Tag Archives: motivation

3 Ways to Support Young Women in Their Careers

Women need to believe in themselves again.  In the late 1960’s to the 1980’s we saw women embracing their own self-worth and capabilities with strong confidence.  They didn’t need to be perfect but they wanted to make things happen and they did.

But then what happened?  For the past 15 – 20 years, we have steadily seen women fall off their career growth and success.  Yes, we know there are major societal and cultural barriers to women here in our country but there is something more subtle going on.  Women become their own worst critics.

These highly educated, capable young women start falling behind at almost every turning point in their career paths.  That inner voice of self-doubt becomes louder and they begin turning down opportunities to advance saying to themselves “I’m not good enough, qualified enough, and smart enough or the time just isn’t right”.   Interestingly, we don’t see the young men saying that at all – they tell themselves “I’ll learn it as I go”.  The result . . . they move ahead and advance quickly.

This disturbing trend has been well documented but has received little serious attention by human resource professionals or the leaders of growing organizations – all who are now scrambling to recruit and retain top talent especially among the millennial generation.

What can we do?  Here are three actions that HR departments and company leaders can take.

  • Establish one-on-one mentoring programs
  • Create confidential professional peer support groups
  • Teach coaching skills to all managers/supervisors.

This is just a short list – there is so much more that we all need to do to stop this talent drain.  Let’s help these young women grow their self-confidence so they can step up to critical leadership positions in their professional work and in their communities.  We need them!

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Do You Know Your Own “Why”

As a leader of others, do you know your own “Why”? Are you committed to this core belief? Are you able to communicate this belief clearly and consistently? Leaders are not leaders unless they have followers and people will not follow us unless they embrace the fundamental “Why” of our actions

In his book, Start With Why, Sinek describes this dynamic as the Golden Circle and maintains this is not just opinion but actually well grounded in the study of how our brains work. While on stage, he draws out 3 concentric circles on a flip chart. The “Why” is the center powered by our Limbic (emotional) brain. The next circle illustrates the “How” – the mechanics of how things get done. Finally, the outer circle is the easiest to describe – that’s the “What” we produce – the products or services.

As a business owner and leader of several community initiatives, I can easily relate to what Sinek is suggesting. When I seek to inspire and engage others to follow me in a cause or project, I am very mindful of what they are listening for – what is the “Why”? What is my purpose? What drives my commitment to them?

Sinek reminds all of us as leaders that people buy from us or work for us not for what we provide or for how we do it. People only commit to us when they believe and embrace the “Why” of our intentions and actions.  They are inspired and that is the power whether we are the leader or the follower.

I challenge you (and me too) to step back this week and think about the “Why” of what we do. We may be surprised with our insights and how they may change the future of our work.

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Start with Why

Start with Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action, Simon Sinek, 2009.

Simon Sinek has captured a powerful concept that can take our leadership influence to an amazing, higher level. He challenges us to look deeply into the “Why” of our work first before ever addressing the “How” or “What” of what we do. He makes us think – and it all makes sense. So if we want to engage and inspire others in any way, we need to start with the “Why”. Try it and let me know how it’s working for you!
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Are You Fully Charged?

Are You Fully Charged? The 3 Keys to Energizing Your Work and Life, by Tom Rath, Silicon Guild Press, 2015.

I always enjoy seeing a new Tom Rath book on the shelves. Rath (author of StrengthFinder 2.0) has a wonderful perspective on today’s challenges in our fast-paced work world. In his newest book, Rath emphasizes “daily well-being” – what makes the critical difference in feeling fully engaged each day? Rath identifies three key conditions that make all the difference in our personal and professional lives: finding meaning, positive interactions and maintaining our health & energy.

The chapter on finding meaning and purpose in our work particularly resonated for me in light of my work in Lima, Peru in June. Pick up this highly readable book up and enjoy becoming more “fully charged” starting today!

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Film Review: McFarland USA

McFarland USA, with Kevin Costner by Disney, 2015.

Okay, I admit that I’m a big Kevin Costner fan, especially in sports movies that are based on true stories. This movie, McFarland USA, is just that kind of inspiring story.

It’s about a coach, Jim White (Costner), down on his luck who moves to a farming community, McFarland, in the central valley of California. White begins to recognize the raw talent of the high school boys who are not only physically strong but show incredible perseverance and courage as they work in the fields every day to help provide for their families. White believes in their potential (and convinces them to believe in themselves) and along with the support of this hard-working, farming community, he builds a champion cross-country running team, winning the California State Championship 9 out of 14 years.

It’s an amazing story about seeing and believing in others’ strengths as well as our own!

Here’s a link to one of the movie’s trailers, via IMDb (Internet Movie Database:  http://www.imdb.com/video/imdb/vi1125297945/


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