Over the last few months I've been stewing on the importance of getting out of your own way. Then it all came a head last week as I was feeling the excruciating discomfort of nominating myself for an Award (and yes, it's important to me that I ask the same of myself as I ask of my clients).
I was collecting evidence for the nomination when I stumbled across the unopened feedback from the 2015 APAC Women in Leadership & Management Summit ... from 9 months ago.
- Unopened you ask? Yes, unopened.
- Why? Because when it arrived my ego and small self got in the way.
- And why is this a problem? Because said feedback could have either helped me improve far faster, or made me feel far more confident far sooner.
- And why is this an issue? Because I've been downplaying and underestimating my ability to make a difference via speaking until I felt as though I was perfect already.
While my example is specific to me, we all do it. We all play small when we should be playing big with only ourselves to blame. So here are some signs that you might be getting in your own way.
- You hold yourself to higher standards than you hold your staff to
- You criticise others with subjective perceptions about appearance or behaviours
- You're procrastinating, hesitating or feeling bottle-necked
- You're really good at making excuses and they're always legitimate
- You're 'too busy' to do the very thing that you need to do to get ahead
- You handball an opportunity to gain visibility to a peer or colleague
- You haven't updated CV for years and it's stopping you going for opportunities
- You don't build network outside of the business because you are loyal
- You've rationalised your way out of nominating for an Award
- You say yes to things that undermine your own best attempts
In this crazy and exciting world of women leaning in - underestimating, second guessing and self doubting may feel like the best bet - even when it's not.
So what can you do about it?
- Get out of your own way
- Let go of your need to be in control
- Put systems and mechanisms in place that take you out of the equation
- Delegate more
- Ask someone (or some system) to manage your calendar so you can't accept meetings after hours or at lunchtime unless you really have to
- Appoint a marketing expert to update your bio, draft your thought leadership articles or email newsletters
- Ask the communications team to help you write your industry Award nomination
Your comfort zone is called your comfort zone for reason. We're creatures of habit and become efficient at new realities far too easily. By ditching the dreaded 'c' zone and heading out into magic territory more quickly, you'll be far more likely to get out of your own way and achieve your leadership aspirations more easily. After all, research proves that women in the C-suite is great for business, and it's good for you as well.
Remember those two questions?
- What's the worst thing that could happen if you do lean in?
- Or worse - what's the worst thing that might happen if you don't?
My goal is to help you win the feminine ambition trifecta - where you make great money, you feel like your opinion is valued plus you are making an even bigger difference.
Vive la révolution!
#feminineambition #LookOutCSuiteHereSheComes #ambitionrevolution