27 Mar My Leadership Experiment
From my years of coaching training and working with a coach, I believed that I knew who I am as a leader. I know my traits, my skill set and in what areas of leadership I really excel. I know personally and from my clients that as a woman, one’s physical appearance can impact their leadership strength. From one day to the next, I could be more powerful, or less influential just based on how I saw myself in the mirror. This was very intriguing to me and led me to do some research to understand why.
If you look back in time, women have been gauged on their physical appearance. They stood out if they were slender, small boned, had larger breasts and highlighted their facial features with make-up. Men were gauged based on their physical or intellectual abilities. These measures haven’t changed all that much. We still use them to an extent on ourselves – “I feel so fat today”; “My hair is a mess”. Unfortunately, females are more apt to look for negative physical qualities as a way to diminish their power. But what happens when we do just the opposite? What happens if we take the opportunity to look at ourselves in the mirror and appreciate what we see and use it to our advantage as a leader?
We see ourselves in the mirror numerous times a day. I know I’ve become oblivious of my image for the most part – unless I see something glaringly wrong.
This is who I see in the mirror. I know this leader. I am skilled at engaging people at work. I know how to bring out the best in others. I am upfront but in a respectful and considerate way. I place a high regard on creating a safe space for people to communicate, share thoughts and ideas to generate the best outcome to achieve our objectives.
But what if I transformed my image. Would I still see myself as the same leader? Would a different appearance spark new leadership traits that are authentic? And what was the best way to transform my appearance – in a significant way – to see what would happen.
Yes, believe it or not, this is me. I’ve never been a blonde, so I thought that would be the greatest transformation I could give myself. People don’t recognize me in this picture and sometimes I struggle to recognize myself. And – what I experienced was amazing. New self-perspectives started to come to me. As I looked in the mirror I felt like I didn’t have to have all the answers because society doesn’t expect me to – I’m blonde. I can use this as a trump card to gain information, to gently manipulate people to help me achieve what I want. I see myself as savvy, a bit devious and coy. I think about what card I’m going to play next.
Wow – these insights were really exciting. New tools are within me. I’ve uncovered new muscles to build on which can help me grow my business. This was so different from leadership development programs that tell what to do based on the experience of others. My insights were genuine, from my core and easy to own.
Since this experiment, I have worked to build these insights into habits. It takes time, practice and patience. It is worth the investment because I know these traits will help me take my business to the next level of success.
Are you interested to experiencing a transformation for yourself? Are you curious to find your leadership alter-ego? Are you ready to step into a safe place and learn more about yourself with other women who are investing in their personal and professional development as well? Join me on April 27, 2018 for a fun and insightful workshop where you’ll have the opportunity to find a new leadership look that stretches you out of your norm. We’ll work through activities to deepen your understanding of your new leadership traits that are ready to be unleashed. Click here to find out more.