You want to be more successful as a leader.  

You want to be taken seriously.  

You want to be heard.  

You feel irritated and get downright angry sometimes based on how you feel you’ve been treated.

You feel like you have something significant to add to the leadership team.

You want to be a role model for leadership at your own company.

If any of these are true for you, I’ll ask you to think about these questions:

  • Are you ready to admit you’re angry and finally want to do something about it?
  • Are you willing to give up your fear that others around you won’t accept you if you stand up for yourself more strongly?
  • Are you ready to do everything you can to finally be happy and enjoy your hard-earned success?
  • Are you ready to finally strategize and create a plan to “up your leadership game”?

I was all of these! And unfortunately, it took me a long time to realize how to break out of this pattern. I don’t want you to have to stay in this discomfort for a minute longer than you have to.  So, with that in mind, I’d like to share my methods with you and hope they help you move into action!

Understand that in order to achieve the right level of career “wellness” for yourself, you must take control to create the correct environment for your skills and the right perspective to thrive.  What does that take?  Well, understand that everyone around you is working from their own perspective and trying to do the same thing for themselves The best person to focus on your personal interests is you.

Don’t do what I did.  I had to learn to play the game.  But I’m not talking about becoming inauthentic or “selling out”. I’m talking about understanding how others perceive you AND how they receive information.  In my resistance to what I thought was “selling out”, I didn’t do enough to improve my communication or adopt a style that might have facilitated a stronger connection with others.

So I decided my career should be purposeful and not left to chance.  If you’re running your own business, you strategize and create and follow a business plan.  Well, guess what?  You should strategize about your career as if you were putting together a business plan.   In this case, you aren’t dealing with profit and loss or market share, but your own personal satisfaction and fulfillment.

As I grew in my own leadership skills throughout my career, I was continually learning how to increase my personal career wellness and step up to realize my full potential.  When you are working on becoming a better leader, you’re never really “done”! Being a leader has so many facets, none of which can be underestimated in crafting your personal career success.  Leadership traits carry forward into so many aspects of your life – your relationship with your significant other, your children, your extended family, and your friends.  If you get these strategies right in your career, you will have skills that help you in all other aspects of your life.

With the new perspectives I adopted for the kind of leader I wanted to be, I created goals for my own leadership development plan.  Here are some insights into the goals I established and how I deployed them.  

1.  Define who I want to be as a leader.

I had to define who I wanted to be as a leader.  Respect is not automatic, it is earned.  You must define how you want to lead and exhibit clear signs of unfaltering leadership. Establish yourself as a leader with a high level of personal clarity.

2.  Direct my career with purpose and clarity.

As I said earlier, your career should be purposeful and not left to chance.  I always had to have a goal in mind AND I had to articulate it to those who could influence the outcome.  With constant changes and rotation in the executive ranks, it became important to continue to advise those who might influence my future assignments of my skills, desires, and preferences.  Even if they did not have a clear picture of my future, I maintained my own and was able to articulate it clearly.

3.  Employ different leadership styles so I can be viewed as the appropriate leader for the situation or role.

I had to become the type of leader that can resonate with those around me and those that reported to me. People want to know how to interact with you and what they can expect when they do.  Be sure to understand that not everyone can be managed in the same way.  Become well-versed in various leadership styles and when to employ them.   I’m not saying you need to be predictable, just consistent.

4.  Illustrate a sense of urgency, even if it isn’t part of my outward nature.

People have a tendency to react wildly under pressure.  More often than not, I had a calmer demeanor when reacting to pressure. Others would interpret my calmness as a lack of engagement.  One of my goals was to openly demonstrate the sense of urgency so that others could readily recognize it.  You need to be sure your sense of urgency is clearly recognized.  People look for visual clues that those involved in the issue of the moment are actively engaged.

5. Trust my intuition and preparation.

Many times we tend to overanalyze issues and wait until we reach a sense of guaranteed success with a solution.  I had to remind myself I brought a level of experience, intuition, and preparation to each issue.  We don’t need to wait for things to be perfect in order to take action.  Forward movement is progress and we can adjust along the way.

6. Learn to cope with tension in different situations.

If you are a person who avoids tension or conflict, know that facing it head on can be extremely productive.  I had to recognize my ability to think on my feet and not be distracted reacting to tense situations/conversations in order to display an equal amount of conviction for my point of view. 

7.  Take a stand on issues and be willing to be firm where necessary.

I had to take a firm stand on issues and ensure I was articulating it properly.  When someone knows where you stand, you become a more respected leader.  If they have to continue to try to guess where you will land on every issue, you will be less influential in getting things done.  Others learn to work around you instead of with you.

8.  Trust my own judgment in situations that are not black and white – be willing to make a call. 

In business, issues are complex and not often clear.  With the pace of business, making a call becomes not only a strategy, but a necessity.  I had to learn that very few steps are irreversible; most can lead to uncovering more information in order to guide some further adjustments to future steps.  Many will look to you for guidance.  Make sure you are providing just that.

All of the goals listed here require self-awareness and self-confidence.  You have to learn to trust your own experience, knowledge and intuition.  Every assignment adds skills to our toolkit.  Every failure adds to self-examination, a greater level of experience in dealing with adversity, and future adjustments to our approach.  Every success adds to our confidence. 

SO HERE ARE THOSE QUESTIONS ONCE AGAIN:

  • Are you ready to admit you’re angry and finally want to do something about it?
  • Are you willing to give up your fear that others around you won’t accept you if you stand up for yourself more strongly?
  • Are you ready to do everything you can to finally be happy and enjoy your hard-earned success?
  • Are you ready to strategize and create a plan to “up your leadership game”?

Now it’s your turn!  

What has been your most significant “win” as a leader?

What continues to challenge you as you develop your leadership skills?

How do others perceive you as a leader? 

What is your vision for how you show up in your leadership?

I’m a Life and Business Coach working with successful women who have reached a plateau and are ready to shift their lifestyle to something more meaningful.  I’m committed to this movement – and to help women become better leaders!  I’d LOVE to stay connected with you so we can stay in touch and you can receive new editions when they are published.  And feel free to share if this resonated with you.