Priority Matrix Productivity

The Best Lessons From Ten Powerful Women

It seems like in this day and age, women do it all. So much so, that sometimes it feels like it would feel great to drop everything and take a nice, long rest.

To inspire you, we’ve put together a list of 10 highly productive and powerful women in business and analyzed their qualities and habits so that you can stay inspired and follow in their footsteps. Here is what you can learn from ten powerful women leaders.

The Best Lessons from the Most Powerful Women in Business

Powerful Woman Leader #1: Oprah Winfrey

We all know that Winfrey is a producer, an actress, a previous talk show host and a household name worth billions. But, Oprah also faced countless hardships on the road to success. How did she manage to accomplish so much in the face of adversity?

Fast Company asked Oprah how she manages and she stated that she only puts time and effort into what she really wants to do.

She is the eyes of her own success.

Follow Oprah’s lead by setting a clear goal for yourself. At that point, put your effort into what will bring you further to accomplishing whatever this is.

Powerful Woman Leader #2: Bethany Hamilton

Hamilton, a famous surfer, was on every news station back in 2003 when her left arm was ferociously bitten off by a shark. However, this didn’t stop her from being FEROCIOUS and making waves in her future; shortly after, she went right back to surfing like nothing ever happened.

Hamilton leads a productive life because of her go-getter personality that does not give up even under even the worst circumstances. But, what inspired her to never give up?

Hamilton states:

For me soul surfing is just being passionate about the ocean and surfing. That’s what I am. I’m passionate about being out there and enjoying God’s creation.

What gets her through is her intense craving for victory and fierce drive. So, how can you get motivated like Hamilton? Check out these 3 science-backed tips to get started.

Powerful Woman Leader #3: Beyonce Knowles

A while ago, a quote came up on my Twitter account. It said, “remember, you have the same 24 hours in the day as Beyonce.” The point of this quote is that nobody is given the advantage of having more time, but rather, some of us are more productive because of how we decide to spend it. The key is prioritization.

While working for the business productivity company, Appfluence, I’ve learned dozens of prioritization and time management strategies. For those of us who feel like there is too much to do in the day, and not enough time to do it, check out  Eisenhower Method of time management.

By prioritizing, you can utilize every precious second of the day, just like Knowles — just make sure you’re using each of those 24 hours properly.

Learn more about the Eisenhower Matrix:

Powerful Woman Leader #4: Barbara Corcoran

When Corcoran was young, she never expected to be the successful, well-known business woman that she is today. I guess sometimes you should expect the unexpected, right?

According to her website, “Barbara Corcoran’s credentials include straight D’s in high school and college and twenty jobs by the time she turned twenty-three. It was her next job that would make her one of the most successful entrepreneurs in the country when she took a $1000 loan to start The Corcoran Group.”

Corcoran teaches us that you should never let your past hold you back. She also teaches us that sometimes taking responsible risks can be valuable. That is why she started off with only $1,000 and built it up, taking one day at a time.

Powerful Woman Leader #5: Indra Nooyi

Indra Nooyi, the CEO of Pepsi, believes that there is always room for improvement.

As a CEO, I am finding that I have to become a learning CEO. I have to go to school all the time because I am learning new skills that I need to run this company and I am realizing that I am not equipped to just coast, I have to constantly renew my skills.

If you think that you have learned everything that there is to learn about what you do, you are probably wrong. So, how do you follow in Nooyi’s  footsteps? You must have a hunger for learning in order to take you further in your field. Find an insightful blog in your area, take a night class, or read a bestseller about your industry.

Powerful Woman Leader #6: Susan Wojcicki

Susan Wojcicki is the current CEO of Youtube and is also known for her work at Google. However, Wojcicki is an inspiration in her personal life as well.

According to Today, the mom of five says, “having the sum of both of those things [a top position at a company and being a mother] going on in my life makes me a better mom at the end of the day, and I think it gives me really important perspectives in the workplace as well.”

She mentions that she, “devotes the hours of 6:00-9:00pm to her family.” This allows her to be a big part of her children’s lives all while managing a world-renowned corporation. If you find yourself balancing two or three major responsibilities, see what you can learn from each one, and apply it to the others. Leverage the diversity of your experiences.

Powerful Woman Leader #7: Sara Blakely

Sara Blakely is the founder of Spanx. In 2014, she made Forbes’ list of most powerful women in the world. So, you could say she has a lot on her plate. However, she still makes time to stop and reflect.

In Blakely’s own words:  

Personal development and taking the time for yourself to think and understand yourself and process the world around you in a way that fosters your greatness and helps you fulfill your greatest potential, is the greatest gift you could give yourself… I’m in the camp of trying to carve out the time for yourself, reflecting and taking time to go inward, because the gifts are unbelievably exponential.

Remember that your job is important, but you are more important. Take time for yourself. You are never too old to do some soul searching. You were put on this Earth to live life to the fullest.

Powerful Woman Leader #8: Coco Chanel

Everyone knows of the fashion designer Coco Chanell; as a matter of fact, I am wearing a Coco Chanel necklace as we speak. If you are a Chanel fan like me, you would know that Chanel was born into an impoverished family. She didn’t let this set her back though.

She confidently took her challenges head-on. Her famous quote, “keep your head, heels, and standards high,” is a perfect embodiment of this attitude.

As women, we often face obstacles in the workplace, as we are still fighting for equality. Without taking Coco’s advice about the high heels literally, we can let her words inspire us.  You must be confident. Let adversity make you stronger. Believe in yourself.

Powerful Woman Leader #9: Abigail Adams

Abigail Adams was the first lady to the second President of the United States, John Adams. Not only is she known as the second President’s wife, but as the woman who paved the way so that women would not be seen simply as wives of powerful men.

Your voice can be magical if you use it for the right reasons. She used her voice, urging President Adams to,  “remember the ladies.” She never stopped fighting for what she believed in, and little did she know, this was the first step on the very long and rocky road to reform the way all women are seen.

So, how do you follow in Adams’ footsteps? Stay firm to your beliefs, never take no for an answer, and always have the attitude that you can make changes in the world.

Powerful Woman Leader #10: Marissa Mayer

Marissa Mayer is the CEO of Yahoo. From a young age, Mayer wanted to go to Stanford University. So, she worked with the end in mind and eventually attended and graduated from her dream school.

She teaches us the simplest lesson of them all: never stop dreaming, and always take actions on your dreams. Allow your dreams to guide you to fulfilling your goals. Your dreams give you something to look forward to. However, you must put in the effort to make your dreams come true.

Let your dreams be your motivation to follow a plan to success.


What all of these ladies have in common is that these women did something to make sure that they would thrive in this challenging world. Every one of them utilized their time, micromanaged their goals, and made sacrifices in order to succeed in whatever they did.

These women are powerful role models who did something right. Now, it’s your turn.