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Women In Leadership

Women In Leadership



November 14th, 2016

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In today’s fast-paced and competitive work environments is more important than ever for you as a woman in a leadership role to have your career goals and the strategies that you will take to attain them clearly mapped as you move towards your desired professional future. Meaningful goals help us grow, move forward and avoid falling into jobs that other well-meaning people have chosen for you because they think you are well-suited for the role. That may be the case, however, wouldn’t the opportunity would be a far richer one if it fit with your personal career goals?

Try mapping your goals using this simplified 4-stage TRI-NAMICS © exercise:

  • Discover your goals.
  • Dream about your goals.
  • Design your goals.
  • Deliver the reality of your goals.

Discover Your Goals:

Explore the possibilities! Use these questions to help you discover the goals you want to focus on:

  • What is important to me?
  • What would I like to have that I do not have?
  • What are my talents and strengths?
  • What burning desire do I have that will truly make a difference?
  • When I am at my optimal, what am I doing, thinking, feeling?

N.B. You might find it helpful to use a mind-mapping tool as you write down your answers to these questions.

Dream About Your Goals:

Once you have some high-level thoughts jotted down it is time to dream a little. Ask yourself:

  • What will it be like to achieve some of my goals?
  • How will I feel?
  • What will be different?
  • What will I be doing differently?

Design Your Goals:

Build your success system by designing specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and time-bound goals for yourself using the “SMART” goal tool. Factor in:

  • Milestone dates.
  • Supports/resources you will need along the way.
  • Measures of your success.

Deliver the Reality of Your Goals:

You now have goal clarity! You have explored possibilities, set out a clear path, and now it’s time to take action:

  • Find the right opportunity.
  • Practice with your mentor, partner, or in a team.
  • Follow your roadmap, and
  • Celebrate your success!

Revisit your plan on a regular basis, keep track of what is working, adjusting what doesn’t. and remember to celebrate each success along the way!

If you would like more information from Endless Possibilities about the TRI-NAMICS goal-mapping exercise or coaching support in setting your goals please contact us.

 


February 29th, 2016

As women continue to fight their way towards that leadership seat in the corner office,
the struggle with unrealistic expectations of themselves and those of others continues. The feeling that we need to be able to do it all, or be Superwoman can be, at times, overwhelming and disheartening. How often do you find yourself doing the following:

  • Working excessively long hours.
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  • Multi tasking.
  • Not asking questions or raising concerns for fear of sounding stupid.
  • Thinking you need to lead the same way or be the same as others.
  • Putting work ahead of your personal life.

Take heart, this is not the case! In fact, many successful female leaders have begun to reveal that they are staying true to feminine traits and utilizing a uniquely female leadership style. They are:

  •  Leading from the heart, being their authentic self.
  • — Using their intuition and their inner wisdom.
  • — Leveraging their emotional intelligence. Women tend to score higher on the scales of self awareness, self regulation, empathy, and social skills than men in the business world.
  • — They are more relationship focused, often bringing an edge of humanity to their workplace.

It’s time to take off the Superwoman Cape and ask yourself what success looks like for you!

 A good starting point is to stay true to yourself. Try the following steps:

  •  Ground yourself in knowing who you are. Take the time to identify/affirm your personal values.
  • — Look at how your values align with those of your workplace and the people that surround you.  Do they match or is there a rub?
  • —  Explore your emotional intelligence – discover your strengths and then leverage these skills to support your success!
  • —  Decide: What will you stand for?
  • —  Just importantly: What won’t you stand for?
  • —  Don’t be afraid to ask for what you need – seek out a mentor or mentors.
  • —  Take action now! Work with an Executive Coach who specializes in women’s leadership issues.


January 19th, 2016

Dealing with toxicity in the workplace, as a leader, and more specifically as a woman in a leadership role, is a tremendous challenge! This blog explores two types of leadership authority first and then proposes some strategies to help you begin to deal with a toxic workplace.

Two Categories of Leadership Authority: Formal and Informal.shutterstock_193984787_(Team_tree).jpg

Formal leaders are those who hold titles and are recognized through positional authority within the hierarchy. These leaders are responsible for setting the strategic direction of the organization and they also play a formal and informal role in creating the culture of the organization as well. These leaders act with formal authority.

However, women are largely unrepresented at the heads of companies. Recent data shows that women make up only 4.4% of CEO positions at S&P 500 Companies.

Informal leaders are individuals that do not hold titles or positional authority within a company or organization, but they have considerable influence nonetheless. The influence of informal leaders can be felt as a result of the strong relationships that they have built throughout their workplace, with peers, superiors, and subordinates. The trust, respect, and rapport that they have with their colleagues may often be greater and more influential than that of those in formal leadership roles. These leaders act with informal authority.

Women often hold a tremendous amount of informal leadership power, although they do not always recognize it nor choose to exercise it to address challenges in the workplace.

While male and female leaders may share similar skills and knowledge, in dealing with the root causes of toxicity in the workplace it is often the expertise in relationship skills that women hold which can tip the balance in these situations. Their innate ability to listen to hear, to hone in on the heart of the issue, and to show empathy is often a key factor in discovering, exploring, and shifting the underlying causes of the toxicity.

If you find yourself in the midst of an unhealthy work environment and are wondering where to start, try the following:

Leveraging your innate leadership strengths to effect change in a toxic environment:  

  • Identify the toxic behaviors that are occurring. Utilize your relationship skills of listening to  hear and asking curious questions to notice and explore common themes and emerging patterns when developing a plan to address the toxicity. 
  • Recognize and leverage your scope of influence within your current role to affect positive change to the situation.
  • Consult with your immediate superior as to next steps in addressing the issue. If they might be the source of the toxic behaviours, seek the confidential counsel of an HR advisor in your organization.
  • Consider working with an Executive Coach as an additional source of support for yourself.

As a female leader in a toxic workplace, you have capacity within yourself to explore solutions and to get your workplace onto a healthy track!


January 12th, 2016

"You need to network more, market your skills and yourself.”Do those very words strike terror into your heart; leave you with a sinking feeling in the pit of your stomach?

Not an uncommon reaction for women! While many men appear to be comfortably successful networkers, we as women often struggle to find the balance of communicating our skills, strengths, and talents in a way that feels authentic for us. Our worries about coming across as self-serving, conceited, or bragging can hold us back from participating in an activity that is crucial to career advancement. But take heart, it is not an impossible task!

 Break it down into simple steps:

1. Define your network:

Think out of the box! As you do so, be creative, look not only at your contacts, but their contacts as well. Consider your professional alliances, affiliations, associations, peers, and colleagues.

2. Take the time to map your leadership network. Use a mind-mapping tool and have some fun with it! Slide1.jpg

3. Talk to connections & colleagues let them know what you are doing and ask for their support.

Get prepared! Some basic requirements for leadership networking are:

1. Be your authentic self. Create a simple one-to-two line introductory statement that feels natural to you and then practice it until you can speak it easily.

2. Have some resources that you can share with people. These can be as simple as information or access to some of your contacts.

3. Thoughtful, purposeful, and authentic use of your power. For networking purposes, power consists of your leadership reputation, the organizational position that you hold, and your network connections.

4. Communication skills: the ability to listen is paramount! Listening to hear, absorb, and draw out information from others. Know when to listen and when to speak.

5.  Cut yourself some slack – don’t panic if you don’t get your introductory statement perfect at first. Remember you are the only one that knows what it’s supposed to be.

 Relax, observe, and create some opportunities to share your wonderful wisdom with others.

 


October 15th, 2015

business_woman2.jpgSome women may be reluctant to hire a leadership coach, thinking that only people who are seriously struggling as professionals would need assistance. Others are content to get by on what skills they already have, assuming that there is no way they can easily improve, or that it isn’t worth the time and effort. However, there are many reasons women should hire an Executive Coach to get ahead in business — and trust us, it is well worth the cost and time as you are bound to see great results from this type of professional development. 

Hiring a leadership coach shows that you are committed to being an excellent leader. It demonstrates leadership to bosses, coworkers, and direct reports. And, making this commitment is also a great way to reiterate to yourself that your success is an important part of your life — that’s a great way to boost your confidence and remind yourself that your professional skills are as important as anything else in your world! By treating yourself to leadership skills development, you are putting your long-term career goals high on your priority list. 

A leadership coach can help you with any specific issues you’re struggling with, whether it’s how to be more confident and articulate at work, to dealing with work life balance. Women often feel that they should deal with these issues on their own, not burdening others, but that’s exactly what a leadership coach is paid to do — work with you, so you can focus on your clear path to success. 

Hiring a leadership coach gives you the tools you need to get ahead. See what leadership coaching can do for you!


October 15th, 2015

business_woman1.jpgWomen are excellent leaders but those who are venturing toward success in business may find that the odds can be stacked against them. Societal expectations, social mores, and the status quo often make it challenging for women who want to succeed in the business world — but there is no reason that this needs to happen! 

Many times women struggle with being a confident, articulate leader. Even with the best of intentions, female voices can get lost or discounted. Leadership training is a great way to take that confidence above and beyond what naturally exists for many women, enabling them to speak their minds and climb the ladder of success without fear or self-consciousness. Leadership training simply takes the skills women already have and builds upon them, nurturing high-quality, strong, and capable businesswomen. 

Having strong role models and a good support system is a proven way of keeping women in business, whether it’s within the corporate world, or in the realm of entrepreneurship. By investing in leadership training, women who want to succeed are able to see how other women are handling their own struggles and successes, and can tap into a built-in support system that seeks to encourage all women to meet and exceed their business goals. 

If you are a woman who wants to be successful in business, and you sometimes feel that you are lacking in some area or simply want to brush up so you can put your best foot forward at all times, leadership training may prove to be incredibly helpful to you. Give yourself the best advantage by taking charge of your professional development, and think about how leadership training with an Executive Coach can impact your life so that you can reach the top without worry — you’ll be an effective and well-respected leader in no time! 


April 24th, 2015

Sucessful_business_woman.jpgWhile each successful businesswoman is different, all share some traits. These ten traits that support women in becoming successful.

1. Ability to Delegate in Their Personal and Professional Lives

Successful businesswomen know they can't carry everything on their own shoulders. They get the help they need to keep them maintain a healthy balance, both at home and in the workplace.

2. Positive Attitude

Women with positive attitudes motivate and inspire others who work with or for them. They get people excited about completing tasks.

3. Confident

Successful women have confidence and it shows. They believe in themselves and walk with their heads held high. Their self-confidence inspires others to believe in them.

4. Ambitious

The desire to move up the ladder is essential for success. Successful women are not satisfied with where they are; they intentional plan the next steps in their career.

5. Willingness to Learn

Successful businesswomen know they don't know everything, and they aren't afraid to learn. In fact, they are lifelong learners. Curious and questioning, they seek answers from those around them. Working with mentors and a coach, they use every opportunity to grow and develop their skills,

6. Flexible

Successful women know that things never go as planned; they analyze the system(s) they work within, challenge their assumptions, and adapt to change.

7. Goal Oriented

The most successful businesswomen don't wait to see what happens. They take charge of their careers, set goals and then actively pursue learning the skills, gaining the experience and developing the relationships then need to achieve them. 

8. Good at Managing Stress

Stress is a part of the business world and everyday life. Women who manage stress well have a better chance of achieving success.

9. Problem Solving Skills

Women put out fires each and every day in the business world. Successful women have well developed critical thinking skills which they use to solve problems quickly and effectively.

10. Assertive

Successful women know what they want and they aren't afraid to let people know. They don’t shy away from expressing their needs and standing up for what they believe in.

Some people are born with these traits, while others have to work to develop them. Either way, once a woman incorporates these traits into their lives, they have the ability to move up the career ladder and be more successful in their personal lives as well.  


April 9th, 2015

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The number of women in leadership roles has grown exponentially over the past four decades. And while the issues of the past such as gender bias and harassment have slowly faded, others have replaced them. The most pressing of these, we are partially responsible for imposing upon ourselves.

Curious? Read on…

It’s no secret that most women in senior-level leadership positions are high achievers; the path to success has dictated this for many. Compromises and sacrifices have been made, personal and professional, and always with the goal of having to be the best at what we do at the forefront of our minds.


However, the landscape has begun to shift over the past decade and is continuing to do so as 
generational changes in the female workforce occur. While women are continuing to look for success in their careers, many are finding that the conventional managerial role rings hollow for them once they arrive there. A lack of female peers or a feminine community at that level has lead to a sense of aloneness, the difference in organizational values and norms from their own fuels their growing dilemma, and the authoritarian or command and control leadership styles are in direct conflict with their preferred feminine leadership style.

All generations of high-achieving women leaders in the workforce from baby boomers to Gen – Xer’s, to millennials share the same issues. In fact, when asked, all say they are desire the following five themes in their work life:

Authenticity: they are looking to live and work in alignment with their values, beliefs, and life purpose.

Connections: the time of feeling isolated is over; they want authentic relationships, to be part of a functional, connected team at work and fulfilling friendships in their personal life.

Control: over their destiny, they want to have a say in the direction of their career and how it fits into their life instead of how their life fits into their career.

Wholeness: to live a well-rounded life, in balance personally and professionally.

Self-clarity: knowing not only who they are, but also where they fit into the larger scheme of the world.

Each theme may vary in the level of urgency or importance according to the age and stage of an individual woman’s career; however, they are interconnected and build upon each other.       Developing a self-understanding of which of these five themes is a top priority for you at this stage of your career is key to your future leadership success! 

Let Endless Possiblities help you become the leader you really want to be!


February 16th, 2015

shutterstock_23406772.jpgAs a woman in a leadership position have you ever wondered if your thoughts and beliefs are limiting your success or affecting how you show up in your workplace? Do you question what’s behind the way you respond in certain ways, why some things push your buttons and other things/people don’t?

It’s all about something called a mental model, the concept of which goes back as far as the 1920’s. Also referred to as ‘ mindset’, mental models simply defined are the beliefs or filters that underlie our thinking.  Peter Senge, states that they “are deeply ingrained assumptions, generalizations, or even pictures or images that influence how we understand the world and how we take action.”

So what’s that got to do with me?

These beliefs or filters affect the way that we see ourselves; how we see others, view situations, and the world around us. They form our perspective, cause us to behave in certain ways; they can block us from learning, hold us back from success, or aid us in our personal or professional growth.  Only you can shift your mental model. When you are aware of your mental models you open the door to understanding and possibilities for yourself.

 How can knowing this information help change or improve things at work? 

Try this quick exercise: Pick a situation at work that is really bugging you, it could be your interactions with your boss, a colleague, or your work life balance. Ask yourself these questions as a way to dig deeper:

What’s the recurring pattern or behaviour that is bothering me?

What is my underlying mental model or thinking?

How does it serve me?

How does it block me?

Where does this belief come from?

Is it true? Or, what else can be true?

Am I willing to change it and break the pattern?

What could be a new mental model that serves me?

What needs to change?  Am I willing to embrace the change?

As you reflect on these questions, ask yourself: What do I know about myself now that I didn’t know before? How will your newly discovered mental model serve you as you walk through the door of your office tomorrow?