RULE #1 – Don’t speak until your spoken to!
STOP: Stop sitting quietly, letting others intimidate or bulldoze you. Stop being too scared to take center stage.
The leader of a $50 million division is passed over for promotion to the C-suite after failing to fully participate in strategic discussions in which “you have to shout to be heard.”
A marketing executive is surprised when a colleague drops by after a meeting with this advice: “Stop acting like a facilitator. Start saying what you stand for.”
The people described above have several things in common. They are all successful and ambitious. They are all admired by colleagues and superiors. And they are all women.
Our research reveals that such stories are typical. During decades of leadership coaching, we have consistently heard women say that they feel less effective in meetings than they do in other business situations. Some say that their voices are ignored or drowned out. Others tell us that they can’t find a way into the conversation.
START: Women, find your voice. Don’t ask for permission. Share your voice. Go boldly. Express yourself with confidence. Step out, step up, step forward. Gather your courage. You are more than just those moments. When you speak you give permission for others to speak up too!
CONTINUE: Grow your confidence! I may not be perfect but parts of me are pretty awesome!
RULE #2 – You Can Do It All Yourself!
STOP: Thinking you can do it all yourself. The house, the kids, the work, the cooking, the boss, the husband, the concept of the 24-hour woman. Stop isolating yourself. Stop the victim mentality of being rescued.
In today’s world, we are overwhelmed with the pressure to achieve. Facebook pages are flooded with crowing moments of achievement used as a personal badge of worthiness. The pressure to be great is, in fact, much greater than it has ever been in the past. It seems we idolize the girl who can do it all. It is the woman who has become admirable because she is a woman building an empire or killing it in a male-driven business world. Yet being Superwoman doesn’t necessarily make you a strong woman.
START: Ask for help, resources, etc. Find a network of strong likeminded people. Leverage your resources: money, time, exchanges, education. Lead your life vs live your life!
It’s not a sign of weakness
How often do you burn the candle at both ends, not because you’ve been living it up having nights out on the town, but because of your heavy workload, you’ve been working into the early hours of the morning?
Asking for help is not a sign of weakness but unfortunately, many women in high pressured roles feel that admitting they need help will show that they are not up to the role.
Being able to recognise when your load is too much to bear and saying ‘no more’ is a strength not a weakness. You can only do so much before you reach the end of your own capabilities. Continuing beyond that is damaging for your health.
Asking for help will either get you a yes or a no but if you don’t unless you ask, you will never know. Why suffer or struggle in silence when you can ask for help.
CONTINUE: Grow your Network, ask for help! Ask how other people manage things. Together we get more done (and have more fun) than alone.
RULE #3 – Take Care of Everyone Else Before Yourself!
STOP: Doing for everyone else before yourself. Stop putting yourself at the bottom of the list. Women aren’t on their own list of priorities.
After taking care of everyone else, they are always putting themselves last on the list, and often have very little left to give. There are many women who aren’t living—they are just existing. This is a form of self-abuse. Women often wear their exhaustion as a badge of honor. This is a lie that we allow ourselves to buy into, but we need to wake up! The challenge for women is that they must re-language what it means to be a wife, mother, daughter, friend. If you don’t take care of yourself, in the long run you are ultimately harming all the other people you love in your life. You won’t be the only one who takes the hit.
START: Take care of yourself first. Teach others to care for themselves. Empower them! What do you need from me so you can do it? We’ve all been on a plane. What is the rule? If the oxygen mask drops put it on yourself first and then you can help others. There is a point that you need to take care of yourself BEFORE you take care of others.
CONTINUE: Grow others! Real power comes by empowering others!
RULE #4 – You Can Have It All
STOP: It was Oprah that said “We can have it all, we just can’t have it all at once.” We need to make choices. Stop diffusing your energy. We’ve heard about being in balance, but when things are in balance things are status quo.
START: Where focus goes energy flows. Start prioritize. Do the hard stuff first! Easy stuff doesn’t get you there. We have lists of “to do’s” Let’s prioritize them by what we want as oppose to how easy it would be to check off the list. Stop the busy-ness. Invest your time wisely.
“Having it all is the worst,” she tells Oprah. “No matter how much we all have and how grateful we are for what we have, no one has it all, because we all make tradeoffs every single day, every single minute.”
This wasn’t always the case, Sandberg says. In her mother’s days, that generation worked 9-to-5 jobs without the expectation of going beyond those 40-hour workweeks. Today, it’s a different story. “What’s happened now [is] we are all connected,” she says. “My industry is part of the problem, right? We are connected all the time. We expect our colleagues at work to always be available, and the amount of time mothers spend one-on-one… with their kids is totally changed. The standards have shifted. We’re supposed to be always ‘on’ as mothers and we’re supposed to be always ‘on’ as employees. We can’t do that. None of us can do that.”
CONTINUE: Grow your clarity. I don’t have enough time clear priorities. Clarity is about priority.
RULE #5 – It’s Gonna Be Hard!
STOP: Making it so hard on yourself! Stop making things complicated. When we were young life was easier, right? I know sometimes it seems that way. But the truth is life still is easy. It always will be. The only difference is we’re older, and the older we get, the harder we make things for ourselves.
You see, when we were young we saw the world through simple, hopeful eyes.
As we grew older our minds became gradually disillusioned by negative external influences. At some point we began to hesitate and question our instincts. When a new obstacle or growing pain arose, we stumbled and fell down. This happened several times.
You are stuck on your mistakes.
You keep thinking about worst-case scenarios.
You’re letting loss devour you.
You avoid facing the truth.
You put off making decisions.
START: Enjoying the process. Simplify. You are not a human “doing” you are a human “being” Enjoy and appreciate things the process of change and growth.
CONTINUE: Grow your gratitude! I am grateful for the challenges that help me grow into the person I am.