Leadership is defined as “the action of leading a group of people or an organization”. However, I believe that good leadership means leading ourselves first! For women, the leadership roles that we take on – by choice, by chance, or by necessity – can be both rewarding and overwhelming. The rewards are pretty obvious; successful business ventures, happy relationships, growing families and close friends. These things can all be overwhelming, too. Let’s face it, they all involve real work on some level and they all need your consistent involvement.
As we move through our day-to-day responsibilities we often lose ourselves in the needs of those we lead and serve. Think about it: when was the last time you postponed something that you needed or wanted and instead invested your time and energy in your family or business? Did you skip your workout to schedule a last-minute meeting? Stay up late so you could catch up on emails? Cancel plans to meet a deadline? Put off a hair appointment for a kid's soccer game? Hey, it happens, we all do it. But when it starts to happen more often than not, you need to look at what you’re really sacrificing.
Oxygen Mask on YOU First
As women, we face a unique set of challenges in leadership, both in the business world and at home. We are expected to find a work/life balance that meets the needs of our clients and families and still allows us to have a life away from the needs of others. You remember that “life", right? Dinner with friends, that hobby you love, time to pamper yourself…whatever it is the rejuvenates you? If you forgot, it’s probably because that is the first thing to go when things get busy or stressful at work or at home. And as leaders, it can be difficult to find a way to manage stress that doesn’t create yet another time-management conflict. What if I told you that you can, and should, carve out the time you need to keep yourself mentally and physically well? In fact, your business and your personal life can benefit from your well-being. The reason they tell you on the airplane to put the oxygen mask on yourself first applies in our day to day lives as well, if we can't lead ourselves well, we are not going to be able to lead others well.
Communication is Key
Another huge factor in good leadership success is effective communication. Your verbal communication skills are obviously very important. The success of your life hinges on your ability to communicate your ideas, plans, and goals in an effective manner. However, communication is more than the conveyance of words. We communicate verbally and non-verbally and the better we are at creating shared meaning with those we lead, the more success we can have. Learning how to effectively communicate with colleagues, employees, family members and friends can help you simplify your life by cutting down on misunderstandings. It can also help you increase efficiency at work and is a very important part of successful conflict resolution.
Help is Here!
Finding that balance between the things that need to be done and the things you would like to do can be difficult - this is where I can help you. My Leadership Retreat for Women is a unique opportunity for you to learn how to lead yourself well – body, mind and business. Discover why it is so important to take care of yourself, learn new leadership skills and how your well-being can positively impact your leadership experience - and have FUN! Meet like-minded women and learn, together, new skills to improve your life and business in a relaxing environment. Forget about boring conference rooms and Power Point presentations. As we work through this two-part weekend, we will be on the beach, poolside, on a catamaran and at the spa. The first part of the retreat will focus on evaluating how you take care of yourself and implementing plans for growth and development. During the second half of the retreat, we will work on improving our communication, conflict resolution and interpersonal skills as leaders.
Click here for more information or to complete the application for the retreat. Space is extremely limited; don’t miss your chance to take part in this unique approach to self-development. Guys, don't worry, there is something for you coming up soon as well, so stay tune! In the meantime, pass this along to a women in your life who needs to reconnect with herself.
Have you ever had such an amazing life experience that you thought you were going to need someone to pinch you to make sure it was all real? Well, that has essentially been my story over the past 10 months! It all started with my intention to transition from my corporate role to start my own leadership and personal development company, AMO Consulting. It’s been a wild ride full of crazy learning experiences with a lot of cool perks along the way that I’ll definitely share in a future post! But the biggest lesson I learned is that every crazy learning experience was worth it to be able to experience what you see in the pic…me capturing the view of the ocean from my new dream home in Puerto Rico!
In June 2013, I set my intentions on starting my business. In September 2013, I set my intentions on moving to my dream location of Puerto Rico. And on April 1st, 2014, I was able to take this picture to show that my dream was no longer just a dream!
I don’t know if you’re catching the key theme here, but my successes didn’t just appear in my life! My successes came from developing an intentional mindset and lifestyle that as I’ve found out…really does WORK! While I’ve learned so many things in preparing for the last 10 months and then living them…here are five steps to ensure you live the life you want instead of living the type of life you desire to change.
5 Steps to Intentional Living:
“You are never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream.”
Doing something new and different is hard. Whether it is changing careers after 15 years, starting a family, or quitting a steady job to start your own business or become a surfer in Costa Rica, it all takes courage, vulnerability, maybe a little bit of crazy and a lot of determination. But many times the risk and the cost to take those first steps toward your dream is so worth it when you look back at the end of your first year and think, man I am so glad I did this because the sleepless nights are worth it every time I see that baby smile, or work doesn't even feel like work anymore. Following your passion can be scary and risky and difficult but it is worth it!
When I coach people, one of the things I hear myself saying over and over is, nobody wants to be or should be miserable at work, so figure out what you love and do that. People usually then tell me many excuses or reasons why they can't. But after we work though some of those "reasons", what it boils down to at the core usually is FEAR.
We are afraid of what people will think of us, we are afraid of not making ends meet, we are afraid of failing and countless other things. In order to get over those fears, we need to develop the courage to look deep into ourselves and see what the source of the fear truly is, and then identify what the worst case scenarios might be. Really think through those what ifs. And most of the times, they then figure out the what ifs can be overcome, they aren't as devastating as we thought they might be.
My twitter friend Jon Acuff has a new book that just came out called Start. One of the tag lines is "punch fear in the face." How awesome is that?! I absolutely love this line and I love saying it to people. Watch the video below and think about what you want to start. If you want to take the concept further you can attend the Start Conference in Nashville this September.
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