3 Tips for Being Powerful

By Susan West

“Women as passionate leaders enhance the world unleashing communities of compassion, vitality, abundance and creativity. When confident, women give and share all they have with others. Inspire their leadership and we all benefit.”

This is my vision. And, every day I strive to empower passionate leadership in women. It is my belief more women need to step up. Women need to recognize what they have to offer. Women need to make a difference in bigger ways.

Here are three key ways you can begin to take your leadership to the next level:

1) Know Who You Are. Be aware of the impact you are having on others. Being so task oriented and deadline driven, you do not take the time to understand how you are interfacing with others. How effective are you? Are your messages being understood as you intended them? How do others perceive you? Increasing your awareness of your own behaviors and the impact it has on others, allows you the opportunity for more choices; the choice to take a more powerful action. Today, for one day, be totally aware of your actions and how others are responding. Are you being overlooked, ignored? Or are you dominating the conversation, talking too much? Observe the reaction, check for understanding and be aware of how your behaviors are impacting others. This is the powerful beginning of becoming a passionate leader.

2) Invest In Yourself. Create your own net worth. So often women put themselves last taking care of others first. Increasing my awareness, as suggested in the point above, allowed me to see how when I let myself get rattled, frustrated or if I felt insecure or lacking, it had a major effect on my family and on my team. Their behavior became a reflection of my own. What a mess that was! I began to take ownership of my personal and professional development. I began to invest in myself. This meant I took time out of the office to attend workshops or attend evening seminars. I sought out learning opportunities in my career accepting lateral moves and asking for promotional positions. By investing in myself, I knew I could learn anything and my confidence grew. And, I learned to value myself and others did too. Ultimately, my net worth increased.

3) Celebrate Small Victories! You can get caught up in the daily tasks; the daily challenges and forget how far you have come. I love taking a few moments each month to see how I am doing, how my family is growing, how the team is progressing and how the organization is faring. I look to see if we satisfied the customer, reached a milestone in a project or learned something new. I do not need much to Celebrate! A toast to a job well done with the click of two coffee mugs, a bit of chocolate to share, a thank you note to the team or dinner out with the family… take the time each month to Celebrate the Small Victories!

When women find their leadership voice and stand by their values in all areas of their life, the lives of everyone around them changes for the better. I encourage you to experience the rewards of leadership by stepping up one day at a time.

The Value of Leadership at Home

by Susan West

Share your leadership strengths at home! One of the best things I ever did was to share with my two young sons, the leadership roles that I held. I remember clearly one evening driving home with my young boys after they had spent the evening with their Grandmother because I had attended an evening meeting. They asked me why I had to go to a meeting. I realized that I had not shared very much with them about the organization I was involved with. So, I went on to tell them that I was President of the group and that I had a lot of people depending on me. I was very surprised at their reaction – “Wow Mom, you’re a President? Like the President of the United States?” I said yes and then told them more about the group.

My sons were proud of me and began to see their Mom in a new light. By sharing my volunteer events with them in that ride home, we both learned more. I realized how much my young sons could comprehend and appreciate. They learned more about the opportunities available, about volunteering and the many roles I played beyond being their Mom. It opened the communication lines in a whole new way.

Bringing your leadership into the home can be valuable in other ways. I often share information about training I have had at work, how I facilitated an event or managed a project. This provides an opportunity for my sons to ask questions and learn more about business. Many times I bring home team building exercises for us to do as a family. I have also had them take a self assessment. Then we all discuss how we are different, what are strengths are, and how we are contributing to the family. Because my family is very open, our discussions were at times very humbling!

The take away of bringing your leadership skills into your home can be invaluable for you and your family. Give it a try!

How to get Free Leadership Development and Training

Volunteering is a very effective way to grow your leadership skills. When I look back over my professional life, I found that participating in different organizations and associations allowed me the opportunity to step out and try to lead. Charity organizations and associations are always looking for people who want to step up to leadership positions.

The time it takes for volunteering can be a big commitment, however the rewards in hands on leadership learning are very valuable. I joined the Business and Professional Women’s organization for networking opportunities and soon found myself nominated for Treasurer and then President. This was a friendly group for me to learn how to facilitate a meeting, organize and manage chairpersons and events, set objectives, etc. I found many mentors in the group who were willing to give me guidance, who wanted to see me succeed.

Today I continue to volunteer. I am an Executive Advisor to the Board for the Automotive Women’s Alliance Foundation. I love being able to help others try their leadership wings.

I encourage you to find an organization which represents something you love and join. Sign up to be a chair of a committee, to be a officer… You will find the experience priceless!

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