Womenlines takes pleasure to welcome Leadership Coach Sally Anderson as a guest influencer for Leadership at Womenlines panel. Sally has privately coached key influencers internationally: CEO’s/executive teams/C-Suite forums/entrepreneurs/celebrities/politicians/millionaires/billionaires over 20 years. This month Sally is sharing amazing insights for mindset mastery for women in leadership roles-
I was in dialogue with a friend who is a high powered, academically recognised legal female executive the other day and I asked her what topic she would like me to write about this week and she said ‘women in leadership’, such an obvious subject but one I had not until today delved into. So here we are. Having entered senior management at the age of 23 myself in predominantly male dominated industries I feel well versed in imparting my take on this subject. The first thought that came to mind when I thought of this topic was an incident that occurred some years ago when the industry I was in embarked on a company-wide survey of ‘women in management’ and ironically enough the two most senior female leaders in the organisation (myself and one other) did not receive the survey???
I also wish to start out on a positive note: So to those executive women who hold leadership positions who have ‘done the work’, I salute you! I get what it takes. I celebrate those with fabulous marriages, terrific kids who are awesome, those who balance without complaint their values around family and their ambition in the workforce/chosen careers, correct the crowns of their fellow leadership sista’s, and powerfully make their mark in the world, you are bloody legends in my opinion.
Ok, here goes: When I left the corporate world 18 years ago I envisaged when I established my independent executive coaching practice that I would naturally attract more women than men – WRONG, for the first 3 years of the practice I attracted 95% more male clients than I did women. Think the universe was trying to tell me something! In subsequent years I have had the privilege of coaching many female executives and there tends to be common theme that runs with the psyche of the female leader. Given today’s topic, I will outline my perspective below:-
I will keep this as succinct as possible – top 25 recommendations to those women in leadership positions (I trust you find this of benefit):-
(1) Stability in your Primary Relationship
5 dysfunctional camps exist as a generalisation
(1) Single: Unable to secure a stable primary relationship, married to their job/position
(2) Defacto relationship: Unwilling/resistant to commit to marriage
(3) Inconsistent relationships: Constantly attracting men who are emotionally unavailable & in a paradigm of making whatever dysfunction mean something about them
(4) Narcissistic relationship: In a cycle of mental, physical, emotional abuse and unable to break the cycle
(5) Married: But not supported by their husband – Jealousy/competition exists and not satisfied
The quality of your primary relationship has a massive impact on your effectiveness as a leader
Recommendation – DO THE WORK, get the healing with the right practitioner to STOP sabotaging love
(2) No Glass Ceiling
I do not buy into there being a glass ceiling, if I am completely honest I believe women specifically use this as a convenient relinquishment bucket to not take responsibility for showing up in all their glory
Recommendation: STOP buying into this media fuelled paradigm that has NO reality but the reality to which you are giving it
(3) No Toll Poppy
Tall Poppy Syndrome (TPS) is a term commonly used in Australia, referring to the expectation that poppies should grow together, and if one grows too tall, it is cut down to size. In the workplace, the study explored whether women were, like poppies, cut down due to their success and achievements.
I am not undermining the numerous surveys and case studies that validate the existence of Tall Poppy being a reality but no external situation can impact your state unless YOU allow it
Recommendation: Play your own game, celebrate your uniqueness, get the right coach/mentor to embrace your genius
(4) Men are your Allies not your Enemy
I find a lot of women in leadership have issues with men. They constantly attract drama fuelled dynamics that are related to men in their lives both personally and professionally
Recommendation: Men are to be celebrated, to be honoured, to be acknowledged – DO THE WORK – get the healing to resolve whatever issues you have with men
(5) Mommy/Daddy Issues
This is not unique to just female executives, it seems to be rife with male executives also BUT in the context of today’s article, your mother and your father were your primary female and male role models. Any issues you have in the workplace with either gender, male and or female can always be linked back to the unhealed issues you have with your primary role models – ALWAYS
Recommendation: If you have any issues with either parent, alive or passed on – DO THE WORK – get the healing to resolve whatever issues you have with either parent
(6) Crazy Hormones
I will not be popular here for this is a common excuse women use. I am not the best coach to talk to when women table their hormonal state as an issue for whatever is playing out. Don’t get me wrong hormone imbalance is a REAL issue for women but make it easy for yourself, seek the right counsel and get into alignment. The impact of being hormonally out of alignment is blatant self sabotage.
Recommendation – Take responsibility for your health and wellbeing. Find the right practitioner to support your recalibration
(7) Find your voice
This one is a personal bug bear of mine. If you have not found your voice yet in your leadership role then this is a direct function of whatever is unhealed from your past. You were fully self expressed as a child believe you me! If you also have issues with not knowing how to navigate strong personality types as you are finding your voice get some coaching on how to become masterful in your communication
Recommendation: How dare you sell out to your magnificence! DO THE WORK, get the healing to reclaim your god given right to be seen, heard and understood!
(8) Confidence was your Birthright
The amount of women who have confidence issues is infuriating. It is not unique to women specifically but boy oh boy a lincoln toy it’s definitely milked by women to relinquish responsibility for their power. There is no confidence gene. Confidence is a choice
Recommendation: DO THE WORK, get the healing to reclaim your mana, mojo, moxie
(9) No Competition
YOU DO NOT HAVE TO COMPETE with anyone, especially men – if you celebrated your male counterparts you would see that there is nothing to compete with. AND as far are your female counterparts, they are part of your sista community, honour them also. How others are around you, yes including men, is a function of how you are showing up?
To those that are competing with you or see you as a threat, kill them with kindness, the leader who stands true to their values will always win
Recommendation: If your listening is default oriented (disempowering) then you will find enough evidence to sink a ship to validate your dysfunctional listening – DO THE WORK – get the healing to resolve any insecurities you have going on…this is usually directly related to sibling rivalry in childhood
(10) Intuition power Source- stop Second-guessing
It’s proven that women have a strong intuitive sense and yet I witness executive women constantly second guessing what they receive intuitively – STOP IT
Recommendation: Watch the STOP IT VIDEO https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ow0lr63y4Mw & DO THE WORK – get the healing on how to hook into the national energy grid, its free, on tap, available on call
(11) Guilt Driven mama’s
I have coached many executive women who harbour a lot of guilt around balancing work and their commitments to their children. The stress that comes with this territory is extreme. Guilt does not forward anyone’s game
The above video applies here also. Get present to the costs of feeding such a destructive self defeating paradigm
Recommendation: DO THE WORK – get the support you need to honour being a fabulous mother/leader. Follow the role models who are leaving work on the dot at 3pm/5pm to honour their commitment as a mother
(12) Fat/Skinny/Ugly Vicious cycle
Body dysmorphia and or self-loathing seems to be an epidemic for women specifically – it is all-consuming. If you do not think this impacts your effectiveness as a leader, think again – your obsession with your body and what’s wrong with you is boarder line psychotic. Weight is just about protection, nothing more, nothing less.
AND the amount of women in leadership retreats that I have led who are drop dead gorgeous, perfect bodies that run that they are fat and ugly, BEJESUS!!!!!!!! If they were fat and ugly, different story but when this is not the case, take responsibility and have some gratitude for the gifts that god gave you
Recommendation: DO THE WORK – coming home to loving yourself unconditionally it a priceless journey, one you deserve to take – find the right healing practitioner to partner you on this journey
Recommendation: END the vicious cycle and apply reverse psychology. Thank the universe for the weight, for protecting you. Thank the universe for keeping you safe. When you view weight in this way and get the healing, one can then realise that life will be safe and then the weight can go…
(13) Raging Inner Critic
This seems to be even more prevalent the higher up the corporate ladder women go. If you would not verbally abuse a 5 year old child standing beside you right now, what on earth have you done to warrant such self abuse on a day to day basis. Some women have used their inner critic for positive purposes to achieve the heights of what they have achieved BUT there are other ways to achieve success without it being so destructive
Recommendation: DO THE WORK – reaching the realm of equanimity cannot be described in words. You deserve peace and raving cheerleaders in your life, not an unhealed mechanism that no longer serves you – get the healing on honouring your little girl
(14) Comparison Addiction
Preoccupation with what others are doing, how they look, what they drive, what they earn, how they administer themselves coupled with perfectionism is a cocktail of explosive proportions
Recommendation: Focus on YOUR game! DO THE WORK – get the healing on why you feel the need to compare yourself to others
(15) Split Personality
I feel for men, sorry I do, for women can be erratic and inconsistent with how they express themselves and or how they show up in the world. Women as a generalisation if insecure try so hard to fit in and try to mould themselves into how they perceive xyz want them to be – exhausting to witness. Absolutely NO freedom here on any level
Recommendation: Give yourself permission to be YOU! God the freedom you will experience will be life defining – DO THE WORK – get the healing and learn that life can be safe. And to those women who believe people can’t handle you at full throttle, believe me they can, let’s find evidence that this is the case
(16) Babies V Career
The amount of executive women who for years have said, ‘I do not wish to get married and I do not want to have kids’, and it’s been like a negative affirmation they have fed for years THEN they meet the one and they want to have kids and then wonder why they struggle with falling pregnant – just sad
Recommendation: Language creates the reality of your world, watch what you repetitively tell yourself. I have partnered many women to fall pregnant who have been told that they cannot have children – know the power of the mind is almighty and with the right practitioner miracles are possible AND even if it’s medically proven you cannot have children, then there are many babies in the world that need mothers…you have many role models in the world that have achieved both, a fulfilling career and a family, if you want it, stand for it
(17) Ambition at all Costs
The amount of women who obsess with their careers at all costs never find fulfilment or satisfaction – they will step over anybody in their path and the day will always come where karma will play out
Recommendation: Get present to the costs of living completely out of alignment with any semblance of value set. I live by the philosophy of ‘treat others as you would like to be treated’ – try it on – DO THE WORK – get the healing to end the addiction to external validation
(18) Calm the farm- Drama Queen Addiction
Women can be embarrassing at a level given the degree to which they provide enough evidence for men to listen them as ‘drama queens’. If you constantly attract drama check out where you are operating
Recommendation: Drama is a direct result of unhealed issues from your childhood, you have to keep attracting devastating experiences to validate your experience of the world – DO THE WORK – get the healing to resolve whatever is incomplete from your past, otherwise you will be a self fulfilling prophecy, if you are not already
(19) Victim Mentality
The distinction ‘victim’ is ‘powerless to change the situation’. No one who is committed, is powerless. So, if you are ready to end the vicious cycle of feeling like a victim then come on down!
Recommendation: Dare I repeat myself, yes you guessed it, DO THE WORK – get the healing for a life with no drama is beyond freeing
(20) The Universe Exists
Women when they are in their power are awe-inspiring. Women who are connected to their faith, whatever that is for them are formidable. Those that achieve the unachievable know how to leverage their co-creative ability. They act as a direct conduit for their calling
Recommendation: Come home! Maybe it is safe now to trust again. Heal whatever has happened to you that had you disconnect from your centre
(21) Masculine V Feminine
When operating in male dominated industries it is easy for a women to operate more from the masculine than from the feminine. Just wearing a dress for example does not make you feminine. Learning to honour your x factor of feminine power takes practice. Embracing your feminine is not weakness, it is your power source
Recommendation: Have fun exploring what it means to be feminine for you, work with the right practitioner to unearth why you sold out to the one priceless asset that comes with being a woman
(22) Comparison for the Bullies
Bullying in the workplace is very real. Sad but true. One finger pointing out, there are always 3 fingers pointing back. If you are the target of being bullied then learn to have compassion for what it must be like in the bullies shoes in their quiet moments as to why you are the target of their default behaviour. The more vehement their address, the more it says more about them than it does about you!
Recommendation: BOUNDARIES, what becomes acceptable, becomes inevitable. You educate people on what’s acceptable and unacceptable behaviour. Get the support to end this unacceptable paradigm
(23) Own Your Worth
Inequity around what you earn is a reality in some workplaces. If you are a woman who does not feel she is being paid her worth, stop tolerating this. Either champion what you believe you deserve to be paid in your existing work environment or
Recommendation: Work with a coach/mentor to find the right workplace that will honour your worth and pay in accordance
Being all things to all people, your husband/partner, kids, work demands, extended family, friends, working all hours that god sends, feeling depleted, running on empty, day after day, week after week, month after month is pure martyrdom! No petrol in the car, ain’t going to go anywhere – operating over the top of what you tolerate will result in manifesting a ‘mac truck’ experience
Recommendation: BOUNDARIES, boundaries boundaries. You are the creator and designer of your life. You are no good to anyone if you fall over! Put the oxygen mask on yourself FIRST! Learn to say ‘no’ with respect. Identify what you tolerate, what you persistently complain about and stop tolerating the degree of self sabotage you administer
Recommendation: DO THE WORK – get the healing on your self worth – why is everyone else worth it and you are not!
(25) Running some ‘Not Good Enough/Dumb’ Paradigm
I cannot tell you the amount of women I have coached who have every known academic achievement up the ying yang, highly, highly, highly accomplished women who regardless of the amount of degree’s they have still run a belief that they are ‘dumb’ or ‘not good enough’
Recommendation: DO THE WORK – Get the healing on your childhood beliefs and rewire that negative programming. It’s time to celebrate and acknowledge your achievements
As you will see the main recommendation is HEALING, HEALING, HEALING, such an underrated practice that is so needed for recalibration. If any of this resonates, feel free to reach out – maybe it is time to champion your inner diva!
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CEO/C-Suite Leadership Coach
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