by JoAnn Auger, Executive Coach and Trainer, MSBCoach
As a woman who has been in the workplace since the 70’s, I believe that we women have certainly made a great deal of progress and impact. There is definitely more progress to be made especially in the area of leadership. It always “pains” me when I hear a woman question how she should “act” as a leader. My simple answer to that question is always to act like you, but I know that the question and concern goes much deeper. So here are some of thoughts about who we should be as leaders:
I will end with a lesson that I learned many years ago: My first leadership position was in a predominantly all male environment with all male leadership. Every Friday for the first six months, I would write my resignation letter. The guys were rude and crude. And my direct supervisor was so demanding and always having me “re-think” most of my decisions. He said that I thought way too much with my heart and emotions and not enough with my head. In meetings, everyone talked over or just ignored me. On one particular Friday when once again I was trying to hand in my resignation letter, my supervisor gave me some advice that I still appreciate. He asked me what kind of leader I wanted to be and what did I “bring to the table”? He said that people wanted a leader who was confident, knowledgeable, honest, and that would go the distance with them, leading the charge. To be that kind of leader, I needed to be honest with myself, learn from everyone and stand up with a confident voice when necessary. And the final thing he said, “The only thing that should make you cry is a personal tragedy or that of another person. Never should it be anything that has to do with this work. What we do here every day deserves our full attention and our best effort but never does it deserve crying or being upset over. At the end of the day if you have given your very best and challenged others to do the same, you have been a good leader.” With that he tossed my resignation letter (for the final time) in the trash and told me to leave his office and go do my job. So, I leave you with this: Go do your job and do with it confidence!
JoAnn Auger serves as a coach/consultant/educator with MSBCoach. JoAnn’s experience was developed through for the largest auto insurer in the US. JoAnn incorporates more than 30 years of business and personal experience to help organizations and individuals identify and close gaps in performance and needed results. She does that by helping leaders maximize their own potential and then teaches that leader how to tap into and leverage the potential of their employees.
JoAnn is certified and trained in the following areas:
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