By Rieva Lesonsky

Disruption has become more than a buzzword—it’s a way to truly change businesses and lives. In the past women in business have not been encouraged to be disruptors, but Jennifer Warawa, the Global Vice President of Product Marketing at Sage, sees it differently. She embraces disruption—and urges other women to do the same.

In honor of Women’s History Month, Warawa talks about disruption:

“Disruptive women will be the role models for the coming generations of female entrepreneurs and business leaders. You don’t have to be a Fortune 500 female CEO to be a disruptive leader, but you can glean some clear lessons from them: Prepare to go under the microscope. Forget about being popular or even liked. Disruptive leaders know they aren’t there to win a popularity contest. When disruptive women assert themselves, they are often labeled as tough, or mean, or worse. Leading isn’t about being popular; it’s about making decisions that will keep your company strong. Set your sights on being respected for your decisions, rather than being liked.

“Disruptive businesswomen are confident in making the tough choices that will benefit the whole. They find problems that need to be solved, come up with solutions and convince others (Board, staff, customers) that they’re right. They walk the line between decisive and difficult because their views tend to be different. To be a great leader, you must be willing to make unpopular decisions and incur the anger that sometimes ensues without faltering, and without apology.

“Disruptive women should feel comfortable raising their hands and saying ‘I did that’. They should also take their share of the blame and give credit where it’s deserved. Take a page from their playbook; strike a balance between tooting your own horn and recognizing the contributions of your team. By doing so you earn respect and loyalty.

“The disruptive leaders of today are paving the way for women to feel comfortable challenging the status quo. Choose to be a powerful force in business and entrepreneurship. Choose to be a disruptor who will change the world.”

Check out these helpful resources for women business owners.