It’s a great day to be alive!
We live in a culture that is deeply conflicted by this “idea” that women can lead. Women are taught to downplay femininity, or to soften a hard-charging style, or to try to strike a perfect balance between the two. The subtle gender bias that persists in the workplace and in our society disrupts a woman’s learning and self-exploration and subsequently their leadership identity. We become so focused on being liked and not coming off as “bossy” or “bitchy” that we waste our time and energy on fulfilling/correcting others perceptions rather than working to develop our authentic self and leadership identity.
I say all this because it leads to a conversation I want to start with you all about self-leadership; something we all have a tendency to overlook when we think about leadership and what it entails. Our focus typically shifts to leading others or the external aspects of leadership, but it starts with you.
This unconscious focus on the external is a big reason why women don’t go for the leading roles – we become consumed with the external expectations of us and strive to be a leader based on what society says that looks/acts like. Here’s an idea; stop trying to be someone else or what others want you to be as a leader and BE YOU.
Great leadership starts with self-leadership. It starts with you.
With all that said – I am going to use the next three weeks of Friday Fuel to dig in on this topic and what I think the keys to self leadership are. My hope is that this conversation will fuel you to do some self exploration on who YOU are, so you can lead authentically and confidently.
Until next time, keep kicking ass, take time for yourself and embrace the day!