What are you leading for?
In the last two days, I’ve been with two inspiring women. One was a previous client of mine and the other has just started working with me. What’s fascinating is that they both ooze passion, caring and purpose. One has now a clear identity of who she is, what’s important to her and what she is leading for. The other, blinded to her brilliance, worrying about if she ‘is doing it right’ and basing her success and her potential on how she compares to others.
If you are to be a truly authentic leader you have to be happy with you. You have to get under the skin and tap into the stuff that really matters to you and the way you leading others.
Women spend too long worrying about how they are coming across. What are other people expecting of me? Why does he or she demonstrate x so well? How do I do what they do? Why can’t I be like them?
Now, I’m all for seeking out great role models and finding what they do and how they do what they do so well. But I’m really not into the comparison game.
When I start working with clients, I dig deep to find out as much as I can the things that inspire them, the values they hold, the passions they want to bring to the world and the things that are really holding them back.
Leadership v Management
We also explore what the difference is between leadership and management. Too often we are looking for the manual. That’s the hard thing about leadership. There isn’t really a manual. It’s about finding your way, bringing your authenticity to the surface, trusting in your instinct, and believing in the vision that you would dearly love to create in the world.
Management is focused on doing the right thing. On creating the systems, the process, the ways of working to get the tasks done effectively and efficiently. It’s about getting the right resources and creating the project plans to get there.
Leadership is about getting clear on your why, being brave enough to share it with the world, shedding the layers of self-doubt we cling onto and engaging teams and influencers to work with you.
What are you leading for?
So, what are you leading for? What’s your why? What do you want to bring into the world? What are you so passionate about you would do it for free?
Typically, leaders are often pulled into the realm of leadership because they either start feeling frustrated with the way things are being done around here. They feel compelled to step forward and start to create change. Or they have an inner sense that the work they are doing is not what they are destined for.
I can’t tell you how important it is to act on that intuition.
Here’s a great place to start if you want to explore your purpose. The author, Steven Pressfield, suggests you answer the following four questions to identify what you are leading for:
- What are you more afraid of than anything else in the world?
- What would you do if you knew you were going to die in three months?
- What would you do if fear were not a factor?
- What would you do if money were not a factor?
Let me finish by telling you about one of our WLA members. Mel attended one of our International Women’s Day Conference. She had worked at the same employer for around 20 years. She realised that she had to make a change. She knew she was unfulfilled and only she could create the change. A new CV was created, and hey presto a new job landed. However, it wasn’t the dream job she had envisioned but it had got her out of the company she was working in. She kept listening to that intuition and she knew in her heart that there was something else. Six months later her dream, dream job came along. She feels alive, excited and full of ambition – something she had lost sight of for too long.
If this sounds like you, then start listening to your intuition. Get your journal and answer the questions. Start to believe that you too can lead with purpose and authenticity.
PS The WLA is here for you. We focus on inspiring women to achieve their career aspirations, meet other like minded women and become true role models in their organisations. If you are feeling isolated, stuck or want to build a network with amazing, inspiring women then please sign up to be the first to hear when doors to the WLA re-open. Click this link right here: