Continuing our case studies from last week: the skills these women learned were not the “power through”, “toughen up” kind of skills that are typical business advice in these situations. In fact, these skills fly in the face of what most business schools would suggest.
They are uniquely suited to women.
They require the use of intuition and felt sense.
They employ the use of power and dominance in a way that speaks to the animal body as opposed to the mind.
And they build the willingness to not only be fully embodied and present in the moment but also clearly state what is happening.
In short, they give women the ability to play the success game while bringing ALL aspects of herself to the table.
Second, these skills are not pop-psychology, quick-fix tricks nor are they designed to only work for a specific period of time or a specific situation. As one client stated:
“Your advice is based on science, logic and reason not just fluffy mumbo jumbo and the kind of support you get from your girlfriends ‘You’ll be fine, just relax, you know you’re great’, which is lovely but doesn’t actually provide any means to resolve the issue.”
You may wonder where these tools came from and how they were formed. The truth is, they came from the crucible of my own failures, from learning alongside other women and our subsequent successes, and from teaching others.
I’m willing to bet that, like me, you believe in working your weaknesses until they become your strengths.
After I left aerospace the first time I spent years learning everything I could about the social side of business, neuroscience, attention training, emotional intelligence, leadership, influence and power. Not always in the places you’d expect. And then I went back to aerospace and found I’d not just regained all the momentum and motivation I’d lost previously, I’d found life jet fuel! In five short years I more than doubled my salary, landed a role as a corporate Vice President and worked at Sir Richard Branson’s and Paul G. Allen’s space companies. Those years were the most productive and satisfying of my professional life to that point.
Now that’s not to say that learning these skills will make you completely impervious. I, the women alongside whom I learned, and the women whom I have taught, all still get caught out. We still have moments of speechlessness and doubt.
But the difference is, we now have the skills with which to move through and past those “Not This” moments, and a supportive community that gets what we’re doing and why.
Freshly divorced, one woman I know was faced with a bullying boss and a Queen Bee intent on minimizing her visibility and success. She didn’t have the emotional bandwidth to deal with both effectively at the time, so she relied on that supportive community of male and female allies to get her through some of the toughest work situations of her professional life. And she went on to bigger and better successes.
And that’s why I do the work I do.
To equip more women with these tools, and see them grow into their leadership ability, increase their resilience, increase their motivation and build a network of allies.
To see more women at every rung of the business ladder, all the way to the top. And that’s how we get to gender parity, and that’s how we will be able to say “An Equal World is an Enabled Word” and see it come to fruition.
And that’s why I created Career Boost. Perhaps I’ll see you and your girlfriends there. I really hope so.