Power Is Just Different for Women for All Kinds of Good Reasons.
Issue 98 — June 17, 2019
A tweet I was mentioned last week caught my eye because it got retweeted multiple times. It highlighted the “Working Women’s Handbook.” “The workplace still isn’t equal,” starts the article’s accurate tagline. The next part, “Learn to dodge the landmines, fight bias and not burn out in the process,” raised a warning flag.
Self-help books and articles sell well because we’re always looking for simple solutions to whatever is bugging us. I’m a pushover for them too. They meet real human needs to deal with bumps in the road, skill gaps, insecurities, and emotional barriers that hold us back. Nothing wrong with that.
But what most struck me about this cleverly written and quite useful handbook is that it’s primarily teaching its largely female readers to play defense. To dodge landmines rather than identify them, deactivate them, and clear the path so you can continue toward your larger purpose.
Changing the system instead of changing yourself.
I have found that I’m much more successful when I get on the positive track of defining my own terms so I can expend less energy playing defense — which I personally find exhausting mentally and physically. Instead, being proactive about removing barriers to where I want to go to achieve my purpose, rather than dodging them is inherently energizing and helps keep me from stressing over the smaller stuff so much.
Yes, I’ll be giving some specific tips (OK, I get the irony) and tools for that positive approach on the free webinar I invite you to join June 19 at noon PDT/3pm EDT, and I most cordially, perhaps urgently, invite you to join me in this live conversation with one of my most esteemed colleagues, Danny Ceballos, founder of Unleashed Consulting.
Here are the topics we’ll be discussing. If they interest you, tweet me @GloriaFeldt in advance to let me know you’re going to be with us and what specific questions on the topic you’d like me to discuss:
What leadership means for women in 2019 — and how you can specifically increase and leverage your own impact and influence in the #metoo era.
How working with both men and women is changing the face of leadership in this country — and lessons you can apply in your own work as a leader.
Dismantling systemic power and privilege while remaining inclusive by changing the power paradigm — and implications for your own leadership development.
Wednesday, June 19
12pm PT / 3pm ET
You will leave this webinar:
Understanding the #1 thing you can do immediately to establish yourself as a leader!
Learning a NEW way of thinking that will change your relationship with power, privilege, and your very identity as a leader.
Ready to apply, 3 easy-to-use strategies that can focus your intentions and increase your productivity as a leader.
Space is very limited. Get all the details and register FOR FREE right here.
I’m delighted to see an increasing number of leadership experts and consultants talking about power. It’s a topic that I have been obsessed with for a decade. It propelled me to research and write No Excuses: 9 Ways Women Can Change How We Think About Power.
That book in turn led me to co-found Take The Lead in order to bring what I learned, including the 9 Leadership Power Tools program, to every woman who is struggling with the toxic mix of stereotype threat , implicit bias, and objectification that results in women lagging 20% behind men in pay and position despite superior education and a business case that shows companies with more women in their upper leadership make more money than those with fewer women.
I found that both men and women have been socialized to define power as the power over others and to assume scarcity in all resources. But for women, who have borne the brunt of such negative aspects of that power over mentality (think #metoo, for starters), it’s especially painful. Power, in both perception and practice, really is different for women.
Fortunately, the power paradigm shift absolutely necessary for business success today and even more so in the future is to reconceptualize it as the positive, innovative, expansive “power TO.” When I tell women to think this way, I see their masks fall off and they express their relief at getting rid of that stressful artful dodging mentality.
It’s not an airy-fairy idea. In fact, it’s exhilarating and liberating us to be our authentic selves and embrace our power with intention, confidence, and joy in the challenges that we encounter along the way. While especially helpful to women, I believe men today are also hungry for this paradigm shift and that the world will be a healthier, happier place when we all embrace it.
Hope everyone had a good Father’s Day. This is me wearing my Daddy’s watch. Though he’s been gone over 25 years, the watch still works and always reminds me of how he taught me anything is possible.
I love bringing this message of staying on purpose, changing the power paradigm, and, yes, practical tips and tools for how to achieve it, to women and men struggling to make their work meaningful, enjoyable, and effective in today’s often stressful and chaotic world. I hope you’ll join Danny and me as we explore it all on June 19.
That link again to register for free is here: https://unleashedconsult.com/take-the-lead.html.