Many people are a fan of TGIT (Thank Goodness It’s Thursday) and love to watch #Scandal. There’s nothing like watching a powerful woman save some of the most powerful politicians from a big mess that they most likely created. Of course the show has its share of love affairs and scandals to make it entertaining, but there is also a lot we can learn from Olivia Pope and her Gladiators to help our own businesses. Managing a company is full of new challenges and opportunities and Olivia Pope and Associates navigate it well, which is why there are five lessons women entrepreneurs can learn from Scandal.
It Takes a Team
Yes, Olivia Pope is accomplished, smart, and is great at her job, but she also knows she’s better with her team. There are certain skill sets that Huck brings on the technology side that she simply doesn’t have. Every now and then, she’s seeks advice from colleagues and advisers about a decision when she is uncertain. Even Batman has Robin and the President of the United States has a Cabinet. We can do better work as a team than on our own.
Listen to What’s Being Said and What’s Not Being Said
Olivia is good at identifying whether or potential are hiding something or not, whether it’s because they are afraid or have a hard time communicating their feelings. Like Olivia, we have to listen to our customers. When a customer is complaining about an issue, what are they really saying? Do they really not like the surprise juicy fruit in a piece of chocolate or is it that they are really upset about messing up their clothes because of the juicy fruit. Is it simply that they don’t like a specific feature of your product or is there an underlining reason to their frustration? The only way to find out is to dig a little deeper and ask more questions. It’s good to listen to the accolades coming from your customers (we all need it sometimes to keep us motivated), but it’s equally important, if not more, to provide great customer service to those who are not happy with our services. There’s some good information you can learn about what’s not working, why, and either how to fix it or what’s the next product/feature you should launch.
Look the Part
Olivia Pope does a bang up job of not only physically presenting herself well in such stylish clothes, but she also gives off an aura of knowing her stuff. Starting a company is hard. Things may be chaotic behind the scenes, you are puppeteering every aspect of your business, you may even still be developing your product as a customer is requesting it, but present it to the public as a well-oiled machine. Do your research and present yourself to customers, partners, or investors as if you were creator of the light bulb. Even Thomas Edison failed 10,000 times, but that didn’t stop him from pressing forward with his invention. Fake it until you make it. You’ll be surprised how many people do it.
Be a Boss
Olivia Pope does a great job of oozing confidence in her job. Ladies, you should do the same. Feel comfortable in yourself. You have accomplished a lot in your lifetime that has prepared you for this moment. You’ve done your research on this company and have put in countless hours of work. You deserve to be here…no one else. Share your knowledge with your team, customers, and advisors. Make your voice heard during meetings. We can even take some pointers from this article from Women eNews on 5 Speaking Habits That Weakens Women’s Leadership.
Sometimes things don’t work out as you plan. Rather than wallow in self-pity about the mistake, figure out what went wrong, learn from it, and provide another solution. Mistakes happen sometimes. Even the CEO of TurboTax recently admitted that they made a mistake on how they rolled out the updates to their software this year. The most important thing is that you move forward with Plan B to fix the situation and learn what not to do next time.
So what do you think? What lessons on being an entrepreneur have you learned from watching Scandal and Olivia Pope?