Everyone's talking about leadership. You practically trip over it on every social media platform or in any bookstore. You can find teaching on leadership from any angle, perspective or viewpoint.
My own philosophy, Intentional Optimism, is loosely based on Proverbs, Chapter 31, which is a lovely description of a strong woman who just so happens to be a great Leader.
She’s not bossy, or self-absorbed. She’s not worrying about quarterly analytics and how they might project for the rest of the year. She’s not on Social Media, telling everyone how wonderful she is.
She IS, however, a great example of how we, as modern women, can lead in the 21st Century.
She’s a charismatic servant leader, with a vision of the future.
“Well, Andrea,” you say, “ what if I’m not charismatic, or have the ability to see long term visions?”
I say ~ “let’s redefine how we look at these terms.” In this instant world of social media, our culture latches on to ideas that don’t always represent “reality,” and don’t serve us well. Here’s how I would describe her.
She's a magnet.
People are drawn to her. Why? Because she focuses on making things better ~ for herself, other business owners, her family, her employees, her spouse. No one worries that she’s just in it for the money, or making a name for herself. She’s in it for “community,” and others can tell. She pursues companionship through business deals, and creates community by expanding her business and hiring employees.
You’ve never been described as charismatic? So? Do you value others, their opinions, their ideas, their unique attributes and abilities? When you seek to see the strengths of other women, rather than tear them down, beautiful things begin to happen. Hearts change, as we realize each one has struggles, victories, strengths, hang-ups. I’m not the only one who needs a little grace to make it through the day ~ you do too. Begin practicing humility as you approach situations you may not understand. Get curious, and look for the value others bring to the table. People are drawn to a woman who does this for them.
When we use our resources, the ones we work hard to develop (like time, money, ideas, power), in the service of others, they become even more powerful. It’s like they get super-charged. Life takes on a kind of self-propelled motion ~ develop, turn, give... develop, turn, give ~ each act of service benefits others and primes the pump of more creativity and development of those same resources we just shared.
Oscar Wilde said, “Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.” Yet so many of us are terrified someone will steal our ideas,that we’ve built an intricate legal system to protect them ~ but at what cost? Sure, there are times when information should be proprietary… but for the majority of us, in our everyday lives, living in an “open sourced” world is actually more beneficial than hiding all the good stuff behind walls of legal protectionism. When we share freely and lavishly, others respond in kind. Sure, some won’t, but that’s THEIR problem. Sharing your vision for what can or could be, includes transparency in how we do everything now.
We are on the cusp, Sisters, of what looks like an amazing new decade (and beyond), where women are going to be able to step into roles we haven’t seen them in ~ ever. WE can do it with grace, composure, confidence, kindness and patience. We can’t fight each other on the way there ~ we must carry each other there. I’ve said it before ~ we link arms and walk courageously into the new opportunities that we help create, together.
Head over to my Facebook Page and tell me how you're leading in your community… or better yet, join our Intentional Optimist Facebook Group, and join a community of women where we celebrate the wonder of our beauty and diversity through helping, teaching and mentoring other women.
Are you on the verge of something new or big, and need some help getting there? As a coach, I provide the structure and accountability you need to focus on what’s important and get to that next level. Let’s chat about how I can serve you, as we head into the next, exciting decade.