Alison Levine, Team Captain of the first American Women's Everest Expedition & New York Times bestselling author of On the Edge, shared her story of adventure and the lessons she learned on her high-risk journey to the top at our annual San Diego GROW Keynote event. Through education, mentoring and networking, GROW (Growth in Relationships and Opportunities for Women) strives to give women in the workplace the tools to become tomorrow's leaders.
Waiting for that big promotion to a leadership role? NEWSFLASH: you’re already in a leadership position. Yeah – I’m talking to you! Leadership doesn’t start the day you’re given a particular title or have a certain amount of tenure. Leadership isn’t about how many people report to you or how large of a budget you oversee. Leadership is about realizing that every person on a team—at work, at home, or in your community—has a responsibility to help guide that team toward a goal. Here are four things you can do to obtain the mindset you need to help your team move forward starting NOW.
- Don’t complain when things are stressful. Leaders know how to suck it up and get the job done, even during nerve-wracking and uncomfortable times. If you can put a smile on your face and achieve big things during times of crisis, you will stand out from the crowd and people will know you’ve got what it takes to lead. The power of a smile and a few words of encouragement should never be underestimated.
- Don’t wait for someone to assign you more responsibility. Be proactive and ask for extra responsibilities or projects that will allow you to showcase your talents. Better yet – come up with your own ideas for projects and just do it and submit the work when you’re finished.
- Be ready to change up the game plan when necessary. Be nimble, be flexible, be adaptable. Remember that whatever plan you came up with last year/last month/last week is already outdated in today’s business world, where everything moves at a ridiculously fast pace. Be prepared and be ready to improvise.
- Set stretch goals that have a high likelihood of failure. You will learn a lot more from failing than you will from gracefully sliding into home plate. It’s okay to get thrown out at second. It’s even okay to strike out. But you have to get out of the batter’s box, step up to the plate, and start swinging. Failure does not define you. You define you.
Becoming a leader is a process of putting your best foot forward and engaging. Sure, the journey won’t be perfectly smooth, and your next step won’t necessarily be clear. Failure, at times, is guaranteed. But, trust me, it’s a journey worth taking, so keep taking risks, keep learning, and #KeepClimbing.
To learn more about GROW, go to http://mma-west.com/grow.