This blog is not a “girls rule and boys drool” kind of post. In the year 2016, I’m surprised that we’re still talking about which gender is better at their job and what stereotypical position they should hold. This blog is about being a human because when we boil it down, that’s exactly what we all are.

My team consists of 6 strong women. When I say strong, I’m talking about women that know who they are, what their goals are and bust their ass on a daily basis to make things happen. When I started Worx 9 years ago, it wasn’t a goal of mine to have an all-woman team, but as time has evolved, that’s who we are and I’m damn proud of that.

Stereotypes may think that we talk about one another at the water cooler or judge one another for our outfits. We certainly don’t sit and file our nails for hours every day while chewing bubble gum. I’ve learned a lot about leading a female-based team. I’ve learned the power behind dedicated women that make up a family. When you get like-minded people in the same room, working towards a common goal, whether male or female or a combination of the two, here are some incredible things that can happen:

1. Unconditional support. When you’re working with a team that believes in your abilities and sees your potential, you’ll find a support system that is like no other. They will help you learn, overcome obstacles and they will lift you in the good times and the bad. They want you to succeed just as much as you do and they’ll do everything in their power to help guide you. They’ll invest in your time and talent.

2. A safe place to be YOU. Being able to be authentically you is an incredible gift. When you can go to work and not have to change who you are, you have so many opportunities to grow. Your energy won’t be focused on impressing or acting, but rather being exactly who you are and building on your skills. Your team will support this and it will encourage them to be more of themselves as well. Be the same person from 9-5 as you are from 5-9.

3. A rising tide lifts all ships. A like-minded team will encourage, praise and celebrate with you. You’ll be surrounded by the “I can do this!” mentality and that is contagious. When you think you can’t do it anymore, someone will swoop in to see what’s going on and how they can help. You won’t get washed out to shore, you’ll be reminded why you’re the amazing person you are.

4. Healthy challenges. The best way to grow is to try and learn. Because we’re human, things don’t’ always go our way. But when you’re faced with a problem, your team will take the time to find out what’s going on and how they can help direct you. When one of your team members succeed, you’ll be excited for them and it will be an encouragement to do that yourself. It’s not jealousy, it’s inspiring.

5. A family. One of the most unexpected perks of finding “your people” is growing your family. You work roughly 260 days of the year. That’s a lot of time to spend with people outside of your immediate family. A great team will open their arms and invite you to be part of them. Before you know it, you won’t remember what it was like to not have them in your life.

Company culture is one of my #1 focuses and I’m really honored to say that my team possesses all of these characteristics. The thing to remember is, these things won’t happen on their own, they have to be created, nurtured and allowed. As a leader, you have to set the tone for why people want to work with you.

What I also love about these women, are the strong and confident men that back them up. The Worx men; our husbands, boyfriends, and friends, are there to support and cheer us along each and every step of the way. They’re with us on the sidelines of runs, sitting next to us at awards shows and wrapping their arms around us when we don’t think we can keep going. They don’t run at the fear of a goal-driven woman, instead, they ask, “How can I support you?”.

Men. Women. Humans. I encourage you to focus less on what people say and think you should do and find a place that nurtures who you are and the amazing talents that you have. When you find those two things, I promise you’ll be unstoppable.