Eight Lessons from Eight Years of Helping Women into the C-suite
“Feminism isn’t about making women stronger. Women are already strong. It’s about changing how the world perceives that strength”~ G. D. Anderson
As I head towards the eight year birthday of helping women win raises, promotions and better opportunities, I’ve been reflecting. What is it that I’d tell that my younger self? What is it I wish I knew way back when I first started? What can a take from the last eight years and use to make the next eight even more rewarding?
While there are a few technical things I wish I’d done differently (i.e. outsource the building of my website ) the principles remain the same. Here are eight life, leadership and career lessons to inspire you to reach a little higher.
- It’s never too late. As a late bloomer my career was slower to start than most. But in more recent years has definitely got a hustle on. It’s a great reminder to put your blinkers on and that it’s okay to go at your own pace. I now admire late blooming, more mature role models as they help me see it’s okay to aim big after 50! And quite a few of my clients as they head past 40 are feeling the same.
- Be bolder and braver than you can imagine. I, like many women, tend to aim low so that I don’t disappoint myself, deep down wondering if I’m not good enough in some way. But I’ve now achieved enough big life, leadership and career goals to know that while it might take me longer than some, I get there in the end. When we tackle big goals as though we might not be good enough, we tend to prove ourselves right – that life’s hard, that our ideas aren’t good enough, that others are better than us. But when we back ourselves and tackle our goals with boldness and courage, we get a far better result and which in turn boosts our confidence.
- Getting out of your own way is the work you need to do as a leader. For some reason I thought that dealing with my own beliefs, biases and baggage would get easier but I was wrong. They’re like an onion. Every time you peel back a layer you find something else. This does not mean you’re not good enough. Just that you’re evolving and getting better like fine wine or maybe a diamond.
- Don’t outsource your own value. If you don’t ask you won’t get. So many times I didn’t ask for more money because it was awkward, I didn’t want to rock the boat or I doubted my worth. In hindsight I can see that they’re not good enough reasons not to ask for a raise and as a result I ended up not just letting myself down, but letting down the sisterhood! Relying on the goodwill of others to calculate your worth is risky, and definitely leaves a heap of money in the table that’s virtually impossible to regain.
- Not fitting the mold doesn’t make you less of a leader. The media and entertainment industries portray leadership in a very narrow, stereotyped way. But don’t let this deter you. I am reminded of this every day with my fabulous clients. Some of my most impressive clients are non-traditional leaders and this is their strength. If that’s you right now, you are in the box seat. Own your own awesome and lead with confidence instead of hiding your quirkiness. Remember, different is the competitive advantage.
- Stop being the 2IC in your life. Be the CEO instead – despite being chastised constantly for being ‘bossy’ as a girl I never wanted to be the boss. I wanted to be the 2IC not the CEO. At some stage you have a realisation that in order to be truly fulfilled you need to be the CEO of your own life career and destiny – that the buck stops with you. And that this is not the end game, it’s just the beginning.
- Speak your plans out loud – Telling people of your plans might feel scary but it somehow helps to make those plans more concrete and more likely to come to fruition. Tell your cheer squad, recruit your boss, maybe even tell a few others who are invested in your success. Combine that with accountability, and regular catch ups with a cohort of like-minded women, and you are home and hosed!
- Don’t believe everything you think. The doubt, fear and second guessing doesn’t serve anyone least of all yourself. You are not your thoughts. You have thoughts. You are not your worries, you have worries. Create a plan, start noticing your thoughts, then rather than believing everything you think, acknowledge these thoughts, let them pass, then get on with the business of creating the life, career and destiny you truly deserve.
Finally, to help celebrate eight years of helping women in (and into) the C-suite, my Amazon best selling book Invisible to Invincible is getting a facelift! It’s with the editor right now as I add –
- A brand new new level to aim for,
- New activities to help you get there, and
- New case studies to inspire your journey!
Want to go on the list for an advance copy as soon as it’s released? Click here
#womenofimpact #LookOutCSuiteHereSheComes #ICreateSheroes