The energy you put out as a leader will have more of an impact on your results than any other factor. The energy you create becomes the environment your employees experience. This environment can either inspire a team to outstanding performance through full engagement, or extinguish high potential and drive in leaders. Showing up as a fully-engaged, strong, vibrant female leader is the catalyst for transformational change in corporate culture. Creating an environment of trust, authenticity, balance, connection and celebration of self is necessary to drive the future of our businesses through our next generation leaders.
Follow my 5 Key Principles to ignite employee engagement and development a tribe of fearless leaders that get results.
- Create a Culture of Authenticity
- Build an Environment of Inspiration
- Show Up. Consistently.
- Meet them Where They Are and Move Them Forward
- Raise the Bar
Create a Culture of Authenticity
Don’t be afraid to be who you are and build that same fearlessness in others. Often times, we are challenged to adapt to the energy of the organization, to fall in line with the status quo. Leaders are taught to behave according to a standard expectation and unspoken rules. This is particularly true with women, who struggle with being feminine in corporate cultures that glorify masculine behaviors. But the truth is, innovation comes from diverse points of view, so being true to our own values and ideas can spark better decision making. As leaders, we need to create an environment where we listen to, build out, and celebrate the ideas and passions of our team members. To do this, we must first be fully confident in who we are, show up as the best versions of ourselves, and do so unapologetically. Authenticity is what drives productivity. When we feel safe, we unleash our creativity and we innovate.
Build an Environment of Inspiration
What makes an inspirational leader and how do we create an inspiring environment for our teams to thrive? “Inspiration” means being “in spirit” or connected to your true self. In today’s workplace culture, we call this “inclusion” which is really about coming to work in the spirit of who you are, showing up fully as your best self. If we, as leaders, connect to ourselves and our intuition we show others how to do the same. Leaders can connect back to themselves through meditation, journaling, through what they read, what they consume. Leaders are readers, leaders are curious, leaders find new perspectives and new ways of looking at the world. The more we allow creativity to flow through us, both from our outside environment and our internal voice, the better we show up to build an inspiring space for our leaders to feel safe, contribute as their best selves and thrive.
Show up. Consistently.
For yourself and for your team. Show up for yourself first. Having a sense of peace, strength and confidence helps you lead better, and show your team how they too can lead better. Selfcare first. Set boundaries, create balance. We are better leaders when we are connected to our truth. This requires tuning in, and caring for ourselves. Many of us know the outcome of not getting proper rest, nutrition, and stress relief. Lacking in these key areas of the circle of life erodes our ability to be present and connect with others. Nurturing and nourishing yourself allows you to show up fully and consistently no matter where you are in your life. Showing up for others starts with showing up for yourself. Sleep well, eat well, find time for relationships, get outside, connect with nature, build a spiritual practice. Investing in yourself allows you to show up better as the leader that others want to become.
Show up for your leaders by connecting with them, knowing who they are, what matters in their lives. When you are able to understand the person behind the title, you can help your leaders find their authentic voice in projects and positions that will allow them to thrive.
Meet Them Where They Are, and Move Them Forward.
Sometimes you have to be a teacher, sometimes a guide, sometimes a mentor, sometimes a champion. You cannot lead everyone the same way if you want to build the most effective leaders of tomorrow. Sometimes a leader may need to learn a new skill, so you will need to rely on your role as a teacher. Sometimes your top performers have mastered their current positions and you will need to be their champion to define their next steps, provide challenging projects, give them more visibility to senior leaders. Know your team, connect with each individual, and provide what is needed in that moment of their career.
Raise the Bar.
Believe in the highest potential within each leader, set high expectations, challenge them and set them free to reach their potential. A thoughtful leader thinks about how she can raise the bar, raise the standard, set a clear and compelling vision about what is possible, and she does this every single day with her team. Move them forward with positivity, encouragement, advice, and guidance. Build confidence in your team that anything is possible. Know what they want to achieve, help them reach for the stars, then get out of the way and let them go after their dreams.
As the female executives of today who are developing the female executives of tomorrow, we have a duty to create a culture of inclusion, balance, authenticity, innovation, and inspiration. We are being called to support the evolution of workplace culture and create an environment that nourishes leaders to show up as their best selves. So remember how you choose to show up every day. You are not just showing up for yourself, but for an army of women behind you.