Monday, September 15, 2014

Ladder lessons...

A lot of us aspire to climb the corporate ladder and there's nothing wrong with that. There just a few things we need to learn about the ladder.

The first thing about climbing is that it has to start with a decision - your decision. As supportive as my husband has been and with all he's said and done to empower, the decision has still remained with me whether to proceed or not. Andrew Carnegie rightly said "You cannot push anyone up the ladder unless he (she) is willing to climb."

2nd lesson: Doing is required. Ladders are stationary and cannot climb people - you know like our children climb us when they want to be carried or just played with. Just as no one can push you up the ladder, you need to get your hands out of your pocket on to the ladder. For those who may have gotten to the top in an "elevator" (or lift) e.g. by a parent, it is important to remember that what got you there will not keep you there. Each person has a part to play in their continued success.

The 3rd lesson I've learned is that our dressing matters... There are multiple dimensions to dressing. I've written quite a bit about physical dressing so I'll focus on the emotional and social dressing this time. Zig Ziglar said: "You cannot climb the ladder of success dressed in the costume of failure." We all know what it means to be dressed for an occassion. I remember seeing a lady in her traditional outfit and children around asked "Auntie, are you going to church?"  Our mental and emotional make-up shows on the outside. If one feels like a failure, because they may have failed before, chances are that the person will act in fear like a failure and succeed in failing. We need to address and dress our minds to know that the fact that one has failed (one or more times) doesn't make the person a failure. Learn from the failure(s) and move on...

Destination is the 4th lesson. Before you start climbing and as you climb, you need to have a fair idea of where you want to end up. Otherwise, you may spend (many) years in school or at job and never find fulfillment because you don't know where you're headed. Learn from the wisest man who ever lived -
5 Lean on, trust in, and be confident in the Lord with all your heart and mind and do not rely on your own insight or understanding. 6 In all your ways know, recognize, and acknowledge Him, and He will direct and make straight and plain your paths.*
Because "we can make our plans, but the Lord determines our steps."**
The bottom line is that:
"The Lord shows us how we should live,  and he is pleased when he sees people living that way."*** So when you follow God's guidance, step by step, your ladder will always be leaning on the right building...and you'll be pleased with your destination.

Sources:
* Prov 3:5-6 (Amplified)
** Prov 16:9 (NLT)
***Ps 37:23 (ERV)

Monday, September 1, 2014

Leading from behind...


When you hear about leadership, most times it's about being a visible and vocal "head" of a team. Lots of leaders want to be seen and take the credit for the good work their team members produce. however, the more I think about my leadership journey, the more I want to lead from behind.

Jack Welch the former Chairman and CEO of General Electric said:

Before you are a leader, success is all about growing yourself.
When you become a leader, success is all about growing others.

Growing others is something that happens mostly "in the dark"  - just as seeds develop roots in the soil where it's dark. It also takes a lot of patience. Imagine what would happen if you plant then dig up the seed everyday to check if it's growing? It will die before it takes root. So growing or developing others does not need to be broadcast to others and requires quite a bit of patience. The growth will show from the quality of fruit your team members produce. 

Nelson Mandela's advice is one every leader should take to heart:
"It is better to lead from behind and to put others in front, especially when you celebrate victory when nice things occur. You take the front line when there is danger. Then people will appreciate your leadership."

Leading from behind for me is all about encouraging others to discover & express their full potential and also be there (behind them) to have their back i.e. provide cover.

It will be nice to hear from you what you think about "Leading from behind..." You can send me an email: empoweredwomenexcel@gmail.com or comment on this post.