By MATT BLOIS
Diane Michel started her career at what she calls a perfectly run medical practice, and at first she thought all businesses ran like that.
The company had consultants come in every year, and Michel said it ran like a well-oiled machine.
When she left the company to become a business consultant she quickly learned that kind of effective management was an anomaly. She spent about 15 years working as a business consultant and later started several businesses of her own.
During her time as a consultant and an entrepreneur, she noticed a lack of leadership training specifically focused on women. Now, she’s partnering with business coach Janna Landry to offer that training.
Last year, they created a company called Lady Like Leaders, which offers seminars and symposiums, like the one advertised below this past fall, for women in business. Later this year, they are partnering with the Nashville Business Incubation Center to offer a six-month course for women who are already working as managers.
Calling Lady Business Owners: Join us in Nashville Nov 30th! This is the stuff they don't teach in business school! pic.twitter.com/Lz5s6CJnNT
— Lady Like Leaders (@LLLNashville) October 27, 2018
“Women start business for different reasons than men,” Michel said. “They handle challenges differently. They are motivated by different things, and their reward system is very different.”
Michel said that women and men have different perspectives, and the training focuses on teaching women how to use their unique strengths to become effective leaders.
When she started in consulting, Michel said her firm asked her to cut her hair short and only wear dark suits and stud earrings.
“Basically they wanted to masculinize me to make me more effective in consulting,” Michel said. “I was allergic to that on every level, but I had to do it because that’s what was expected. I love now how our culture is changing. It’s a lot more acceptable for (women) to embrace their femininity.”
The Lady Like Leaders training includes sessions with names like, “Never look like a hot mess” and “Dazzle your listener.”
Some people have asked Michel and Landry why the name includes a more traditional term like lady, rather than a more neutral term like woman. Landry said the company is trying to target a specific group of women, namely women who want to embrace their femininity as leaders.
She added that all kinds of people — men and women — already benefited from the symposiums because one of the main goals is training leaders to communicate in a way everyone understands, and showing how leaders can manage a company from different points of view.
“If you have two leaders in a room, one is male and one is female. They’re going to choose in a different way,” Landry said. “It doesn’t mean that one way is the right way and one way is the wrong way.”