The Rise to Leadership

I started a new 9-5 recently and running a small business on the side can feel like I never stop working. I’ve wanted to talk and learn about leadership in business and in life for a long time. Leadership isn’t just about being at the top, or being CEO, or having your name on a desk or even having a desk and not a shared space. Leadership is the ability of a person who is nervous, frustrated, tired but does the work anyway. Leadership is the ability to show other people what hard work and determination can do for oneself and that transcends into teamwork. Leadership is so many things and people are watching.

Imposer syndrome is when you continue to scale and grow, get into a new role, exceed and along the way you stop and say they are going to figure out, “I’m not worthy, smart enough, experienced enough, or strong enough” to being here. It is something that I grapple with every day in a new job. I’ve had to remind myself this week that I am a Fucking Warrior- Pardon my French. As silly or trivial as that sounds telling myself that in the mirror or screaming it in the car on the way to work really does help. I deserve this chance!

When I look at my small business and the growth that it has had over the last year no matter how small- it equals success. It’s not overnight, it wasn’t a “viral” growth but there was growth. Leadership also happens the same way. You don’t walk into a job at any level and have leadership status right away. Don’t get me wrong you might be the HBIC or “the boss” but it’s not the same thing as having leadership. Over time, leadership is the result of continued growth and experience that other people aspire to have, to have proven skills, and a set way of doing things with success.

When I look at my new job or my small business, I want to be proud of every moment of failure, trial, struggle because I know that they will eventually lead to proven ways of things that work and things that do not work and that’s success. Mathematically, I would think of it as T (Time) + E (Experience) = I (Insight). Insight applied to current activities = Success in Leadership. I’m not even a math person but that was fun!

Rachel Hollis always says is “Nobody will ever care about your dreams as much as you do. Ever.” That can sometimes be a hard pill to swallow when you’re apprehensive, standing at the edge of a precipice with decisions to set things into motion. When I look at my daughter and wonder what she will be like in 10, 15, 20 or even 30 years, I wonder what she will do with her life. I wonder if she will be successful or if she will be a leader (I have no doubts about that one). But the leader that I can see her becoming depends on me and the woman I am and the leadership skills that I choose to evoke every.damn.day. It’s my job to show her that no matter the dream, no matter the job, no matter the object of desire, it take perseverance to show up every day as my best self in order to achieve my goals and to show that I am a Leader worth following.

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