Everyone has a dream! It starts out when you’re little, you think I want to be a firefighter, or an air force pilot or just like my Mommy and Daddy when I grow up! Every dream no matter how big or small is your dream, it’s personal and no one can change it but you. Never forget that. So how do you realize your dream? Why by being a Girl Boss of course!
I love the term Girl Boss. The internet defines it as someone who has big dreams and is willing to work hard for them. I think so many of us are already Girl Bosses or are on our journey to becoming one. I want to introduce a slight amendment to the definition of the term Girl Boss – A Girl Boss has big dreams, she will find other girl or guy bosses and together they will work hard to realize an even bigger dream!
My journey through a leadership development program at ThoughtWorks, the company I work for, helped me realize the power of a collective impact and I am going to share my journey to becoming a Girl Boss with everyone 🙂
Eighteen months ago I was selected as a participant in our company’s Global Leadership Development program. This particular program was called the High Potential Leadership Development Group or HiPo. When we first started in the HiPo program, I think back about how a group of 20 eager, hard working ThoughtWorkers walked into a room in Quito, Ecuador wondering how they all got there. I was definitely wondering a few things! Am I good enough? Do I need to show that I deserve to be here? How do I show everyone I am smart too? It was pretty much I-I-I, me-me-me! Not because of vanity but mostly insecurity!
I still remember someone asking an awesome question and there I was thinking – “Darn it! Why didn’t I think of that?!”
We all got immersed with a ton of content – Collective Impact, Generative Listening, Leadership Journeys, Constructing our own visions and so on and so forth. We listened and we absorbed like parched sponges, eager and excited to be there. Along the way we got to know each other, our strengths and experiences that we learned from each other.
The 18 months have taught us a lot and I would love to pull together some of my key learnings and how I have evolved:
1. Say yes to the opportunities presented to you and walk through open doors! Or as Sheryl would say, Lean In!
2. Leadership is so much bigger than one person. I walked into the program a very competitive person, now I realize that everyone brings a strength to the table and you should surround yourself with people that complement you and have strengths that mask your weaknesses. It’s about the collective impact for making a positive change that matters!
3. Feminism is needed in the world so that we pave the way for the women after us and help them break the proverbial glass ceiling! Girl bosses should always support and encourage other girl bosses, together we will make a difference in this world!
4. This one will stay with me forever – A leader Should Create Hope, Build Trust, Provide Stability and Show Compassion. This one sentence has really changed how I respond to situations. It opened my eyes and truly helped me understand the meaning of being a leader.
5. Always assume positive intent! This one is hard. But trust me it really does help.
Now when I sit in a room, I don’t think about if I am the smartest, I know my value and know I bring something to the table. I know I want to and will sit at the table. I am aware of my strengths and I know what I need to work on. It’s such a great feeling when you can have a collective impact, we should all embrace it 🙂
Those learnings lead me to amend the definition of Girl Boss to what I believe a Girl Boss is. I have dreams and yes I am ambitious but I also know now that a great Girl Boss will find a partner or partners because as Steve Jobs said – “Great things in business are never done by one person. They’re done by a team of people.”
My journey to becoming a Girl Boss is only just beginning and I have found so many mentors along the way. I couldn’t have been what I am today without all of them and my supportive family.
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