I was traveling over the holiday and came to a sign that stopped me. It’s one I’ve seen before, but it’s taken on a different meaning for me today.
Yes, women have always been responsible for getting things done. You have to look no further than the home and raising kids.
But this year, women have an important and dare I say powerful, opportunity to leverage the current mindset of the world. Men need help. They can’t do it all by themselves as many have tried unsuccessfully.
Because everything is in flux and no one knows what to expect, why don’t we as women step into the vacuum and say what needs to be done?
And do it.
We’re more than qualified to do whatever we want, but we’ve held back.
I’ve developed a line of thinking about the workplace based on my experiences as a woman over the years (decades). It includes both the startup and the corporate worlds and is roughly based on the percent of women in the room.
* < 20% – Women have to go along to get along. This is where sexual harassment is prevalent. It drops off as more women enter the meeting, join the project, company, etc.
* 20% – 40% – Men will begin to genuinely listen to what women have to say
* 40% – 50% – Women can take on a leadership role to help to steer the project, initiative, etc.
* 50+% – Women can decide what gets done and make it happen.
Today there are more women in the workplace, and our input impacts lives. We create products that better serve more people. We open up new markets and companies make more money when we have a greater role. We bring a different perspective and point of view that broadens the viewpoint of men, enabling a richer and more valuable marketplace experience for customers.
How can women start to have a more significant impact?
1. Look at what you want in the world. Is it as large as world peace or as small as family peace? It doesn’t matter what it is, except that it is something important to you. Size and impact are irrelevant.
2. Begin to think differently. Entrepreneurs have to think differently than the industry thinks to change the way things get done. Toss aside the way you have thought before. With that goes the limiting beliefs like, ‘I can’t achieve what I want’ or ‘I don’t have enough money.’ Confidence is your friend; fear is your enemy.
3. Reframe how you see your goal such that it becomes achievable for you. This is an important step because it is also the new path for you to follow when others say ‘you can’t.’ And everyone does at some point, including you. This reframing of the goal becomes a mantra of sorts because you will encounter many challenges along the way. It serves as a motivating and empowering statement of what you want to achieve. Believing in yourself is as important to your success as any actions you take.
4. Who benefits from your achievement? The feelings you have when you picture the happy beneficiaries/customers are very powerful motivators. Always know who they are.
5. Who do you want to include in your journey? Understanding who you want to join in your endeavor gets you to think about the kinds of people you want to join you on this journey. Is honesty important? Is creativity? Attract stars to your team. Consider the percentages I mentioned above, the more women on your team, the stronger it will be!
Ready to start your journey?