It’s true. WomenEd have ruined my life.

Before getting involved, I was successfully denying being a leader and living behind my fear! My internal voice quietly reminded me that I’m an imposter and if I put myself out there everyone will realise how little I know. So I shut up and sat down.

However, being part of WomenEd made that impossible. From the first connection online, I was surrounded by supportive and creative people who embrace and challenge me in equal measure.

My first step was joining a course by Seth Godin on Leadership. Here’s what I learned:

#1 Leading and Managing are different

Both are valid roles but managers are concerned with HOW to make a process cheaper, faster or better while Leaders are concerned with WHY. I am a catalyst for change so am drawn towards being a leader.

Leaders engage and enrol others on to a journey to something that’s higher and better. Vulnerability sucks, but it’s a huge part of authentic leadership because we are required to show up with our whole selves.

#2 Leading starts with WHY

Leaders must be able to focus on the vision before, during and after the journey. We need to paint a picture of a preferred future and start moving towards it before we’re ready. We need to be clear about the destination because that clarity is our super power.

As leaders we don’t need to know all the answers but do need our dissatisfaction with current situation to be larger than our fear of trying something different.

I’m big on rebranding failure. Our automatic reaction is to avoid failure like the plague! In reality, using our failures as a springboard to success is our ticket out of being stuck.

#3 Leading requires you to live the brand

Leaders are lone lunatics without followers! While it’s easier to start with the right people who believe in your vision than to change the ones who don’t, showing people what’s in it for them will help them buy into your vision.

People want to be seen, acknowledged and validated. They want to feel trusted and free to make choices.

To steer a steady ship you need to be on first name terms with perspective! The amount of work doesn’t change but the way you react to it will determine how much of your to do list gets done.

Leaders stay in the in the present and do the day and only panic if it is resourceful. Clue: Panicking is never resourceful!

I’ve written this note to myself to remind me of what matters most.

Jaz, 

I get that you’re concerned you will never be able to pull it off. Know why? Because you will fail. Not every time but sometimes, often, maybe every day. If you only want to commit to stuff that that is guaranteed to work, go back to hiding under a rock.

You can’t make a dent in the universe without making a few mistakes and you can’t learn from you mistakes until you make some.

Love Jaz

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