About this time each year, I start thinking about how to finish the year strong. Although 2020 has been unbelievably disruptive, I'm still determined to end it on a good note. I want to encourage you to do the same, even if that goal is to lose all that quarantine weight you gained (which, as of this morning, has become another goal of mine).
Now that we're two-thirds of the way through the year, how are you tracking on your 2020 goals?
I finally released my book, Leading on Purpose: The Black Woman's Guide to Shattering the Glass Ceiling. If you haven't picked up your copy yet, click here.
It's an excellent handbook for those who are trying to advance their careers.
I'm also still planning to launch a women's leadership coaching program and on-demand webinars. Although I didn't start these initiatives on schedule, I've committed to completing them before the end of the year. If you're interested in participating, I'll add you to the...
In a previous post, I shared that two barriers keep women from advancing their careers. They are lack of support and lack of know-how. Today I'm going to discuss the lack of know-how.
While bias plays a significant role in blocking women from the positions their seeking, internally, they have barriers to overcome as well:
For my dissertation research, I combed through countless studies and interviewed ten successful black women leaders. I wanted to understand the barriers black women encountered on their journey to senior roles and the strategies they used to navigate the obstacles. The results were enlightening.
I found two key barriers that keep women from advancing in their careers, and those barriers are either external or internal. The external obstacles involve a lack of support; the internal obstacles encompass a lack of know-how. In this blog, I will talk about the lack of support.
There are many ways lack of support can manifest, but they all boil down to implicit bias:
Do you have a goal you’d like to achieve but have yet to get around to it? When I graduated with my doctorate in 2008, my first post-grad school goal was to write and publish a book, inspired by my research on successful black women leaders. I’d work on the manuscript for a few months and then put it aside for a year or two. I’d pick it up and work on it again for a few months, only to set it aside once again, for a few years. I did this dance at least three or four times before I admitted to myself that I wasn’t getting any closer to my goal.
Being unsure of how to get out of the vicious cycle, I took some time to be reflective about what was getting in the way of me doing what I wanted to do for so long. I found it was three things that stopped me: perfectionism, comparison, and fear.
I had locked myself into a mindset that what I wrote, and the effort I made, wasn’t good enough, it had to be perfect, and so I had to try harder. I kept writing and ten...
When I’m coaching, often my clients will comment about not having enough time to slow down, think, and strategize for their personal lives, their life’s work and career, and the work of their teams. They enjoy the gift of being able to do that with me in a way that enables them to move forward personally and professionally. Through our work together, they learn the importance of stopping, every day or week, to think. They schedule it on their calendars and, they resolve not to allow anything to get in the way of that time.
In my own life and career, I’ve learned to set aside time. Every morning, I take time to pray and journal to get centered and ready for the day ahead. I exercise to get my blood flowing and to be in good health. I review my affirmations, my mission, and my vision so that I can be intentional about my work. Periodically, I do a “brain dump” and write out everything that’s on my mind. Often, new thoughts and ideas come up that I...
I want to share my favorite video with you. Maybe you've seen it already? It's a TED Talk with Simon Sinek about how great leaders lead with their “why” or their purpose in doing what they do. Sinek suggests that rather than leading with what we do (e.g., banker, manager, artist), we should lead with why we do it.
He uses the example of Apple as a company; however, the concept can be easily translated into our personal and professional lives.
Why is it important to know your “why”? Besides giving you a sense of purpose and direction, your “why” helps you in decision-making from career decisions, the people you connect with, and even where you will live.
I often talk to people who say they don't know their purpose. A great place to start is understanding yourself, how you were created, your unique makeup, and taking a moment to think...
As a coach, I get to work with some fantastic people—seasoned professionals and experts who are highly esteemed in their fields. I've gleaned so much from them over the years about their respective body of knowledge.
At the same time, however, I have shared ideas with them that they'd never considered. These are ideas, although important to one's career success, are not often written about in books or taught in college classes or professional seminars. They're learned more organically. And while they might seem minute, they can significantly impact a leader's effectiveness as well as their ability to influence and engage others.
If you're interested in being a more influential and effective leader, here are seven strategies to consider:
Yesterday, while working with a new client, as we discussed the goals she wanted to achieve in coaching, she mentioned that she does a pretty good job of beating herself up when she makes a mistake or doesn’t do something to her standard. To her, nothing is ever “good enough.” However, she said she knew that that mindset wasn’t serving her and she wanted to learn how to stop being so hard on herself.
“Sure! I’d be happy to support you in that.” I said. Then I asked her, “If you heard someone talking to your best friend or child like that, how would you feel?” She replied very quickly, “I’d be pissed!” “Exactly!” I said. “There’s no way most people would stand aside and allow even a stranger to berate another stranger let alone someone they cared for. So why do we so easily scold ourselves?”
Later in the day, while working with my coach, I had almost the same exact conversation with...
I was talking with one of my accountability partners today. We support one another in ensuring we’re doing what we’ve committed in order to grow our businesses. Over time, we’ve come to realize one strategy that has helped to propel us forward and more importantly, kept us sane: we’ve given ourselves permission to shift our goals.
Let me back up. About three months ago, I set a goal to blog three times a week. I set that goal when I had more downtime and I was able to take at least two hours out of a day to write. For me, writing requires not only time but also energy and inspiration to put my thoughts into words. Therefore, it isn’t always an easy task – especially not after a long day of doing other tasks that require equal energy and time, if not more.
Since setting that goal, my schedule has changed drastically, and I have found that I don’t have the same time or energy as I did and I kept missing the mark on my writing goal....
Many people struggle with confidence – from CEOs on down. No matter what position you're in, new and unfamiliar things can be uncomfortable – until you gain your footing.
In my own experience, I've learned that the best and sometimes hardest part about developing confidence is to take that first step. I tell myself, "don't worry if it's not perfect, never mind whether you'll succeed or fail; just get that first step under your belt." Then evaluate how you did, what feedback you received, and what you would do differently. With the new information you have, take the next step, and re-evaluate. Keep taking steps and evaluating until you become comfortable at what it is you're doing or decide to change course. Either way, you will be successful because you tried!
Whether it's learning a new skill, taking on a new role, or putting yourself out there in a different way, be strong and courageous. Make an effort and then decide whether to do it again.