Women leaders have many daily challenges that can throw them off balance, creating internal discord. It could be the way your morning started with a family matter that extracted the critical extra 15 minutes you needed to gather your thoughts while preparing for your day. Or if you have kids at home, where you have likely been working more, the interruptions that are common no matter their age can break your concentration. Or it could be an interaction with your boss, a colleague, client or direct report that is leaving you with a nagging feeling that it did not go as well as you had hoped. There is also that nagging sense of so much to do, not enough time that looms in the background like a time demon nipping at your heels.
While I believe balance is not the goal, it is important to be able to notice when you are off balance personally, as this impacts things professionally. I suggest that the feeling of being off balance, points to the challenge of how you find alignment with what you are up to. Balance in my view suggests a pursuit for equality in how we allocate our time between life & work, while alignment suggests clarity of purpose, intention and goals. These three elements are crucial for finding your way to a sense of fulfillment and satisfaction in your days which add up quickly to weeks, months, and years.
As a woman leader, often just being in a business work environment can create misalignment. Many work environments are based on a masculine way of working, leading with priorities that often don’t align with our values. This is not just a gender issue. Many women leaders have adeptly adopted a masculine way of leading and are highly successful in those environments, based on the traditional measures of success. As a woman leader, maybe you have figured this out, and have also learned to navigate in these types of environments, good for you! I suggest that maybe you have adapted, but in so doing, you have likely adjusted yourself to fit the environment, losing some of the strengths that go with the feminine way of leading, and I wonder what might serve you better?
If you are interested in considering how you may have adapted to fit into a workplace that is likely based on the masculine way of leading here are questions for you to reflect on.
- How often do you extend yourself beyond your comfort zone at work?
- At the end of the week do you find yourself energized or exhausted?
- How often do you question your own decisions, plans or interactions?
- Do you ever have a confidence crisis?
- Do you often have the experience of having to tone yourself down or hold back emotionally at work?
- Do you ever have that sense of overwhelm with all that is on your plate?
- Do you question whether you really have what it takes to get it done?
- Is the inner voice that drives you a critical task master, or perfectionist, and rarely satisfied?
- Do you feel alone and isolated?
- Do you have time to regularly/successfully manage stress?
These questions may give you some insight to your current state of discord or alignment. In my work with women leaders, I find that most are struggling to gain the inner alignment needed to really lead and perform in ways that feel easier, truer, and that are highly effective. Work can often be a struggle, even for the most successful. My aim as a leadership coach is to help you find alignment and navigate leading even more effectively.
My leadership framework is custom designed for women leaders. Discord is the first step in the process of uncovering your own misalignments. I will continue to write about discord and the other three steps to guide you in the process of becoming more aligned as a leader. I am in the process of writing a book about this leadership framework for women leaders. As I get closer to publishing, I will share more details here in my blogs and social media. I hope you will join me as we journey through the four-step process that is tailored to you, as a woman leader.