Are you putting on a Game Face?
You may not even realize you’re limiting yourself. All of us do things on a daily basis that we don’t even realize we do. We have all driven to or from work and did not remember the drive. It’s because we were thinking of something else, and drove with our subconscious mind. You may do this with putting yourself in a mind-set for work as well. If you spend time mentally preparing yourself for the leadership persona you feel you must have to effectively lead, or you say to yourself: “Time to put my game face on.” You may very well be placing limits on your leadership effectiveness.
How to recognize this? You have to slow your mind down. Allow yourself to consciously recognize your thoughts. I’ll even place a shameless plug and say that coaching helps people make the subconscious become conscious. Because, if you don’t know you’re sabotaging yourself, how can you make the changes to help yourself grow? The worse part about putting on a game face is that your people may see it when you don’t know you’re doing it. You mean to communicate one thing, and your people understand another. You are unaware that you are communicating a lack of confidence. The best part is, however, you possess all you need to lead. It’s all right here, within you. You just have to tap into it.
Leadership is rooted in Morals and Values
All great leaders, male or female, have one thing in common; their leadership is rooted in their morals and values. I have written and spoken for years to people that "Morals and Values are what guide our Decisions and Actions." Ladies, your morals and values should be what you communicate as a leader in the examples you set. Your raw personality will gobble up influence much quicker than your expertise will. Who you are is defined by what you believe and what you communicate through your decisions and actions.
If you have never done so, take the time to draw upon what you believe and what you value in life. Do you know your morals and values? Reflect on your daily decisions and actions; what do they communicate your morals and values are? And, is that really who you are? Do your daily decisions and actions demonstrate what you believe?
Would you follow you?
Try to step outside yourself, and look at yourself from the perspective of the people you lead; even attempt to look at yourself through the eyes of a man. From your physical presence to the energy you project, ask yourself: what are you communicating? If you had to report to yourself every day, how would you feel about that? You will be tempted to brush past a moment of hesitation in a trait you have, or what you see as a minor weakness. Don't brush past those hesitations. No one is getting a report on this self-evaluation. Zero in on what caused you to pause, even for a moment. Now, what will you do about it? Is it something you need to work on? We can't fool ourselves; therefore, we are the toughest people we have to lead. If you can lead yourself, you can lead anyone.
Just Be You
Men in the work-place respect confidence. Sometimes, there is a perception that strength or toughness projects confidence. This is a misnomer, especially if it is not who you are. Confidence comes knowing who you are, knowing the value you bring to the table, no matter how tough you are. You can be a caring, soft leader with confidence. If you make no apologies for it, and you make no effort to hide it, you project more confidence than if you attempt to mask it with false toughness.
The most solid ground you can stand on, as a leader, is when you are being true to who you are and what you believe. There is no pretending. There is no “Game Face.” It’s just you in the raw. Some people lack confidence in bringing who they really are to the table. They fear they won’t be well received, or respected. Here’s a secret for you: If you are true to your morals and values, and your people don’t like you, nor respect you, you either need to get rid of those people, or look for a new environment to lead in. I’ll refer back to my previous post about the chauvinists in stating that successful leaders pick the right people around them. Don’t allow yourself to be handed a spoon to dig a trench. Find a shovel. Be true to your beliefs, stand firm on them, and know your value. I promise you this; you will find far greater influence, and far less stress, if you remove the self-imposed chains that you perceive you must wear in order to lead as a woman.
If you can be honest with yourself, and true to yourself, you can do the same for your people. You will tap in to a greater level of influence and leadership than you could have imagined.
I will leave you with a poem that sums up what I am trying to say from, in my opinion, the most influential women ever.
DO IT ANYWAY
People are often unreasonable,
illogical and self-centered;
Forgive them anyway.
If you are kind,
people may accuse you of selfish ulterior motives;
Be kind anyway.
If you are successful,
you will win some false friends and true enemies;
If you are honest and frank,
people may cheat you;
Be honest anyway.
What you spend years building,
someone could destroy overnight;
If you find serenity and happiness,
they may be jealous;
Be happy anyway.
The good you do today,
people will often forget tomorrow;
Do good anyway.
Give the world the best you have,
and it may never be enough;
Give the world the best you’ve got anyway.
You see, in the final analysis,
it is between you and God;
It was never between you and them anyway.
― Mother Teresa
Agoge Leadership Development LLC
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