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What is to be a Leadership women in 2020?
Being a woman in a leadership position in 20’s century is much easier than years ago. Is this true? Still, I believe we have a long path to walk in terms of leadership; and awareness and empowerment play a crucial role in it.
Now, what is the relationship of “empowerment“ with leadership? Empowerment is a mindset that is necessary for every individual to feel a sense of control to their work, personal life, education, social setting, economic position, psychological state, and even politics.
And this is the tricky part that I want you to pay attention:
You don’t have to be aware of all your behaviors and still can act empowered, but to act empowered and develop an excellent leadership mindset, you must be in the right state of awareness.
And to be and live in a state of consciousness, you must humble yourself. Ouch!! Humbleness …and, how is this?
Give up your power to be always right, be a servant, no pride, be teachable, be willing to accept your flaws, have genuine gratitude, and have a modest view of yourself. In other words: Listen! Stop for a moment, and Listen!
Now, let me add some thoughts here to my statement. All behavior has a purpose and serves a purpose. Yes, that’s true. The way we behave can come from family expectations, socialization, cultural expectations, or any messages received from our parents. I can say that even the most proclaiming complimentary messages received from our parents can become our self-sabotage behavior. It is not like we want to act in self-sabotaging ways, but learning experiences throughout the years can be. When you are aware of these behaviors, you can recognize them, listen to them, change them, and work on them.
What is to be a leading woman, and how it differs from being a female manager?
Management skills can be learned and developed over the years; for some women, this is easier than others, but it is possible to achieve it. A manager has people that work for them, but no necessarily she can encourage her Team to follow her on the vision of success. Empowerment is a set of skills that can also be learned and developed by actively promoting a particular set of self-improvement skills for yourself and others. But, having an excellent leadership mindset comes from recognizing yourself, and this comes from within, from acknowledging that your behaviors (whatever they are) have a purpose and serve a purpose; that requires an internal knowledge that most of the time, we don’t take the time to stop, think and work on ourselves. And it takes years to develop a leadership mindset and leadership skills. It becomes easier to guide a team and learn a specific set of skills to do it, or take care of your house, your children, take control of many things in your family, in your work, but when it comes to our mind the game is over, and we end up trapped in our unknown patterns.
And this, for me, is how we overlook the opportunity to re-invent ourselves by no understanding our purpose first. We must understand ourselves first, improve, learn, and grow to be excellent leaders, not only in our work areas but also in our home, with our children, leaders in our community; servant leaders with understanding. A leader that acknowledges herself can energize positively or negatively her family, her Team, and herself.
As I above mentioned, my definition of a manager is a person who has authority and guide, or controls a group of people who work for them; in other words, make decisions, is accountable for the group who work for them, and lastly assigned and planned the workload to be done. The manager is the one that sets the tone and process to achieve a business goal. Also, it is the person who orchestrates the Team from the outside.
I’m not talking here about a cross-functional, self-organizing team model that works together, choosing how best to accomplish their work; by the way, this is an effective and excellent team model practice inside the Scrum framework (agile mindset). My notion of a Manager is one that directs and is not part of the working Team.
An excellent leadership mindset requires awareness, personal development, and individual growth. And you can add a giant portion of humbleness. You can’t be a good leader if you don’t humble yourself by listening, asking questions when you don’t know something, and delegate on purpose so that others can learn and grow. That same humbleness will help you form other women around you; this is also letting go of control.
Women and Leadership
The fact that we can have children and raise them is one of the many reasons you have to start stretching yourself to learn to have a Leadership mindset. Maybe, you are not contemplating having children or kids for now, or you don’t want it, and that is fine. I do think all women have the capability and grit to be a formidable leader in our homes, work, community, and in our inner circle of friends and relationships.
Following my list (maybe not in order of significance), of why in today’s world, leadership in women is not a fully developed topic; nonetheless, we can start promoting it:
- In some cultures and countries, women are not viewed as a prototypical leader or as leader-like; therefore, if the woman doesn’t see themselves as leaders, they are not going to pursue leadership roles. If you are willing to take leadership roles in those types of cultures or countries, they expect you to act in a feminine (some related words could be: soft, tender, ladylike) way. That means if you grew up with strong mothers, parents, or influenced by other confidence, courage, and brave women, they can categorize you or accused as bold, loud, pushy, or even aggressive.
- That takes me to my next point: FEAR– sometimes because we are fearful of being labeled as bold, loud, or pushy (even acting like crazy) consequently, we act fearfulness by not speaking up our mind (in a legitime, bright, bold, and respectful way) which cause us to be resentful and make us less willing to express our beliefs, making things worst.
- Lack of mentorship or coaching on how to transition from a clever to a captivating leader woman – you are going to have social interactions so you must prepare if you want to be successful in the business world, and your personal life. You must capitalize on your relationships and be willing to play the game of social networking. Look for mentors and sponsors that can advocate for you in your workplace.
- Surround yourself– When it comes to a personal relationship, look for a non-toxic friendship that helps you in your pathway for success and support you in every aspect, and willing to correct you when you are wrong. This type of relationship will help you grow in your way of being a confident leader. Stepping out of your comfort zone by taking new challenges (and stick with it) and learning from your mistakes will activate your brain and mind in such a fantastic way that what started hard will become more relaxed and natural.
- Lack of knowledge– and lack of understanding on how to be an excellent leader, skills to have, and not working on having the right leadership mindset. Again, I can’t emphasize this enough; listen and learn. Our brain grows when we learn something new, use it. With time we and age, we become wiser and creative; we grow. Study, learn, and grow; have a growth mindset. Never stop learning. Be creative about it; it could be reading a book about leadership, listen to a podcast, taking an online course, talking with other women that you considered roles model in the leadership field. Be willing to humble your self- listen and study. You can lose everything, but you never forget what you learned about your experiences and your creativity.
Read here my post, where I share some of the advantages and challenges that we, female leaders, experience in our journey. Also, some of the characteristics of what makes you a successful leader in your home, and in your work area.
Be Quality. Embrace your Uniqueness and, most important, be blessed.
You must capitalize on your relationships and be willing to play the game of social networking. Look for mentors and sponsors that can advocate for you in your workplace.