I was talking to my husband about it which track I should choose. It was obvious to him but it took me a minute to own it. Then it hit me. Duh!
"I am an Executive, therefore I choose the Executive track."
That statement both empowered and frightened me. Have you ever felt that way? You know you are in charge, in leadership, but there are times when actually saying or taking actions that prove it seem a little...well, weird?
One of the reasons women in leadership don't own their leadership is because they don't see themselves as leaders. In their own minds eye, they don't fit their own image of what leaders look like or do. Since we know ourselves so well, we know we aren't fearless or direct or very _____(fill in the blank with whatever you think the perfect leader is). For a long time, my image of leadership was an older white man in navy blue blazer, starched white button downed shirt, khaki colored slacks, and those brown loafers with the two tassels on them.
Well I'm a young (at least I think so) black woman who likes warm colors and hates buttoned down shirts. Clearly my "image of leadership" wasn't helping me. So I got rid of that old image and replaced it with my own.
As an executive coach, one of the BRAVE mindset shifts I help my clients realize is that leadership looks like you.
I'll say it again: Leadership looks like you!
You don't have to "look", "act", or "be" anyone else. In fact, it is your duty to be yourself in your leadership. So many women I work with feel like they can't be themselves as a leader. They are afraid of being classed as either "the Barbie or the *itch". There doesn't seem to be an in between. And what if you are a spiritual woman or woman of faith? Ha! Good luck finding your role model in business.
One of my coaching programs, Align Your Brave, is aimed at helping women in leadership find their unique leadership identity. It's not about traditional leadership assessments so much as it's about shifting the mindset to creating your own identity. It moves people from "I have to perform up to everyone else's standards" to "I have to be authentic to myself." Something amazing happens when women own their own leadership identity. Usually, they meet and often, exceed external performance standards set by their organizations. Since their standards for themselves are usually higher, they align their personal, professional and spiritual selves to maximize their leadership effectiveness.
Whether you lead one or one thousand, you are the executive. You are the leader. Own it!
So stand up (yes now) put your hands on your hips in your wonder woman pose and say out loud to yourself.
I am the leader!
Say it again...and one more time.
How did it feel to own your leadership? Leave me comment.
If you want to align your organizational objectives with your spiritual and your personal values, so that ALL of you work together to accomplish your organizational goals, feeling satisfied AND maximize your impact to the bottom line, schedule a complimentary strategy session with me today. It's time to stop living fragmented and Align Your Brave. Click here to schedule a time we can talk.