Again, men don’t stop reading this post. I think this will help you, too, as a leader, husband, father, son and/or friend. Continuing my thoughts about women in leadership, inspired by the Dee Dee Myers book, “Why Women Should Rule The World” (a tongue-and-check title by the way!), I thought I would discuss how ALL women can rule THEIR world no matter the occupation, calling or passion.
Some more thought-provoking bullets from her book:
- The truth is women do certain things differently. That’s not to say all women are one way and all men another. Of course not. But on balance, women tend to communicate a little differently… We’re more practical. There are complicated reasons for this, some bequeathed by Mother Nature, others carefully taught. Regardless, the effect is that women can seem less confident; less sure of themselves. This can, in turn, make it more challenging for them in a world that is still largely shaped by men. A world where ‘I think’ can sound weak, rather than generous.
- In so many ways, and for so many reasons, women have been told that they’re not as good, that their accomplishments aren’t as valuable, that what’s important to them is, well, less important. And too often, women have been willing to believe it. As a result, they’re less eager to speak out, less willing to put themselves forward – and less sure of themselves when they do. And that creates a downward spiral, in which too many women never test the proposition and consequently never find out how good they really are.
- In the same way a proud mother wants to see her child recognized for his or her achievements, she should want the same for herself and for other women. Only when women take (and give each other) credit will their contributions be valued alongside men’s. Only then will they close the confidence gap. Only then will they be able to really give the best, true measure of themselves.
“Nobody can make you feel inferior without your permission,” revealed the wise Eleanor Roosevelt. Let’s take a moment to unpack that point. It doesn’t matter if you choose to not have children or 2.5 and if you manage your household as a Stay At Home Mom, Home-schooler or lead in the workforce part-time or full-time, as a CEO, Admin. Assist, Teacher, attorney or doctor. We need to support decisions of other women rather than judge. Embrace, accept, and celebrate our differences and the many admirable paths we women follow. However you decide to juggle your life, embrace it -do it with fervor, conviction, confidence, self-assurance and pride. Do it with zeal, heart and soul all the while knowing your decision is the right decision
Personally, I stopped apologizing for my career directions – an excursion that modifies, alters and adjusts with each ever-changing season of my journey. Lately, I’ve been freelancing and consulting. I traded job titles for schedule control, intensity for flexibility, all while aiming for life balance. This is an individual choice that allows me the freedom to spend more time on my relationships with my family. I’m much more content, satisfied, and joy-filled when I spend quality time with those I love most. Rather than focusing my efforts and resources on doing what makes my boss happy – a very conditional relationship where I’m accepted for what I accomplish, judged on my performance and what I can do for the organization – I work for myself and focus on my family – a very unconditional relationship where I’m accepted for me and never judged. Don’t get me wrong; a home-based career takes self-discipline all the while building positive client relationships and isn’t as reliable, steady, or predictable.
I certainly enjoy my rewarding work because it works for me at the moment yet might not work for you. In every case, it’s important to remember wherever you decide to lead, make a decision without reparation and with notable confidence and rule YOUR world!