''A Successful woman in business...''
A few days back, I was doing some research and I came across this quote from my beloved Maya Angelou. Although I think it is more relevant to life positioning, somehow, I felt it was also linked to a topic that I often talk about, which is ‘’Women in Leadership’’. If I could rephrase it, I would say that ‘’ A Successful Woman in business wishes to be No one’s Competitor; a Successful Woman in business Refuses to go the Traditional Way’’. What do I mean by that? You see, what applies for those of us who target to get, or already have managerial positions, isn’t that our point is to try and replicate how other managers and directors are leading their teams and companies in order to be successful, neither to become more bossy and less empathetic. The true key to success is no other, than to be clear on what we really want. We have to believe in ourselves and do it our ‘’own way’’.
Working with a lot of women in business, from different places in the world, there are some quite frequent questions. Questions such as ‘’what should I do to get the promotion’’ or ‘’how can I be at the same time, a wonderful mother and also, grow in the organization I work for’’. Most probably you’re thinking, that I at least have a manual or an action plan which I provide to my coachees who aspire to be great leaders, in order to follow and achieve their goal. I want to be honest with you and I have to say that this is not the case.
In my early years in business, I remember reading books, observing high- positioned professionals, while trying to understand which are the steps I need to take to become one of them. Now, almost 20 years later, I can confirm that there is no «one-size-fits-all» guide. Each one of us is unique and the key to success is to understand our strong points as well as work on our areas of improvement and reveal our own personal way of leadership. If I had to summarize this into specific pillars, I would highlight the following:
- Define my real target. Sometimes, ‘’what I want to achieve’’, sounds like an easy question to answer, however is it really that straight forward? What I have observed, both from myself and my coaching sessions, most of the time that question can be one of the hardest ones. Understanding what exactly I want to do, without being misled by people’s opinion, the social environment I am in, trends, etc. can be challenging. It is part of our human nature to seek acceptance and confirmation and quite often this can influence our choices and decisions. This is where we end up achieving targets, but in the end of the day, we don't feel fulfilled.
- Understand my strong points & what I need to change. Observe myself without fear and ask questions such as ‘’what people appreciate me for’’, ‘’what are my success factors’’, ‘’what would I do differently and why’’? Good friends, trustworthy colleagues or a professional coach are people who can really help to identify blind spots and get a clear picture of myself. If for example, empathy is one of my strong areas, while I find it difficult to manage conflicts, I can build on my strength to develop ways to overcome my difficulty.
- Believe in myself and be comfortable with my own unique leadership style. Getting inspired by other leaders is great, as long as I remember to be consistent with who I really am and at the same time, not push myself to replicate others. Sometimes it will be hard, as people will challenge or doubt my choices and actions, however staying focused will take me to the point I am targeting.
What makes YOU unique as a leader? Do you feel you want to understand more and reveal your own leadership style? Feel free to contact me for a discovery session and we can figure it out together!
Your business Coach,
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