I read something recently, which spoke to the idea that for generations there have been factors working against women that have either kept us out of the workforce or relegated us to specific jobs, like teacher or secretary.
Lots of changes have been made to impact the external factors governing women’s presence in the workforce but not as much is being said (or done) about the internal factors limiting women leaders.
I speak to a lot of women leaders who seem to be waiting for someone to say it’s okay for them to really show up in the world.
This post is my way of declaring to you that permission is granted. Permission granted for you…
To be yourself
e.e. cummings says to be yourself in a world that is doing everything it can to make you into someone else is the hardest battle you will fight as a human. I agree with him!
Between the media, bosses, parents, partners, and leadership experts there is a symphony of voices telling you who you should be. There are rules about how you should be as a leader and other rules for how you should be as a woman and often the two sets of rules seem to contradict each other.
My passion is to help you see that you can just be yourself because who you are is enough. Sure there are certain disciplines and skillsets you have to develop as a leader but at your core who you are is enough. You don’t need to apologize for being you nor do you need to hide or suppress any part of you for the sake of “being a better leader”.
You will be the best leader you are truly capable of being when you bring all of you into your leadership. If the environment you are in doesn’t support who you are then a different conversation needs to be had. But to bring anything less than your best self to your role as a leader is to do your team and yourself a huge disservice.
This applies you as a woman, a wife, mom, or friend too. Permission granted for you to be yourself. To do anything less is to live a lie.
To care for yourself
I am a HUGE advocate for self-care. I believe in the power of good self-care to make you a better leader, both at work and at home.
But like so many woman you likely feel guilty when you make time for yourself. It feels selfish and you don’t want to be perceived as being selfish.
But self-care is not selfish it is self-respect.
A car will only go but so far when the gas needle enters the red zone. Your car will not run with no fuel and you will not be effective if your tank is low or worse, empty.
Self-care is about refueling your soul so you can serve those around you better. Give yourself permission to make your self-care a priority and I promise your experience, as a leader, will shift completely.
To define success on your terms
Despite attempts to convince you otherwise, there is no one definition or look to success, including your success as a leader.
No doubt, in your role, there are certain measures that determine if you are being successful. There are objectives you have to meet, milestones that have to be achieved, and goals to be reached. But all of those are someone else’s definition of a successful leader.
I am not saying you should ignore them. You shouldn’t because they are important to your organization and I’m assuming your organization is important to you. What I am saying is those should not be the ONLY measure you use to determine your success.
What kind of leadership legacy do YOU want to leave? What does success mean to you, inside and outside of work?
You have permission to set those parameters for yourself and then to work towards building that kind of life.
Decide to be that person, the person you know you want to be. Give yourself that permission and then lead from that place. Be that person and watch how your leadership shifts.
From my heart to yours,
If you need some support to grant yourself the permission you need to thrive as a leader, let’s chat. Click here to schedule a complimentary call with me today.