Thursday, May 14, 2015

Lessons for Every Career Woman

As a woman in business there's the usual angst and questions: "Am I good enough... can I handle this... How will I handle the stress?" In my first quarter as CEO my emotions where across the board from enthusiasm to uncertainty, energetic to lethargic, and bouncing from confident to downright afraid. Being the head of any enterprise comes with it's fair share of questions and there's one thing all the questions and emotions taught me after seven short months as CEO:

Calm Down: there's no need to fill the pull of 1000 directions even if the pull is very real. The leader determines the pace of the pack. If I am all over the place, my team will be too. Moreover, I am not the end all. I'm one piece of the puzzle and a calming piece is an essential one. Now, I can be fired-up when needed but I remain even-balanced and poised to face both highs and lows with predictable grace. What's helped me calm down the most? Being present. I am focused on the issue at hand and let go thinking myself into chaos with what's down the road...

Be Patient: in business, we hear this all the time because it is critical in leadership to resist fizzling out. Chasing goals too feverishly and at an unrealistic pace is a sure-fire way to burnout. Patience also compliments the first point and reinforces calm.

I Am Good At This: Know thy self. I took a strength builders test recently and suddenly embraced every one of my strengths. I also didn't let areas of so-called non-strengths hold me back. I simply surrounded myself with associates and peers who compliment my strengths which are heavily focused on relationship building and communicating.  

Don't Worry: though hard at first, I've masted the art of letting go of the day and leaving it behind. Don't dwell on what doesn't work and always, always, always think in terms of solutions. Excuses are easy to spew, what we don't have is easy to focus on, and it's easy to complain. Yet, nothing easy is worth it in the long wrong. I don't seek easy, I seek fulfillment. I am happier when I am positive and grateful. Staying focused on that philosophy actually leads to an abundance of positivity. Notice how complainers always have something to complain about? It's a vicious cycle... good or bad. So I choose good and have trained myself to stop useless worrying.

Be Honest: Best lesson ever. This is straightforward and yet one of the hardest things for people to do. Honestly is the clearest way to uniformity and reaching clearly defined goals. It also creates a safe environment where there are less disgruntled employees. A place where the norm is to be direct for the greater good. Honesty is the surest way to bare the fruit of effective results in the workplace. Now honesty isn't always easy, but I strive to model this and I share my honest views without condescendence. While being truthful I remain ego-free as much as possible to honestly share and receive feedback - good or bad.  

Cast Vision: I have one job above all else and it's a big one. It's my job to know "the why" at all times and passionately share the why with those I work for and with. Doing this and getting everyone behind a collective and empowering vision leads to a harmonious work space of passionate professionals and it starts with me!

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