Last week I introduced the Women’s Leadership Manifesto, a declaration on how we choose to be and lead as women leaders. If you have not already grabbed your copy, you can click here to download it now.
Over the next three weeks I am going to expand on the manifesto, unpacking the individual statements even more. Today, I’ll start with the first four:
We are leaders who are women
No question, our gender informs and shapes our leadership. However, our abilities as a leader are sometimes lost in the rhetoric surrounding gender. The fact that we are women acts as a filter that is often used to either diminish our leadership or dismiss it altogether.
It is as if there is some unspoken understanding that as women, we are naturally not as good at leading as a man. We don’t buy into that line of thinking, consciously or unconsciously.
We declare that we are leaders, who just happen to be women (see below for more). We will no longer allow ourselves to be reduced to just our gender, one-way or the other.
We refuse to “man up” or “think like a man”
We once erroneously believed that to be successful in leadership we had to think and act like a man. We have sacrificed the best of ourselves trying to be “one of the boys” and in the process we have alienated the very people we want to influence.
We don’t believe our gender is a hindrance to our leadership, instead we believe it to be an asset. In fact, we believe it is our greatest asset. Therefore, we will not suppress our femininity. We will embrace and fully embody all parts of ourselves, including our feminine side, and bring all of it into our leadership.
We are unafraid of our power and our voices
Women have power! We are strong and we are determined. But we have been taught to be afraid of our power. We have been taught to dumb down our strengths and quiet our voices so others will accept us.
We will not let fear cloud our leadership. We stand unafraid, in our power and in our strength, stepping up to the table and allowing our voices to be heard.
We speak our truth with grace and compassion, but we do so boldly and unapologetically
For too long, as women, we have either hidden our truth in the interest of fitting in with the crowd or we have been spoken it aggressively trying to be like the boys. The problem is neither of those approaches work for us so we are choosing a different way.
Our truth anchors us, it grounds us into who we truly are and we refuse to give it up for anyone. As we stand in that conviction, we know that we can be bold without being aggressive. We can be gracious without being diminutive. We reject either/or and we embrace both/and believing that we can be both compassionate and confident without sacrificing our truest self in the process.
I will continue my excavation of the Women’s Leadership Manifesto next week. I hope you will come back and join me for part two.
In the meantime, which of these four resonates most with you? Which statement do you feel the need to declare boldly and loudly? I would love to hear so please share in the comments below.
Here’s to you rising into your leadership!
From my heart to yours,
If you are ready to explore what it would look like for you to define leadership and success on your own terms then go ahead and schedule a complimentary Discovery Session with me. I would love to talk with you and support you any way that I can.