You are looking in the mirror and the eyes staring back at you are rich with purpose and vision. You know why you woke up this morning and the world is about to experience your rested vibrance in action.
Is that how you wake up? Since there are a few steps between the bed and the mirror, I have developed some go-to rituals that enhance my ability to start each day with intention and allow me to move through the day as the woman I intend to be.
So, what does that have to do with leadership and moreover being a woman in leadership? Let’s unpack that juicy topic right here, right now.
One of my favorite thought leaders is Brene Brown, who does an exquisite job of describing leadership in a very digestible way. Here is her definition of leadership:
“[A leader is] anyone who takes responsibility for finding the potential in people and processes and has the courage to develop that potential. Leadership is not about titles or the corner office. It’s about the willingness to step up, put yourself out there and lean into courage. The world is desperate for braver leaders. It’s time for all of us to step up.”
I believe leadership is an inside job, and that the more we understand about ourselves, the more impactful we can be as leaders. It is the fundamental skill of being able to work with others to accomplish more than you could ever do on your own. We are not talking about leadership in the context of hierarchy, being the boss or telling someone what to do. No, we are talking about how to scale efforts and success because you have activated your team and are moving in one direction and winning together.
So, what are a few of the most impactful ways to lead and how does one cultivate the necessary leadership skills? While I am a continuous work in progress, here are three daily rituals that have worked well for me:
- Daily routine is everything. Building a life around your job or what other people want you to accomplish is a recipe for disaster. Instead, take the time to imagine what a day in your dream life might look like. For instance, you may realize that you need to wake up early enough every morning to carve out some YOU time, to journal, meditate or exercise. With that fresh perspective, you can consider your daily routine, how you get the kids to school and start your workday. Just be sure to remember that you’re the boss of your schedule—it’s not the boss of you. Acting like the CEO of your life makes it possible to more effectively support your team.
- Be a life- long learner. This might seem obvious, but it is easy to get off track and believe that you have reached an arrival point. Look for ways to learn from others, particularly those who are offering a fresh perspective. Do you have self-development or study time built into your day or week? Is your industry certification up to date? Have you defined an education or specialization goal for yourself?
- Take responsibility for the outcomes you are creating. Wake up and break out of the automations that are not serving you. No one wants to create mediocre outcomes, but sometimes we start operating on autopilot. As leaders, even if we are a one-person operation, we must ask ourselves what we can do to create a different outcome. It is ultimately up to us to change the course of our lives and the organizations we are leading. So, what are you doing to stay alert and in tune with yourself throughout the day? What tools do you have to stay out of autopilot?
Leadership is a Journey
Here are a few more questions to help you take stock of the type of leader you currently are and what changes you might need to make to be the leader you want to be.
- Are you ready to lead from the inside out?
- Are you living a life that you are proud to share with others, and approaching challenges with curiosity and compassion?
- Are you aware that you have blind spots?
- Are you open enough to your peers and loved ones to receive feedback so that you can include them in your journey of self-development?
- Are you modeling the kind of self-care you would advise to your best friend, loved one or child?
- Do you truly accept yourself and remain on a steady quest for self-knowledge?
Leadership is not a destination or the answer to the questions above. It is about sharing your journey with others. It’s about guiding the people around you toward their path so that they can do the same.
If you want to grow your leadership skills within the health and fitness industry, but aren’t sure where to start, the Women in Fitness Association (WIFA) is a place where women from all walks of life can come together to support each other. We would love to help you grow your career and help you reach your highest potential!