I Met Kevin O’Leary

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While there were a few men in attendance at the Conference I attended 2 weeks ago, there was only one male speaker: Mr. Wonderful himself. I have admit that I was perplexed as to why they would have famous wealthy man speak at a conference for women at the risk of overshadowing the less famous women. After all, being trapped in the shadow of men is part of the reason why the glass ceiling is in place and part of the reason why we need women only spaces like our own conferences and affinity groups? Turns out Mr. Wonderful was invited as “a man who gets it” and as someone who has recognized that the unique traits that many women possess make us successful business people when we have adequate resources.

The billionaire businessman doesn’t just claim to support women. He also puts his money where his mouth is. He has invested significantly in women-owned and run businesses. He lists 3 attributes of women-owned companies that he believes make them different from, if not more successful than, businesses run by men.

  1. Goal Setting – He believes that women set more achievable goals. They don’t reach for the moon. They reach for success. When the goals are achievable, it builds confidence for everyone involved and it motivates them to strive for more. With unreachable goals, there’s a potential of damaging morale and undermining the abilities of the team.
  2. Access – Women in leadership roles tend to be more accessible. That access shows respect for those who work with you, letting them know that their opinion matters. It also builds teamwork.
  3. Delegation – Women are more willing to give up control. It allows them to allocate their time better and it demonstrates trust in the management team.

These are conclusions he is drawing from evaluating his personal portfolio of investments. I’m curious to know if anyone else shares that view.

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