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8 female executives on the habits they gave up

There are many theories about how long it takes to form a habit. Some say 21 days. Others argue it’s more like 60, or more. Whatever the case, some aspects of our routine are beneficial to our personal and professional growth, while others just slow us down. For leaders who are tasked with not only meeting their own goals but also guiding others, paying attention to negative patterns is essential. That’s why these women, across industries, stopped apologizing. Or adding a “maybe” to every sentence. Or opted to do things their way–even if it wasn’t the “right” way.

We asked eight impressive female executives to describe the habits they’re glad they gave up:


When Vanessa Yakobson, the CEO of Blo Blow Dry Bar, joined the company, she left an 11-year stint in the nonprofit sector. Though she loved the work, she was ready to dig in to a promising startup. Alongside her husband, she’s doubled their business, and created a franchising system that’s allowed the company to expand.

The process has been a life-changing one for Yakobson, who says she’s learned how to step aside and allow her team members to do their thing. “I’ve had to curb my enthusiasm to make way for the talented people around me to bring their skills to the table,” she says. “I’ve learned to get out of their way and trust they are more than capable of achieving success. This has allowed me to stay focused on the things that really need my attention.”

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Fast Company, May 28, 2019