This book begins with a mid-life crisis, Joanna Barsh turns 50 and has an insightful realization about her life. There were no fireworks! Have you ever had a moment in your life where you felt like the fireworks were missing? If so, please keep reading our #CREMMNotes for September's selected book (How Remarkable Women Lead) and we hope you will join us for the live chat this evening (9/28/2016) on our Facebook page from 7-8 PM CST!
She questioned if that was really all there is? She began a five year journey called the Centered Leadership project that researched the ways of the remarkable leaders she knows, admires, and respects. It brought back a passion and spark to her career and renewed the meaning behind what she does that had been missing for awhile. He research is based on hundreds of interviews and quantitative research, that arranges the components for success and fulfillment at work and life into 5 categories: Meaning, Framing, Connecting, Engaging, Energizing.
With insight and short stories from the Remarkable Women Leaders of the project, we learned how each component can be viewed and achieved. Joanna and Susie do a fabulous job of filling in the transitions and sewing together the stories with real, how-to advice and motivational concepts to experiment with in all of our lives.
How do you define meaning? Meaning can be a combination of what makes you happy, your core strengths, and your purpose. When asked what the most important factors are in choosing a job and staying in it, women consistently cite the meaningful elements of the work that they do as a reason.
“To love what you do and feel that it matters – how could anything be more fun?” ~Katherine Graham (the first female CEO of a Fortune 500 company)
Finding the Meaning in Your Work: You can turn almost any job into your calling if it draws on your core strengths, engages you fully, and inspires you. When you feel your heart race, and you look forward to activities at work with anticipation, you’ll know you’ve found meaning. There is a common phrase “Do what you love and the money will follow.” I think doing meaningful work that you are passionate about is what they were referring to.
Most people spend their life shoring up weaknesses. Put aside your plans to fill in areas of weakness and focus on your core strengths. Identifying your core strengths will lead you to activities that offer you a chance at deep meaning and happiness.Ask the people who know you best what they see as your core strengths! Use tools that can help you identify your core strengths (Such as Tom Rath’s Strengths Finder.)
Here are some other cool articles on meaning:
Framing is all about your self awareness, learned optimism, and your level of adaptability. I think this is very important to say - Framing is not about putting on rose-colored glasses, but actually about seeing the world without distortion. And I for one can say that this is extremely difficult to do at times!
Women who have a positive frame also have flexible mind-set. They believe they are in control of their futures, that they can influence the outcome, learning and growing. Optimism or positive framing correlates with success. Most of the women leaders declared themselves optimists and realists. For some women, positive framing comes naturally but don’t worry Positive Framing Can Be Learned! But for many others, acquiring a positive frame requires unlearning deeply embedded behaviors such as snap judgment, anxiety, and fear. True reality is often better than our perception of reality. Do you ever see a situation worse than it really is?
Try to make re-framing a conscious act. You can’t wish yourself into a positive frame of mind. You have to work at it and it will become easier with practice. Work to consciously separate how you experienced the incident emotionally from what actually happened. Act as your own devil’s advocate and argue the other side. Argue for yourself! Try to only say things to yourself that you would to your best friend! Challenge the beliefs and assumptions and re-examine the facts.
When difficult stuff happens, give your brain and body some relief. Take time for a healthy distraction. “Sometimes reframing doesn’t help you fix the situation. Those are times when reality just bites.”
Connecting! This one is insanely important connecting is a large part of our business and it involves inclusiveness, reciprocity, network, and sponsorship.
Virtually all the women leaders in the project concur that connectedness has been essential to their rise and to their sense of deeper fulfillment. The data show that people with strong networks and mentors enjoy more promotions, higher pay, and greater work satisfaction. Connections are Critical to Advancement.
Building relationships is part of your day job.
“We don’t accomplish anything in this world alone. Whatever happens is the result of the whole tapestry of one’s life – all the weavings of individual threads from one to another that creates something.” ~Sandra Day O’Connor (former US Supreme Court Justice)
“One of the most important ways to be a successful leader is actually to create an army of people who are rooting for you.” ~ Anne Mulcahy (Xerox CEO)
“Listen, listen, listen. It’s about getting to the point where you have some understanding of what motivates the other person. It’s not about what motivates you.” ~ Amanda West (Chief Innovation Officer, Thomson Reuters)
Women are naturals at relationship-building. Evolutionary biologists trace this capability to women’s prehistoric roles, and women in business can benefit from this hard-wiring. We are so glad that you already began expanding your network and working on inclusiveness by joining Creme de la CREMM!
“You can’t build a network when you need it. Then it’s too late. You have to build it before.” ~Carolyn Buck Luce (Senior leader at Ernst and Young, LLP)
Successful leaders take ownership for opportunities along with the risks associated with those opportunities. Engaging leaders have a voice and they use it. They are also able to face down their fears.
To succeed long-term and to accommodate family and other responsibilities, women leaders have to learn how to mange their energy reserves and to tap into flow.
We hope you enjoyed the book! Here are the questions for the book club tonight: