A few days ago, a female colleague made quite a bold statement on her LinkedIn newsletter: “I’m Fed Up With Women…” an article that revindicates the need to assert your worth as a female leader, to set your boundaries and keep them, to confidently show your “brilliance” as she puts it. This was followed by a call to all female leaders to name other female leaders in our network, that we admire, that we wanted to call out for their inspiring leadership, life and work. It was a great way to shine a light on a great number of female leaders out there that are choosing to make a difference. Like anyone would be I imagine, all those named were immensely grateful for the recognition.
However, recognition is a double-edge sword.
We cannot have our leadership depend on it, at least not solely on the recognition of others. We need to build self-recognition and kindness and self-compassion. So often, I encounter female leaders extremely compassionate with others, they proudly announce it as one of their leadership strengths. Yet their self-talk is hardly compassionate at all.
This has to stop!
Where policies and the environment in a lot of cases seem to finally be aligned to enhance, empower and drive female leadership, it is absolutely our duty to make our choice. Don’t ever think you cannot do it, you’re not good enough, or unprepared or unlucky. Choosing is hard work, like leadership, sometimes scary, but mostly inspiring, energising, rewarding. Tell yourself not making a choice is a choice, probably not the right choice. Choose you, choose your leadership, your way with people, your style, your confidence and courage, your influence. It is with authentic leadership that we start our women’s leadership programs, because it is with your values and your strengths that you are able to develop your best self. It is your best self that will enable you to exercise your best leadership. Choose to join us or choose to support and sponsor female leaders in your network, The Leadership Connection’s next cohort is due to start in May.