Thursday, July 18, 2013

Being Inspired and Motivated by a Personal Vision

This is the sixth in a series of posts on the story behind the making of my new book, 52 Week Game Changer:  How She Leads

 I often say in my workshops, “If you don’t know where you are going, all roads lead to nowhere,” which is a take-off on the Lewis Carroll quote, “If you don’t know where you are going, any road will get you there.” 
In my experience people without a vision for their future find it difficult, if not impossible, to feel fulfilled.  When working with women on their career planning, three of the first questions I always ask are:  What is your vision?  What is your purpose? What is your passion?

Studies on leaders show that successful leaders have a life’s vision and sense of purpose, but frequently we do not take the time to think about what we want for our legacy or the purpose of our lives.  The bottom line is:  If you want to be a leader you have to lead yourself first.  And you can’t   And you can’t lead yourself unless you know where you are headed.
Personal vision and purpose are standards and benchmarks that guide you throughout your life.  They help make it easier to arrive at decisions, solve problems, work with others, and face challenges because you have a yardstick by which to measure each of these.  Once you have a vision and purpose, career choices are made simpler; determining a course of action is made more clear; prioritizing your activities is more straightforward; having self-confidence and standing up for yourself feels comfortable; and leading others becomes natural. 

Vision and purpose are unifying themes throughout the 52 week game changing journey…..and when you’re finished you’ll never “leave home”without the two.

Monday, July 8, 2013

Honoring the Individuality and Values of Every Woman Who Turns Its Pages

This is the fifth in a series of posts on how my new book, 52 Week Game Changer:  How She Leads, went from vision to reality.

I believe that everyone has the potential for leadership.  I also believe that the roots of leadership are found at our very core—our personal strengths and values.  Leadership is rooted in who you are, not in trying to be someone else. Unfortunately, many of us do not think about, much less honor, our strengths and values to the extent that we should. 

Through coursework for leadership coaching and through the coaching experience itself (both as the coach and the coachee), my belief has only intensified that honoring personal strengths and values is as necessary for leadership success as water is for sustaining aquatic life.   If we do not know who we are how can others know and follow us?  If we do not honor our strengths and values, practicing and exhibiting them, how can we expect to model the way for others?  If we are not constant in the use of our strengths and values, how can we expect others to trust us?

The definition of confidence is a belief in one’s own abilities.  Studies have repeatedly shown that an important part of leadership is self-confidence and the belief that you can succeed. Those who lack self-confidence often avoid risk and are more cautious in career choices. Knowing your strengths and knowing how to leverage these is a critical underpinning of self-confidence.

Because knowing, honoring and levering your strengths is essential for leadership, six weeks in the initial part of changing the game is devoted to helping you know and honor what you bring to the table, finding your voice to speak for yourself, standing up for your convictions and believing that you have the ability to “Change the Game.”