- The first and easiest way to fail was to believe that I couldn’t do it. Telling myself I was a fraud, and a little girl in big girl heels was not going to make me come across as someone others would want to follow.
- The things that I admired in the leaders that I knew were things I could easily do. I noticed that people I considered great leaders didn’t have all the answers, but they always had great questions.
- They also didn’t feel like they had to speak - often they just listened. And when they did speak, they didn’t focus on the problem, they focused on the opportunity.
- And, the good leaders trusted their gut, and when they spoke (after much listening), they did so with the knowledge that they had something to share that was worth listening to, and underpinned by a belief in themselves that was magnetic.
Something else that struck me:
- These leaders had been just like me at some point in their careers. They started as someone who was a follower who was just learning the ropes of leadership. They had all been in my shoes...which meant that in some weird way, I was not alone.
My rise up the chain to leadership was not always a seamless transition, but telling myself that I had something to offer when I spoke, trusting my judgment, and spending most of my time asking great questions and listening with intent made a huge difference in my early career.
So - next time you are wondering how to make that next leap, start with yourself. How much do you believe you can do it? (I believe you can do it!). What opportunity do you see for yourself, for others, for your company?
It’s out there - now go and find it!
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