Calling courageous leaders! 4 ideas to be the powerful change-agent you are
A friendly question for you….
Do you consider yourself a leader?
Think about every area of your life. Your work, your community, your family or any other.
When this question is asked to a group of people regardless of title, seniority, or age, nearly always more men than women will raise their hands. Women tend to hold on tighter to a little inner voice, cynically asking ourselves ‘Who are you to be a leader’?
Are women better leaders than men? Of course not. Are men better leaders than women? Of course not. But it’s well established that when men and women sit at decision making tables, better decisions are made. When there is diversity of leadership, success is 10-fold. People perform better, creativity is more abundant, company profits are larger, communities and society have a richer shared belonging.]
I share these thoughts ahead of International Women’s Day ’22 (IWD), because the world needs more women, just like you, stepping into owning the courageous leaders they are, and leading the change they want to see.
Here are 5 suggestions to help you be the powerful change agent you are.
- FIRST, SEE YOURSELF AS A LEADER.
I define a leader as ‘anyone who takes responsibility for finding potential in people, and who has the courage to develop that potential’. But there is a step before this. If we are going to have others view us as a leader, as someone who is committed to developing the potential of others, we must first see ourselves as a leader.
If you’re sitting there thinking, ‘Oh no not me’ I’m just not that powerful, then consider that each time your doubt your power, you give more power to your doubts.
- LEAN INTO YOUR HUMAN SKILLS. BE VULNERABLE. CHAMPION TRUST.
What makes a great leader? Yes, it takes technical skills, yes it takes investment in networks, afforded opportunities for some, plain hard work for others, passion, and a relentless commitment to inspire and see others around them succeed. These are all trademarks of great leaders.
Great leaders are also vulnerable, they build deep connection and trust, they know their values, they are brave yet empathetic. They stare down uncertainty, and take risks confidently, getting back up when it fails. They celebrate others. They are contagious. Great leaders are courageous leaders because they are real, they are human. And they inspire success, all around them.
- GET CLEAR ON WHOSE OPINIONS MATTER TO YOU.
It’s hard to choose courage on any given day. But it’s even harder when we define ourselves by what others think. So…..Get clear on whose opinions matter to you.
There is no better suggestion here than straight from Brene Brown, globally renowned #1 New York Times Bestseller, and in my own words ‘Courage-Building Queen’.
Brene says; Get a 5cm piece of paper, write down the names of people in your personal and professional life that matter to you. Fold it, put it in your wallet. Regularly, reach out to these people, tell them how grateful you are that you have them as a real, honest supporters in your life. These people are on your list because of your vulnerability and imperfections. They aren’t your suck up people, they are you ‘YES’ people. They are the people that have your back, but also pull you up when you are out of line, challenge you to be better, and pick you up when you have had your ass kicked.
- THROW AWAY PERFECTION. KNOW YOUR VALUE.
Universally, people (especially women) favour self-protective behaviours that stop us from showing up as our best each day. What can some of these behaviour biases look like? For example, is it perfectionism, a fear of failure or a relentless nag to hustle for our worth?
Unfortunately, we confuse perfectionism with striving for excellence and achievement. Perfectionism is not this. It is our defensive mode, us carrying around a 50 kg brick. It plants a terrible seed of failure in our mind, a fear we can’t make mistakes, that we will be criticised for not being good enough. We hustle for our worth, simply because we don’t know what we are good at. This fuels an unhealthy need to be right rather than getting it right.
Ask yourself and your team, what is a healthy performance ambition? A few ideas to share here…Is 85% good enough? Is working till exhaustion productive, or merely a need for status? Am I swimming in my lane, playing to my strengths? Is my team playing to their strengths? Do I know my value? Do I know what my peers value? Do we delegate the things that give each of us our best flow moments?
YOU ARE A COURAGOUES LEADER.
Every one of us is a leader. Every one of us has talents, and strengths. Every one of us also has our doubts and fears. Afterall we are human. But every day, we each make positive impacts and contributions to the families we live in, the communities we operate in, and the organisations we work for. Every one of us has the power and the right to be a change-maker.
IWD is a great occasion to celebrate courageous women. It’s also a great occasion to openly welcome more men into the conversation. Together when we tackle all our biases, we collectively become the best authentic and courageous leaders we can be.
#Courage #Leadership #BreakTheBias #IWD2022 #UnlimitU #EmpoweredWomenLeaders
Poppy Griffiths is a professional coach and Director of UnlimitU a high performance consultancy which supports the inclusion of working parents, women in leadership and the mental wellbeing of teams. If you are interested in private or organisational coaching, workshops, or speaker programs, please do get in touch. email@example.com