Early in my career and family, the prevailing model was authoritarian – top down my way or the highway I thought success was toeing the line and accomplishing goals set by others, either my parents, university profs or supervisors
This was especially true in my traditional journalism education where the profs acted like old fashioned copy editors with red pens and taught us to act like we were on the re-write desk.
Then in my early PR agency days, I experienced more who would try to ingrain – this is how we do it fomulas
As I advanced in management I was actually shown a different approach by younger people coming up through the ranks - oten called millennials – they had been taught to work in teams and to share authority among themselves and look to senior leaders as coaches rather than dictators. One day, one of my new hires came to me and said “Why do you keep putting two spaces at the end of each sentence. That is so old fashioned. Well it had been so hammered into me I just can’t stop even today.
What am I talking about today? Do you see yourself as a leader or are you waiting for someone to give you the authority? If it’s the former, you may see yourself as a leader in one thing but not in another. If the latter, more and more, organizations, groups and people are looking to follow someone who steps up to the plate and inspires confidence.
So, how can you jump back from a life change that has undermined your leadership confidence. Maybe you have taken some time off as a parent bringing new life into the world or maybe you have been occupied as an adult child comforting a parent leaving it. Life events take their toll and it can sometimes take years to bounce back.
When I interviewed Kim Flynn for the series, Women Leaders Take Flight, she said that as a mom with four kids, her friends advised her that as a mom, she shouldn’t expect to have a huge business success. She overcame that by implementing business systems so that her employees could be empowered by really understanding the values of her business.
Lea Ann Mallett talked about how to realize your passion and then taking action to find your self confidence. Different stakeholder groups have different communication needs, some expect you to demonstrate strength, others need a softer touch with more listening. Lea Ann advises asking for feedback regularly to find out the needs of the different groups you deal with as a leader.
Josh Spodnik, in his book >>>> provides exercises so that you can take baby steps to leadership. I find my need to be authentic doesn’t mean following someone else’s program but blazing my own.
My suggestion for you today is …..contact a few people you admire, ask them what it important to them besides work and family….
Tell them what you want to accomplish and very specifically ask for their help.
Pick a skill you want to improve. For example, I tend to be hesitant about actually doing something and putting it out there. So today, I am posting this and will share it on Facebook. What is your biggest challenge that you want to avoid?
Put it in the comment section.
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