Perhaps like me, you’ve had people who have tried to discourage you in your career. Or, you have had second thoughts about your career path. Despite that, if you are reading this, you persevered. The depth of coverage on the recent passing of monumental females left me feeling particularly curious about the timing behind a current Elle magazine article shaming women who dare to have ambition and dreams. The Elle article invited me to write a response; a piece that challenges this fashionable trend and celebrates ambition and dreams. Does groundbreaker describe your dream?
When you hear or read, do you spend more energy on how to understand or how to label the content? One way of determining if you are a leader is whether you listen more to learn or to judge. When your mind is trying to understand, it is open to all kinds of possibilities. You are trying to make connections with the new information to the information you already hold in your brain. This allows for many new pathways for the information to go. It’s the route of knowledge. If you are labeling, you are making a decision, often quickly, to dismiss new information or hold onto it. You are not processing for further use. While one is an open-door approach, the other is a closed-door approach. Which would you rather be – a leader or a judge?
Discovering new things not only make us feel good, it allows us to grow and stretch from where we are today. Now that we are able to once again meet in person, take the chance to start that conversation with someone who is not in your circle of friends or colleagues already. Having that exchange, whatever the outcome, you both win. Denying yourself the opportunity to learn and grow from interactions with people different from ourselves, keeps you from experiencing a “yay” and what could follow it.
If you are reading this, chances are you’re driven by a purpose. That purpose has you making things happen. Answering questions, problem solving, strategizing, researching, analyzing, bringing people together. In this process of doing, do you give yourself a chance to ask yourself, who are you being? And, who do you want to be? Productive is nothing without a clear purpose.
Who has contributed to your achievement and shaped who you are today? There’s probably more than one person once you start thinking about this. And they probably supported you in different ways and times throughout your life. Role models, mentors and coaches. Is it still meaningful (or even more meaningful) for you to have someone holding you accountable who sees your potential and supports you to reach your goals?
Imagine. During times of less bustle and more deep thinking, come many creative ideas. How can you look at something in a novel way? You don’t have to be a scientist, artist or inventor. Simply encourage your natural curiosity when solving a dilemma. How can you envision something in a new light? Can you learn from Berry Gordy’s leadership and creativity as a visionary? Can he spur something in you, like he did in me: to look at and examine his thought process, his why for inclusion, and his deep calling to see people’s potential as his way to give and succeed. You can be a visionary and a leader. It’s all up to you. You can take his lessons and interpret them for you and your team. Or your creativity can be motivated by his. How are you going to take that next step?
New things in your life brought from 2019 may forever impact how you look at the world. These could even have been decisions you explored during a holiday break. Whatever or whoever it may be, it or they will influence how you work in this decade, from this day forward. The possibilities for you to grow, lead, and live more fully are endless. Welcome to the new enhanced and dynamic you of 2020 and beyond.
If you want to establish a great working relationship with your boss, knowing whatever you can do to make your boss’s job easier is good. Being a young professional, Millennial or Gen Z, guidelines to do this may not be so obvious. Here is the first of three blog posts on how to manage up. This first one focuses on laying the ground work for good communication.
What are you going to do next when facing frustration? Consider your options. Millennials first natural impulse may be to give up or quit when confronted with challenges. However, one famous artist decided differently. she did not take the easy way out, she persevered. You have the strength to do the same.