Find Your Purpose, Start Overcoming Two Habits Holding Women Leaders Back

Last week I wrote about the list of behaviors that hold women back as identified by Sally Helgesen and Marshall Goldsmith in their book How Women Rise. None of the habits help women grow as leaders and, most importantly, change is hard.

Where to start

One place to start improving as a leader is to create your personal purpose. Having clarity about what you want to offer the world is helpful to keep you on track with changing behavior.

Write down your personal purpose. Many of us struggle with this exercise. Take a moment to think about your top three natural talents, skills you gave gained and the values you will not live without. Use a mind map to capture these and see connections and what it makes you a natural at what you to want to accomplish in your life and for the world around you.

Now complete this sentence: With my skills, talents and values, my purpose is to …… in the world. Repeat this sentence to yourself over and over. This will help you refine it and shorten it to some key words that encapsulate your purpose, therefore making it easily accessible as a reference point.

Knowing your purpose will help to give you clarity about what behavior you want to change.

Habits 1 and 2

Helgesen and Goldsmith identified that several habits appear in clusters. They feed off each other.

Habits 1 and 2 are commonly experienced in tandem, namely:

Habit 1 – Reluctance to Claim Your Achievements

Habit 2 – Expecting Others to Spontaneously Notice and Reward Your Contributions

In most cultures girls are taught what “ladylike” behavior is and isn’t. Blowing your own horn and drawing attention to yourself is seen as obnoxious behavior moreover, it is unbecoming of a woman. In a work environment, especially when competing with men, these two habits can be detrimental to your career progress.

Four things you can do

If you know that you have these two habits and want to change them, start doing these four things:

  1. Use your purpose to scrutinize what behaviors hold you back from accomplishing your purpose.
  2. Select one behavior that you can commit to doing every day that is different and that will move you in the right direction.
  3. Publicize your desire to work on these behaviors and enlist a coupe of buddies to support you and give you feedback regularly, even daily. Having accountability partners supports and encourages us, especially when we tend to slip into the old habits.
  4. Practice your new behavior daily until you see significant change based on feedback from your accountability buddies.

I can help you identify your purpose, select a key behavior to work on and change your habits.

Email me if you need this help. Like and forward freely.


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