I wrote this question down at a conference this year “What’s the big change in your leadership?”. Unfortunately, I don’t remember why I wrote the question down at the time. I came across this note months later and have lost the context. Fortunately, this worked in my benefit. I simply asked myself what’s the big change in my leadership…this year.
I think it can be very dangerous to be willing to constantly learn and not challenge things you have learned in the past. Yet, I don’t do this reflection nearly enough. As a result, what better time to ponder this but as we near the end of 2019.
Ardita Karaj, a wonderfully talented woman, posted this article on facebook. Now my obvious reaction was ‘Seriously?!?!?’…ok, it was more colorful but this is a professional blog post. I moved on without much thought – that is until I read this question. I suddenly remembered that I did read a book (required) in my first professional job out of college. I can’t remember the name but there was two pieces of “advice” that stood out to me and always stayed with me…if a woman, always have your nails done and cautiously interject. Now the first, I genuinely laughed about and thought “I always have my nails done; I find it relaxing process”. I didn’t think about what message that was really telling me and if I’m honest, I pretty much always have my nails done. Now is that from the advice or just who I am…not sure. It’s the second one that really is haunting me now. I’m an extroverted, tall, loud and passionate woman. I can be intimidating. So entering things cautiously with disclaimers is my go to over the years. I noticed it last week in a board of directors meeting. I opened with the statement “I’m just going to put this out there but it may be only me”. I totally knew it wasn’t just me. Why did I feel the need to be cautious? Why did I need to downplay? Did I do that before I read this “advice”? I honestly do not know.
This is the big change I want to make in my leadership next…learn how to be less cautious. Not rude. Not domineering. Not arrogant. Simply to own my engagement without the disclaimers with less cautious for myself and more thought for others. I will have to unlearn quite a few things but I’m ready. I hate that 2019 Tricia didn’t see herself in that article, but 2020 Tricia will make sure she doesn’t contribute to these outdated and never valid concepts.
What will be your big change in leadership?