Leadership Learnings: Phoebe Sherman, Girl Gang Craft

We’re back with the next issue of Leadership Learnings where we ask a diverse group of individuals what qualities are important in a leader. Today, we’re talking with Phoebe Sherman of Girl Gang Craft.

Portrait of Phoebe Sherman

Girl Gang Craft is a community for female-forward creatives. It’s taken form as a feminist clothing line, big and small-scale craft fairs, and more recently helping creatives succeed digitally through online courses, a membership program, and a year-round small business directory. Here are the qualities Phoebe finds important in leaders.

Flexibility

Number one is flexibility, and that’s something maybe we’ve all learned in the past year. It’s a good attribute to lead with. Because as we know — if your business or community is not flexible, it’s not going to hold up. Flexibility along with the word pivot has been one of the buzzwords of the past year.

If your business or community is not flexible, it’s not going to hold up.

And it’s wild, you keep hitting the roadblocks. I mean, even recently we launched a membership. So many things that we had planned did not work out. And that’s where the flexibility comes in. You really have to hold space to feel the feelings about roadblocks. You can get really angry and maybe that’s a night, maybe that’s a few days or whatever, and then you have to move on. And without that flexibility, without that non-attachment, it’s not going to work out.

I had a lot of people in my extended community really try to continue having events. And I think it was a mistake. And I think by us wiping the events off the calendar and responding to that pretty quickly, we made space for all of these other beautiful digital offerings.

Listening

Stay tapped into your community. So whatever your leadership role is and whatever community or niche you’re in — it’s important to listen and understand what your community needs. It’s about being able to respond with something that will help your community when there’s a pain point. Or even your friendship community. What can you offer when people are lost? As a marketing nerd, you can really tune in that way. Dive into what’s working for people and what’s not, what’s working for you. Take notes, absorb, and then react.

Phoebe Sherman recording a podcast

What can you offer when people are lost? Take notes, absorb, and then react.

The best leaders that I’ve had that have been tapped in. I had a yoga teacher who thought outside the box to incorporate athletic tendencies like dance and really understood what her yoga community needed. That was something I was really attracted to.

Empathy and compassion

Leaders should strive to be empathetic, compassionate, and relatively available. It’s about being human. It’s important to hold space for people in whatever capacity. And I also think that translates positively to marketing. People are attracted to authenticity.

If you’re leading a team or serving a bigger community you need to be available for little and big things. But at the same time hold your own boundaries. So you’re not just absorbing everyone’s emotions and chaos and problems, but allotting specific time that you’re available or a specific way that you’re available. It’s important to be the face of your business. And that includes a certain amount of availability.

What do you think of Phoebe’s take on leadership? Leave a comment or nominate someone we need to hear from in this series.