The #1 desire of women who want to lead
By Eleanor Beaton
A couple of weeks ago, I did something that really ticked someone off.
I know this because they called me and told me so. On my voicemail.
It was late afternoon. (Of course, because what better time to deliver criticism on voicemail?) I listened to the message, deleted it, and sat down in my chair.
My heart was pounding. What have I done wrong, I asked myself.
I reviewed my actions, coached myself and came to the conclusion that, while I had annoyed the person greatly, I had not in any way violated my own standards or code of ethics.
So I told myself to let it go.
But several times that evening – while I was at the grocery store, while I was cooking dinner – I thought back on the voicemail. My heart rate increased and my face went red.
I felt like I had gotten into trouble.
I’m sensitive to criticism, and when people speak to me, I listen. I give people the benefit of the doubt, and when people share feedback with me, my knee jerk internal response is that “this is a reasonable person. If she’s saying something, she must have a valid point.”
These are both behaviours that helped me to succeed in school and early in my career.
I listened and followed directions.
I took feedback and criticism seriously, and incorporated others’ “expert” opinions as much as I could.
In the beginning, this strategy worked. But the more I advanced, the less helpful this tactic became.
That’s because at a certain point in the career of every ambitious woman, she needs to shift from being a student to being a teacher. From being a follower or watcher to being a leader. From being behind the scenes to centre stage.
This transition is critical.
I speak to so many hard-working corporate women who feel stuck in their careers because they don’t know how to make this transition.
What they want, more than anything, is freedom.
Freedom to shatter their personal glass ceilings and lead their way.
Freedom to get out of their own way and make a real impact.
Freedom to step into to the spotlight, use their voice and position themselves as a high potential leader.
Freedom from the self-doubt that stymies their best ideas and robs them of their energy and productivity.
Back to the person who was ticked off and why I found it so hard to let go.
I was halfway through an episode of Outlander when it hit me: I couldn’t let the incident go because I had convinced myself that I needed this person’s approval.
Ah, the tortures we put ourselves through for the sake of other people’s approval.
I coached myself off the emotional ledge, and that night I went to sleep with a clean conscience. I had acted in adherence with my own laws. Someone chose to take offence. That was their choice. With great love, I let go of the need for their approval. Nothing bad happened. #Sorrynotsorry.
Freeing myself from the need to get other people’s approval has been CRITICAL in my path to playing a much bigger game.
But it’s not the only career shaping lesson I have learned.
I’m hosting a free training Get Out Of Your Own Way: 5 Career Shaping Lessons to Unleash Your Inner Powerhouse & Position Yourself as a High Potential Leader.
- The “Good Girl” rules you need to break in order to achieve personal freedom AND step onto the leadership track
- Mindset shifts that will not only empower you to be (way) happier, but also double your productivity
- How to attract promotions and job opportunities that you consider out of your reach
I’ll also give you details about my upcoming program, the Impact & Influence Leadership Lab For Women.
Click here to get yourself registered. And if you know of women who would benefit from the training, please share this post with them.
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