Have you wondered how it is that only 2% of the CEO’s in Fortune 500 companies are women? You may or may not have noticed that more often than not, women play into the notion that they are not born leaders. In addition, due to the fact that women feel the need to work harder in a male dominated work environment, many settle for mediocrity when they could be shining in their zone of genius.
You may have already realized that many women succumb to the notion of either or.
Do you find yourself saying “I can have a healthy family life, or I can be in the C-Suite”. “I can care for my children by choosing jobs that require less or leave my children to the care of others so I can climb up the ladder”.
If you’re thinking along those lines, let me ask you this………..Are you saying that women like Maria Shriver ( mother of 4 ), Susan Wojcicki ( CEO of YouTube and mother of 5 ) Sheryl Sandberg (COO of FB and a mother of 2 ) have similar views of not being able to excel in their career and raise children?
If you have a desire of having a balanced family life and going after what you want in your career, but feel stuck or trapped in the notion that you can’t have it all, I am inviting you to stay with this article.
As you continue reading the three ways I am about to share, you will begin to see that ‘either’ ‘or’ is something you’ve been programmed to think. There may be answers outside the box that you may not have even considered.
By practicing these four ways, you will overcome any leadership challenges you might face in your career.
1. Being Uniquely You.
If you’re trying to adapt yourself to what is expected of you, then you’re not alone. I see this with many of the women I work with. Have you fully considered the consequence of depleting yourself thin by putting your needs in the bottom of the rung? Where will you be 6 months from now, a year from now if you continue to push aside the unique you that you’re.
Imagine showing up everyday with your unique gifts and talents? Imagine the relief of not having to prove anything. Imagine the example you will be setting to all those women around you by BEing you. Now imagine all those women BEing uniquely themselves. Won’t the domino effect just be incredible?
I am inviting you to embrace all of who you are and show up unapologetically as you.
2. Communicating effectively and strategically.
I have come to realize that a lot of problems women leaders face can be abated by effective and strategic communication. What I have noticed is how many women change their communication in anticipation that they won’t be heard. They either shut down or speak more aggressively.
Have you considered that you might not need to do either. What if the answer lay in learning effective and strategic communication.
My client told me that until she strategically confronted her boss stating exactly what she needed for her team, he continued to undermine her with her team. She was firm yet retained her softness which was her normal style that she had previously squashed. She said something super important. She said “ I just didn’t care how he felt. I cared about the impact on my team’s cohesiveness”. Wow !!! She chose a greater good instead of trying to please one person. Amazing isn’t it !!!
This can be the impact of communicating well.
3. Setting clear boundaries
Many women leaders feel the need to prove themselves. Unless they work harder and more than their male colleagues, they worry that they will not be recognized.
They continue to over give at work or at home in the process because they end up feeling like they are doing a poor job everywhere.
If that’s you, have you asked yourself what’s driving the over giving? Is it trying to prove your worth? Is it recognition?
Once you have a better understanding of that, you may want to consider setting some clear boundaries at work. The boundaries will ultimately give you the balance you’re looking for.
4. Dropping Guilt, the soul killer
After working in the field of Psychology for over 2 decades, I can tell for a fact that guilt is an useless emotion.Most women very habitually fall into guilt.
You feel bad about having to leave children in daycare. You feel bad when you have to miss a ball game and the list goes on.
Where would your life be if you accepted your situation as is? What if you made some non-negotiables with yourself and stuck with it? Where would your life be if you dropped the guilt all together?
If you’re ready to create a life & career without struggle, whatever you do, follow the above mentioned four steps.
Share your thoughts with me as you practice these steps.