By guest contributor, Patrycja Riera, CEO, Inclusionem
In this week’s #EVEVOICES, Patrycja provides us with simple yet effective career tips to grow both personally and at work.
A few days ago, I have been speaking to a client about how to get more women into senior leadership positions. We agreed that’s not only about process or talent. There is a lot more that needs to be done on an individual and organizational level.
But then the conversation shifted towards growth and learning new skills and how we often say to women “find somebody you look up to, aspire to be and learn from them”. At the end of the day, to me personally, the main question is how do I grow my capacity to become more like this person?
It is not always the skills, but qualities, behaviors that make the person so valuable to us.
From my professional experience I believe there are two sides of growing your capacity: the skills, where you learn to do new things, stretch the way you think, develop habits, and there is the other side, the mental, the character, where you are able to live fulfilled and satisfied not because of what you are doing but because of who you are.
There is no such a thing as stress or challenges free life. Therefore, how you deal with stress, pressure, challenges say a lot about your capacity. When we say I aspire to be more like this person, it is not only about what skills they pose, but the way they handle pressure, challenges or lead others.
I identified six areas that can help you to grow your capacity. You can see it as a process or you can see it as actions that we need to take in order to grow.
I use the word hero and it means the same as mentor. It is somebody who acts in your life as an advisor, somebody you listen to.
Mentors don’t have to be physically present in your life to mentor you. You have the power to decide who your mentor is, whose voice you listen to. They might be in the same company or on the other side of the world. Remember that mentors are not only people that give you advice but those people that generally care for you.
It is important that you choose a person that can help you grow your skills but also help you to challenge your character when necessary. This is important in times when you work through personal issues, your perspective and beliefs need to be confronted.
If we allow, the hardship and challenges we face can rule our minds, emotions and conversations. Therefore, when you face trials, it is important that you choose to keep a healthy perspective. How do you do that? You choose to focus on the good things in your life, on the learning and opportunities that will emerge from these hardships.
Rather than attempting to minimize the things that cause you stress, become bigger than them. So, if you find yourself locked into a situation, perhaps it’s time to take a few steps back, to look at it with a fresh perspective.
In the world where we are constantly bombarded with so many new information, processes, better ways of doing things, influencers, I believe the questions that each person, especially leaders need to ask are: what am I trying to accomplish? Am I using my time and energy wisely? Are my actions helping me to achieve the end goal?
Very often we become so busy with doing “stuff” that we lose sights of what we are set out to achieve.
If we stop, take a step back and evaluate our methods, we often notice that what we are doing is not actually helping us to accomplish to go away been for. Focus and follow what’s important.
In the world we live in, there is so many voices, opinions that actually add pressure and tress to our lives…and we often allowed them to do so. As life continues, your world expands, more voices will start competing for your attention. Whether it is at a workplace, friends and family, it is important that you know which voice to listen to and which voices to shout out. This is particularly important when you are growing your leadership capacity.
Each one of us must choose who the right voices are and decide which ones to shut in order to focus on the ones that bring constructive criticism, growth, encouragement and care.
However, you also need to check yourself and your heart for advice. If you your mind has been made up and there is lack of willingness to change and enlarger your capacity, to expand your perspective, that means your posture towards improvement and advice is more likely limiting your leadership capacity and your growth.
You cannot keep doing more of what is important unless you do less of what is unnecessary. Depending on what level of your career you are at, there are or will be times will you must delegate the things that continually pull you down to make space for the things dead lift you up and help you to move forward.
How do you identify the unnecessary?
Ask yourself questions such as does it help to accomplish my objective; does it serve any real purpose or is it something that only I can do?
In order to grow you also have to let go on some things in your life and learn to identify the unnecessary to make space for the necessary.
How often do we think that equipping ourselves with the right information means that we need to know every bit of information? As you grow, your capacity you must be able to clearly discern between which is helpful and relevant and which is not. The responsibility of knowing the details of situations is very real and there is no excuse for ignoring details in important matters.
But the reality is, you don’t always have to know those details and you need to learn to recognize what is going to benefit you as you leading team organization. In order to focus on the major cases, you have to let go of what is not necessary and ensure that you are getting the right facts that will enable you to make wise and informed decisions.
Leadership is a long run, it’s not a short sprint and we need to be able to run well and wisely. If you apply those principles, it will make you and your leadership stronger under pressure and allow to lead your people well. Growing capacity is a process, and it is your choice to decide how to grow it.
Don’t focus on what’s around you and what everybody saying. Rather look at what’s going on inside your heart, what are the things that you really need to learn and grow in to create more capacity in your life.