Let’s face it, being an effective leader required dedication, focus and perseverance before COVID-19 hit. Now everyone is just doing their best to balance keeping their professional and home life afloat with no separation between the two. Companies are talking about how productivity has gone up but they fail to mention the obvious; people are working longer hours with potentially smaller teams to get the same if not more accomplished. Additionally many parents are juggling being effective at work with caring for and educating their children. More often than not, it’s women who bear most of the responsibility of holding everything together at work and home. It’s no wonder many of us haven’t had a moment to think about how we’re showing up as leaders.
We all agree that COVID-19 has been painfully disruptive, but what if we also acknowledge that disruption is a key catalyst for innovation, creativity and transformation. During this time, many people realized that they were not spending enough time with their family. Some realized they wanted to give more back to their communities. Others yet have decided that they want to live their life differently and show up as a positive force in the world. Without COVID-19, many of us wouldn’t have had the realization that something needed to change.
Just as businesses have been evolving along with technological advances, leadership must do the same. Women leaders are beginning to realize the approach of being more of everything to everyone until you have nothing left to give doesn’t work. Being a successful leader in the 21st century begins with self-discovery and self-awareness. It’s about learning to tap into your highest power and operate in synchronicity with your calling. As women, we’ve been taught to suppress our softer nature when leading in service of producing results, however there is a multitude of research in women’s studies, neuroscience, and leadership that proves there’s POWER in our feminine sides. Today’s leadership is in service to others and more inline with feminine power. When we operate and lead in service of fulfilling our purpose, we become the kind of leader who inspires people, has a positive impact and makes the world a better place.
With the collective energetic shift that is happening right now, it’s the perfect time for women leaders to decide who they want to be as a leader in their company, family, community and ultimately in the world. Here are the first steps you can take to embrace and ignite your power as a female leader.
DECLARING AN INSPIRING POSSIBILITY
The first crucial step in this process is assessing the gap between the ideal of who you want to be as a leader and the current version of how you operate as a leader. Many women believe they need to emulate men in order to be effective leaders, but that is not the case. It’s important to construct your leadership ideal from a place of authenticity, inspiration, and motivation. Many times we attempt to make changes with belief that something is wrong and needs to be fixed. One set of thoughts is energy enhancing and gives us full access to our innate power, freedom and self-expression while the other is energy depleting, driven by fears, faults and limitations. Once you authentically connect to your inspirational ideal, and are compelled into action by a reason greater than fixing your performance gap, the leadership journey becomes fun, uplifting and possible.
GAINING AWARENESS OF SELF
The second step to improving your leadership effectiveness is connecting to reality, your personal thought patterns, and noticing how often the two are not the same. Most of our bias, thoughts and beliefs about who we are come from a very limited perspective created during the early stages of human development. These limiting beliefs, which are not rooted in reality, have the ability to limit our effectiveness as a female leader and hold us back from all that is possible in our career and life. From our wise and aware self, in the present moment, we can create something new that empowers as opposed to limits. When we are consciously aware of our strengths and weaknesses as a leader, as well as our own unconscious biases about ourselves and others, we have the power to rein in these limiting beliefs and thought patterns. Applying self awareness to your leadership practice ensures you build a strong foundation for a better you in every aspect of your life.
CONSCIOUSLY USING SELF FOR GOOD
By cultivating a stronger sense of self awareness, you now have the ability to consciously choose how you show up everyday. Whether it’s your carbon footprint, the resources you use, or the energy you bring to work, you have the ability to determine your impact. Regardless of our strengths or weaknesses as a leader, how we deploy and leverage our competencies and traits determines the effect we have on those around us. Taking responsibility for what happens around us could be the biggest gift we give our people and our professional leadership development journey. How we manage ourselves is the primary tool we have for managing change and transformation in the work system. Once we accept responsibility for what is happening or is failing to happen when we lead, we can consciously choose a new path regardless of outside circumstances.
The first and most important steps of igniting your power as a female leader starts with you. With the collective energetic shift that is happening right now, it’s the best time to set an intention and take action toward becoming the leader you were always meant to be. Even if things start moving back in the direction of what was once normal, you have the ability to change course in a way that supports and aligns with your vision of the future. Imagine what would be possible in the world if we all choose to live and lead from a place of inspiration, awareness and conscious intention.
Interested in learning more about igniting your power as a women leader? Join us for our virtual women’s leadership retreat, Ignite Power on January 15th-17th.