Do you believe that you’ve earned the right to be where you are right now?
Do you accept that you’ve earned the right to have the title, the job, the pay, and the power?
Women leaders, do you show up every day connecting your power, with your purpose?
These are critical questions that generally don’t get asked as we seek leadership roles. As women, we have internal issues that can self-sabotage our ability to be effective leaders. Let’s be honest with ourselves—we walk around with luggage that has yet to be unpacked. Our male counterparts have the same stacks of baggage, but they manage to ascend to leadership even if they exhibit narcissistic tendencies and are clearly unqualified. Men don’t second-guess their decisions; they are okay being wrong if they get to their goal. We, on the other hand, make excuses for our leadership vision and find everyone to blame when we don’t get there. The dismal number of women in leadership validates our assumptions, but we must still ask ourselves—why do some women make it to the top, while others take the first step on the ladder and fall off right away? Could it be that they don’t think they deserve to climb the ladder?
High-Potential Women, Do You Deserve to be Here?
This question came up last night as I watched several episodes of, Marcus Lemonis – “The Partner”. I couldn’t help but make some interesting observations about the women who vied to become his partner. These observations could be made in any office across the world and about any woman on the leader ladder. Here are my observations:
- Power is emotional – the three women who made it to the “almost final” round, cried a lot. I had to ask, why-why are you crying? While the stress of competition can be brutal, I often find that women become so emotional that they lose sight of why they are there. What causes us to cry? Men aren’t shedding any tears, at least not until they win.
- Confidence is necessary – again a keen observation, Mr. Lemonis said several times, “Where did your confidence go?.” That’s a great question – when you show up are you confident or are you insecure? Are your insecurities stopping you from living up to your expectations or the expectations others have of you?
- Leadership is empowering – one of the most heart-aching discussion occurred with Buffie Purselle – Mr. Lemonis asked her, do you feel that you’ve earned the right to be here? If you don’t feel that you’ve earned the right to sit at the table how can you be effective? The fear of showing up with power on our side can leave many women doubting the hard work they’ve done to arrive at the table.
Showing up as a confident, powerful woman – can scare the bejesus out of you, but you’ve got to do it. Let me say it again, you deserve to be here!
(Every aspiring women leader should watch the “The Partner” episodes – they’re very informative and packed with leadership lessons.)
As women, we need to understand at a visceral level that we’ve earned the right to sit at the table. We must check our emotions at the door – yes, you want to cry – but don’t let them see you as a vulnerable woman wrapped in emotional turmoil. We must be reminded before we walk into the room, that we’ve earned the right to open the door. Before we pull up the chair to sit at the table, we must understand that we’ve earned the right to voice our opinions. After we sit down, we must embrace the power that’s inside of us to release our voice and ask for what we want. When your emotions get the best of you, you must be reminded that you have the power to play the game.
High-potential women leaders will remain ineffective until you understand that the root of your power lies within you. You deserve to be here. Say it out loud, “I’ve earned the right to be here.”
Find Your Power – You’ve earned the right to be a leader – show up like you belong there.