Everyone starts wanting to be paid, and suddenly influencer marketing becomes an unlimited spend area.

Here are three leadership tips from Wander Beauty CEO Divya Gugnani that you can implement and benefit from today.

  1. Be something to someone instead of everything to everyone. What’s the point of creating 21 products if you can’t sell one? Start with a concentrated effort. Do fewer things but do them well. Begin by being exceptional at one service or product. Build traction around it before expanding.
  2. Figure out who your ideal partnerships are. Build networks, reach out to people, and try to land one of them. Use that partnership to help you pitch to everyone else on your dream partner list.
  3. Failure is okay. Rejection is just a re-direction toward something better for you.

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