“Each woman has only one genuine vocation – to find the way back to herself.”
– Paraphrased from Hermann Hesse, Swiss writer
It’s time to redefine leadership, according to Valia Glytsis, presenter of the webinar The Mindset of a Leader: Leadership Development from the Inside-Out. Genuine leadership, she says, is not a result of external symbols of success like important-sounding titles and swanky offices. Instead it is an “inside-out” mindset that comes when women tap into and exude their inner strengths.
It sounds good in theory, but how can women shift their thinking to become stronger leaders? Glytsis offered these practical suggestions:
Get some EQ, fast
Many people think intelligence alone gets them to the top, but emotional intelligence is extremely important. “Genuine leadership is less about what you know and more about how people experience you and how you show up every day,” said Glytsis. One way to improve emotional intelligence is to “be present” when receiving information, and focus on taking action afterwards.
Be the boss of your thoughts
Thoughts lead to feelings, feelings lead to actions, and actions lead to results. Got that? When developing their leadership muscle, many women ignore their thoughts and feelings and instead start with action. They try to change themselves to get different results, but women first must change their thought patterns. Find out what is “quintessentially you,” said Glytsis, and turn it into your mantra. If resilience is a strong trait, a suitable mantra could be: “I can figure this out.” Altering self-narratives can lead to positive feelings, actions and successful results.
Leverage your strengths
More businesses are paying attention to strengths-based leadership, but what is it exactly? Simply put: women who know and use their strengths are more successful and receive more promotions and higher compensation. What happens to women who ignore their strengths? Long-term stress, depression and job dissatisfaction are just a few of the unpleasant outcomes.
Stop looking over your shoulders
Stop comparing yourself to others! In doing that, women “start becoming a ‘mosaic’ of what others want” them to be, said Glytsis. At the beginning of their careers, women who compare themselves can become adaptable – which is a positive trait. The “challenge arises when we continue to do this, resulting in the loss of your unique voice,” she added.
Beware of impostor syndrome
Surprisingly, Glytsis said a common misconception among high achievers is they are the “one person who doesn’t belong in an organization.” Covering up this feeling only worsens it so talk about it before it takes over. Bring it into the light to see that it is not real.
Understand your hot buttons
Everyone has triggers – patterns of how they react to situations – and sometimes they lead to less-than-desirable results. Here’s the good news: by understanding their triggers, women can prepare and choose their responses more carefully. Preparation leads to different, more successful outcomes than giving in to old patterns. Reacting is a habit while responding is a choice, and great leaders make concerted choices.
Bring your full self to a role
Many women have a “work self” and a “home self,” never mixing the two for fear one might negatively impact the other. Genuine leadership requires that women integrate the different aspects of their personalities and be “brave enough to bring all” of themselves, said Glytsis. In other words, there “should not be a gap between the ‘work you’ and the ‘home you’,” she said.
Experience the full benefit of Valia Glytsis’s presentation by watching the webinar today. A full library of previous Forté webinars are available to Premium Access Pass members. For $50/year, the Access Pass members receive exclusive invitations to Women Lead webinars and in-person Women Lead events. Access Pass members also have exclusive use of the Forté Job Center; you can browse positions and post your resumé to be seen by leading companies seeking top talent.
For more information, visit Valia Glytsis’s website, The Paradox of Leadership.