“It is within everyone’s grasp to be a CEO.”
Another great woman, Sheryl Sandberg, COO of Facebook, has said that, “Leadership is about making others better as a result of your presence and making sure that impact lasts in your absence.” Solidarity amongst women to grow in excellence in all the areas that allow you to feel fulfilled in life, especially right now in the most uncertain of times, is a gift that continues to give to others in a huge way.
And yes, you can grow all the parts of yourselves to become not only a great leader but an excellent person as well. Women already have an edge here. Each and every one of you can be a leader – at every level in your business and in life. And that edge is in your ability to perceive emotions far greater than most men; along with the ability to relate and create real and long-lasting alliances.
Women leaders can powerfully, by blending both the masculine and feminine qualities inside you, foster a business culture towards excellence. And when engagement, innovation and inspiration happens, a natural outcome is to notice that revenue and business growth soars too!
There seems to be a renewed thirst for collaborative cooperation amongst women in business. Today in fact I went to a planning forum for a new local chapter of a national networking group for women business owners. There were twelve women who mostly were meeting for the first time. Given a chance to say what we each wanted in the the future of this group, was both eye-opening and heartening.
One woman said she really craved, not another “networking group,” but a place to learn and to build a trusted sisterhood with other women. Another woman made the request that we spend the next several months really getting to learn about and know each woman in the group. Wow! So instead of trolling for or promoting each business in a hungry way, meaningful ways to support other women in the group really called to each and every one there!
Being a member for a while, I’ve got to tell you that this was a first for me to witness in this group. Keep in mind that it wasn’t a “women’s circle” or a personal development workshop. It was a business owner networking forum! Nearly all of the women in the room were excited; remarking that in the brief hour we spent together, there seemed to be a notable range of trust forming between all of us.
The timing seems so perfect for the times we live in now. It was refreshing to learn that there are other women business leaders craving not only sisterhood but to create a solidarity of supportive excellence together.
“If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader.”
-John Quincy Adams
It begins in you first! When you have a mindset of leadership excellence, the sky’s the limit for not only your career but also in supporting others to excel as well. When you can really understand your own individual purpose and the “Why” of why you are doing what you’re doing, that will be perceived by others as not only your leadership mojo but also that you are a person of excellence.
Let’s take a moment to identify what excellence means. If it’s mostly been only about your career and your financial success, I’m suggesting that you take some time now to identify and then write down the other parts of your life that also might need some attention. That’s taking a first action step for you to flourish and thrive in those areas too.
Life is not only about career advancement and money. You’re missing out if that’s all your attending to.
What about your health and fitness?
If you’re a parent, parenting?
Are you working, working, working or do you create time for fun and enjoyment?
How about creativity?
Intellectual learning – not just work related – but learning the cutting edge information on different subjects like health and fitness, the neuroscience of emotions, cultural, spiritual and more? When you can continue learning from a place of being curious, your world will open up to greater possibilities inside you; especially if you have no agenda for having to be right or have the last word.
Leaders who know how to be excellent are needed now more than ever before. You see, the old way system of the traditional capitalism-foundation of business, i.e., “bottom line” focus on profit and productivity, isn’t working the way it once did. And for about a decade there’s been a new kid in town, “conscious capitalism” which adheres to a “triple bottom line” system.
“Triple bottom line” addresses the areas of profit, people and the planet. And yet, as trendy as conscious capitalism has become as a go-to tagline for businesses who truly want to try something different, it doesn’t always work. There are some businesses who are finding an increased engagement and overall fulfillment in employees, i.e., such as at Facebook, Google and Zappos, but the results are not successfully widespread amongst other businesses. In fact, it’s rare to integrate it at all the levels inside a business.
The breakdown seems to occur, from our experience working with and interviewing business owners, employees and other business consultants, in several key areas: leadership, engagement and productivity.
It’s been a tradition of many companies to place importance on horizontal job skill development. To achieve leadership excellence, vertical development is a critical must! This includes upgrading your internal operating abilities such as emotional/social intelligence, emotional regulation, perspective taking, creating emotions you want, etc.
In our “It Doesn’t Feel Like Work” trainings, we show leaders how to build skills to flourish using a Conscious Business approach that not only blends the above systems but goes several levels beyond to create opportunities for leaders at every level of the business! Leaders who flourish must embrace taking on becoming a conscious business leader and that begins within your own internal mindset operating system.
From an “inside out” developmental approach, a whole new wide world of distinctions and possibilities can and will open up. For you to step into truly being an excellent leader, you must develop becoming fully aware of not only yourselves but including other individuals and their unique perspectives. Then, you’ll see improvement in overall productivity and the engagement of the business culture. You’ll also notice that you’re having more enjoyment when it comes to work and so is everyone else!
Done with conscious awareness, work can nourish you and others to grow in any area of life that needs attention. Conscious business done developmentally as an approach, gives tremendous opportunities to all. There is no right or wrong. There is only a recognition and allowance for where someone is at. As a leading edge leader, when you can support this developmental sequence, everyone wins. And “it doesn’t feel like work!” when you share being inter-supportive of yourself and others!
So try on your LEADERSHIP EXCELLENCE HAT using the following tools:
1. SMALL CHOICES increase flourishing:
Start by identifying the seemingly insignificant choices you make daily that you can shift, e.g., healthy and frequent snacks that increase your energy vibrancy instead of body-stressful binge unhealthy junk food. Or you might try exercising before work instead of avoiding it afterwards. Instead of giving into fatigue or overwhelm, take a brisk walk for 5-10 minutes in between meetings instead of returning calls that can wait until later in the day. These new choices will give you greater physiological/emotional support to stay excellent throughout your day. Takeaway: The sum of small decisions = the greater whole of fresh target outcomes.
2. NONVERBAL POWER POSES to shift emotional states:
Social psychologist, Amy Cuddy’s, powerful TED talk on body language (2012) highlighted how people tend to make sweeping generalizations and assumptions based on nothing more than an initial impression of someone. Takeaway: If you need to be in full form in a meeting or elsewhere, move your body into a power pose that energizes your mind, body and gears your emotions into alert focus while projecting engagement and authenticity to others. Your energy level will serve others by giving them an opportunity to match you where you’re at. If you’re annoyed, they’ll find they are too or frustrated or…But if you’re present and focused, they’ll be engaged and participatory just by you shifting your emotional state.
Where you pick an emotion you want to feel in a specific situation and generate it by linking it to a familiar positive experience you’ve had before! For example, before you walk into a potentially stressful meeting, recall and then feel in your body and emotions, a time when you feel calm and happy, e.g., petting your dog or cat, or have felt successful, e.g. climbed a steep trail, sang a song in front of others, received an award, etc. Takeaway: You have tools inside you at all times that are available to you. All you have to do is recall or access that emotional positive quality to activate the feeling in your body too.
So have fun with these tools! And please send me a note: firstname.lastname@example.org and every Friday at 11am PST, we’ll be on Facebook LIVE from our page diving a little deeper into each week’s blog post! Come join us- like us here!
Or if you’re curious to learn more about your leadership acumen, check out: www.itdoesntfeellikework.com