How do you make a difference when you feel something is holding you back and how do you stay true to yourself instead of fitting in?
These questions might be on top of your mind. Are you alone in this? The answer is no. Many other women leaders feel the same. Here’s part of my own leadership journey:
In 2006 I became corporate secretary to the Executive Board of a Dutch energy company. It was part of my management development process and I was trilled that I got this opportunity. It was the year in which “An Inconvenient Truth” was released, the documentary of Al Gore about climate change. And I was working for the executive board, people who had the power to make a positive impact. At first sight my experience in working directly with top executives was a disappointment. I expected to meet leaders who were driven by purpose, who wanted to make a difference in sustainable energy. Leaders who could balance steering for profit, people and planet.
I decided to share my findings and thoughts on leadership with one of my professors at Nyenrode University who teaches about purpose-driven leadership. The next day I unexpectedly received a phone call from my boss. It appeared that I had sent the email to my boss instead of the professor! What a mistake! What I could not have foreseen was that my boss actually was impressed with the email I wrote. He had forwarded my mail to one of the board members who invited me the same day for a meeting to share my thoughts on leadership.
Ignoring my inner voice
The mistake I made changed the course of my career. But even more so, it helped me to realize how often I was actually holding myself back. How often did I nót voice my beliefs, my deepest truth? What I found out is how totally normal it was for me to ignore my inner voice in business. And whom did I deprive of my contribution by doing so? My fear of being different, of not belonging, kept me from opening-up, sharing and participating. And how many women voices are acting similarly under these circumstances? I mean the true, deeply authentic, inner voice that has the power to make a difference. That voice! I honestly believed at the time I was the only woman that did not voice what she deeply felt, but that appeared not to be the case at all!
Hitting the brake
Do you also feel the desire to make a difference as a woman leader? And are you satisfied with your contribution? Or do you, just like I do, often feel like you are fighting yourself? Do you know what this ‘fight’ is about? This is your deep longing to stay true to yourself; the need to stand up for what you believe in and to stick to your way of doing business. And this longing is suppressed by the idea that as a business woman, it’s better to adapt and try to fit in.
The moment in a meeting you feel different or you feel you don’t belong, that is an emergency signal for stepping into your leadership! This is where you release the brake! This is the moment where you can make a difference as a female leader.
The Women’s Leadership Program is for women who know they have so much more to bring into their leadership: the ability to make a difference with who they are. Feminine leadership and wisdom is about Presence. Presence to what you see, feel and notice, both inside yourself as in your environment. When you have completed the program you’ll have learned how to lead from this presence and make a difference with who you truly are.
What you’ll learn:
•You’ll come to learn about the power of your feminine energy and how you can use this energy to accomplish more with greater ease, flow and better results. On this journey, you will be guided back to the essence of being a woman, so you can access the powers of your intuition, the wisdom of your heart and the passion of your body at any time.
•Understand where your radiance and your magnetism comes from and how to ‘turn your light on’.
•Develop your own Personal Leadership Vision and gain clarity on your leadership identity, purpose and goals. Read my blog on Why a Personal Leadership Vision is so powerful.
•You’ll learn to speak up for your ideas and your wisdom powerfully and authentically. Also in front of groups. Want to get inspired on how that could look like? Take a look at the speech of Sara Kuis, one of the first alumni of The Women’s Leadership Program. She gave this speech at Carla Clarissa’s Graduation Ceremony January 7th 2017.