“To watch people push themselves further than they think they can, it’s a beautiful thing. It’s really human.” ~ Abby Wambach
It’s month two of the new year already! Is your year going as planned or have you hit some turbulence that has slowed you down, or even stopped you? Perhaps it’s time to breathe new life into your goals or reinforce the good start you made?
As women leaders, it’s common to run into obstacles on our chosen path. Sometimes it becomes so difficult you may want to give up. Yet we urge you to keep going. After all, if it’s easy, you wouldn’t be growing, testing the waters outside your comfort zone and extending yourself fully.
It’s helpful to take a step back and look at your path, regularly and often. This constant reassessment, which allows for course correction, is the key to moving forward. People who sail on the open sea know this very well. When the wind becomes strong, they don’t continue to try to reach their destination in a beeline. Rather they employ a skill known as tacking. The captain turns the bow toward the wind so that the direction from which the wind blows changes from first the left side and then the right side, allowing a zig zag progression toward the desired direction. The obstacle, the wind, is then turned into an asset, propelling them forward with much more speed than if there were no wind or obstacle at all.
Are you on your path, or someone else’s?
One of our favorite books is WOLFPACK: How to Come Together, Unleash Our Power and Change the Game, by Abby Wambach. She’s a two-time Olympic gold medalist and FIFA World Cup champion and is noted for her leadership skills as she helped transform her soccer teammates into one of the most successful, powerful and united Wolfpacks of all time.
She reminds us that the old rule, the one we grew up in, is to “Stay on the path”. This model is not designed for women today. The new rule is to create your own path.
Take the time to consider if you’re on the right path for you. Especially, if you have set goals for yourself based on something you read, advice from an “expert” or a conversation with a friend without ensuring that it’s the right goal for you. Is it getting you nearer or further away from your destination?
We believe that it’s important to base your goals on who you really are, instead of who you wish you were. This takes a lot of grace, compassion and self-knowing. Truly accepting who you are helps you set routines and systems that help you succeed. So, as you step back to reassess, ask yourself: “Is this goal designed for me or for someone I wish I were?”
Create your own path, but don’t walk it alone.
As in the case of Abby Wamback, successful leadership involves not only claiming our individual power, but also uniting our Pack or community and forging new trails. Your power to create your new path doesn’t come from trying to go it alone. The new path embraces accountability. As women, the power of the collective is a potent source of accountability.
We, Maria and Louise, turn to each other quite often to hold our work in an accountable frame. We also ask questions of each other that push and stretch us out of our comfort zone of repeating old patterns. We don’t only do power different, we approach goals in a different way. We like to create routines that have accountability by creating a buddy system. It’s not only important to know what you want. It’s also important to have a community that is cheering for you, is excited, and holds you accountable.
Who is in your community of allies that help you stay true to your goals? Who are your accomplices who will support you when you veer away from your goal? How can you develop more allies in your accountability plans? We invite you to become part of our community at our next annual retreat — Women: Bring Forth the Leader Within. Among other things, we’ll help you develop your leadership style so that you can lead from where you are instead of reaching into a style that you are not. (Pssst…We’re extending the Early Bird Pricing through the month of February!) If you have any questions or concerns, we invite you to contact us so we can address them.