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?
Do you see a thread here? A thread of opportunities, like mine, where you were elected, promoted, or saw a chance to inspire a group of people around a goal or cause. It was obvious to everyone else that you had definite leadership qualities and the presence of a leader, yet you may not have seen it or felt it for a long time. You never laid claim to having leadership skills. It was just something you did.
What actually is standing in the way of reaching a breakthrough with your team? What are team members not responding to in your culture, system, or in working with you? If they have all the technical tools and resources, why isn’t the team more productive, effective or profitable? If you are going to solve these problems, like me, you can see pure brain power and drive alone are not enough.
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?
What are the key qualities of a great mentor? Berry Gordy is one. With the young leaders and the leaders who work with me and want to grow, I apply a Berry Gordy similar mix of ingredients: listening, encouraging, asking questions with compassion to arrive at the right strategies and plans specifically for them. I’ve had many mentors over the years and I learned the ones that worked with me the best understood my goals, personality and habits. Of course, I was ready to do the work and open to suggestions and change. You have to be open to change to achieve better results. Gordy’s team of employees at Motown were open to learning or they left the organization because they didn’t fit the culture.
Are you ready to work with a mentor or coach?
“As a manager, you had to be honest with them, but you had to build them too. Even when they didn’t know they had to be built.” ~ Berry Gordy. Berry Gordy’s desire was to bring out the best in people. Then he could reach his potential in some way. Berry’s why is the spark in my why. Wouldn’t you want to work with someone who recognizes your uniqueness and wants you to reach your potential?
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.