Power Tool Goals: 2018 Is Your Year To Take The Lead
We’ve heard it was The Year of The Woman before, but we definitely believe this is the Year of Women Taking The Lead.
2018 is a new year of action and movement, not just resisting but doing. What #MeToo has taught us is that we too together can enact the goals we aim for, beginning with ourselves.
At Take The Lead we are taking our goals for 2018 seriously and defining how we will each flip on the power to achieve them, instead of referring to the framework as power over something or someone else. We are committing to these goals using the 9 Leadership Power Tools and we are mindful of how to achieve them.
“And what is power but the ability to act without interference, without being exploited or forced to jump through hoops and navigate the (often abused) authority of others,” writes Liz Elting, CEP, in Forbes.
The timing for women to take the lead for themselves in 2018 is not solely connected to the #MeToo stories, it is much bigger than that, Elting writes.
“But this isn’t just the resurfacing of trauma; it’s a truly massive opportunity to level the playing field in some very interesting ways. Because it isn’t really about rights, or laws, or fair treatment; it’s about power,” Elting writes.
“I find myself referring to my power tools every day, because each day brings new challenges,” says Gloria Feldt, co-founder and president of Take The Lead.
“In 2018, I will focus most on the 3 powers of executive intention–vision, courage, and action–and use those to raise the funds we need to turn this incredible #MeToo moment into women’s #PowerToLead every day,” Feldt says. “Watch for new courses, new resources, and laser focus on the mission of gender parity by 2025.”
It is time to get to the business of definitively setting goals and meeting them in order to produce change.
“Setting goals is a good first step, but you can’t just set a vague goal and leave it at that. Sit down and write out your goal in detail: What exactly do you want to accomplish? Why do you want to accomplish this goal? What steps do you need to take to get the ball rolling? What will you do to keep yourself motivated? How will you reward yourself?” asks Dr. Ilona Jeberek, president of Psych Tests.
A new study by sychTests.comP examines data from 9,654 individuals who took their Goal-Setting Test, defines the personality types of people who are likely to meet their goals. It turns out goal achievers have a lot in common with each other, and not so much compared to moderate achievers and non-achievers.
The study shows that 65 percent of goal-achievers recognize the importance of making solid plans for the future. They’re clear about what they want to achieve, when, and how. That compares to 52 percent of moderate achievers and 33 percent of non-achievers, according to Jeberek.
More than 77 percent of goal-achievers vs. 49 percent of moderate achievers and 14 percent of non-achievers set appropriate goals.
“This means establishing aspirations that are challenging yet reasonable,.” Jeberek says. “The majority of goal-achievers, or 78 percent, refuse to short-change themselves. They won’t set their sights unreasonably high, but they also won’t set them too low.”
Here is a rundown of the 9 Leadership Power Tools and how you can specifically use them as foundations to define your 2018 goals. Make this year the year you take action to take the lead.
Know Your History. This means more than rereading your CV or resume. Set aside some time to understand how you operate on a team or in a leadership position and why it is or isn’t working for you. Understanding the realities of your professional situation helps you to “create the future of your choice,” Feldt says. Make a list of what lessons you can learn from each workplace where you have played a role and deconstruct your role in the successes or failures in each position you held. Set goals to move past the mistakes and replicate more success. Do not frame any of this negatively, instead shape it positively for the future, saying what you will do, not what you will not do
Define Your Own Terms—First, Before Anyone Else Does. “Whoever sets the terms of the debate usually wins. By redefining power not as ‘power over, but as ‘power to,’ we shift from a culture of oppression to a culture of positive intention to make things better for everyone,” says Feldt. What this means for your resolutions for action are that whether you are considering launching a new project, new position or title, new job in another company or are, or even a new career or life change, you need to settle on your priorities to make those happen for you instead of to you. You are not in a power struggle here, you are claiming the power to create for yourself the change and action you need. Whether this is in negotiating terms of a new position, or setting the parameters of your responsibilities on a project and how you will delegate, be very clear and deliberate about the terms you will abide.
Use What You’ve Got. Literally and figuratively, fully use the resources and skills you already have to the best of your ability. You don’t need to rent a new office to launch a start-up. You don’t need to buy a new suit to go to a job interview or put any plan or goal or hold until something happens to you. “What you need is almost always there. See it and use it with courage. Because power unused is power useless,” Feldt says. Decide that you are enough now to make a resolution and a plan of action for 2018.
Embrace Controversy. Perhaps you have to stood up in the workplace for fear of retaliation, or perhaps you have not aligned yourself with a coworker and backed her up in her story. The tide is shifting because of #MeToo definitely in every arena of labor in this country, from automobile manufacturing to the halls of Congress. Stand up, speak out and take action in policies seem unfair and volunteer to work on policy, shape new workplace culture procedures and rules of behavior. Create solutions. If your workplace is lucky to be free of this contamination, then speak out for others in your industry who are not so lucky and become an ally. “It gives you a platform. Nudges you to clarity. It’s your teacher, your source of strength, your friend, especially if you are trying to make a change,” Feldt says.
Carpe the Chaos. The news has been filled with chaotic shake-ups and leadership disruptions. It’s a good time to step in and clean up instead of hiding and waiting for the tsunami to recede. Chaos can serve as a cleansing agent. “Change creates chaos. Today’s changing gender roles and economic turbulence may feel chaotic and confusing. But chaos also means boundaries become more fluid. That’s when people are open to new ways of thinking, to innovation, and to new roles for women. Carpe the chaos, for in chaos is opportunity,” Feldt says. Make your resolutions about what you will do to make the workplace or your procedures different and better. How will you use the clarity of storm’s aftermath to make change?
6. Wear the Shirt (of Your Convictions). At Take The Lead we are big on wearing the causes of the issue we believe in. Be known for your values and make them clear, transparent and public. Let people know you stand against gender bias and are for the fight for gender parity in 2025. In 2018, make the resolution that you will make it clear that you will not tolerate harassment or language that is demeaning of anyone. This year, take an inventory or you belief system. “What are your core values? What’s your vision? How can you make it happen?” asks Feldt. “Stand in your power and realize your intentions.” Write out your intentions with deadlines and specific action steps to make them happen.
7. Take Action; Create a Movement. So you have a roadmap of your vision, so move beyond just talking about it and map out the route to get there. “Things don’t just happen. People make them happen in a systematic way. And you can change systems,” Feldt says. What new behaviors or steps that are specific and doable will you beging working on this week in order to take the lead for change in 2018. “Apply the three movement building principles of Sister Courage (be a sister, act with courage, put them together to create a plan) and you will realize your vision at work, at home or in public life,” Feldt says.
8. Employ Every Medium. If you do not understand or grasp the importance of social media platforms for your company brand or your own professional identity, embrace the opportunity to learn more about them. You can increase your reach, your customer base and even begin unlikely collaborations or partnerships. “Use personal, social, and traditional media every step of the way. Use the medium of your own voice. And think of each of the power tools as a medium to be pressed into the service of your ‘power to’ accomplish your goals for 2018, Feldt says.
9. Tell Your Story. This does not mean that you take every opening in a conversation to drone on about yourself. But do use the specifics of your narrative to relate to your colleagues, employees and customers. Use personal storytelling as a compelling leadership tool. “Your story is your truth. Your truth is your power. Telling your story authentically helps you lead (not follow) your dreams and have an unlimited life,” Feldt says. You create empathy and connection when you are vulnerable and open about your own story. Be sure you spend as much time listening to other’s story as well.
All of this is great advice for all of us taking the lead in 2018. An additional caveat that is helpful in achieving your 2018 goals is to move forward one a step at a time.
“Whether it’s in creative work, athletics, business, or academics, you’ve got to practice pacing. If you “go big” and over-exert yourself too early, you’re likely to end up in trouble; either in over your head, prematurely fatigued, or injured and burned out,” writes Brad Stulberg in Thrive Global.
The author of Peak Performance: Elevate Your Game, Avoid Burnout, and Thrive with the New Science of Success, Stulberg writes, “Small steps open up the door for compounding gains: each day you get a little bit better from the place you were the day before. On a day-to-day basis the gains may seem trivial — perhaps even too small to notice— but looking back over weeks, months, and years the gains can be enormous.”
The good news is that in spite of the common claim of Imposter Syndrome, nearly all, or 91 percent of goal-achievers refuse to allow self-doubt to hinder their efforts, according to Jeberek. They believe in themselves and in their ability to succeed. This compares to 77 percent of moderate achievers and 58 percent of non-achievers.
Take action and take the lead in 2018. We applaud your efforts.
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About the Author
Michele Weldon is editorial director of Take The Lead, an award-winning author, journalist, emerita faculty in journalism at Northwestern University and a senior leader with The OpEd Project. @micheleweldon www.micheleweldon.com