True Success Requires You to Be Yourself
What Success Game Are You Playing?
When I think back on the journey I took to get where I am now, I’m amazed at all the funny ideas I had about business and what it took to be a leader, especially as a woman.
In my twenties I was trying so hard to “make it” that I bought into many common myths on how to be successful. Namely, that in order to be successful as a leader you had to learn how to play the game. And this was not referring to a fun game.
This game did require some positive traits: being alert, informed, adaptable, and hard working. I would get a rush on the good days and feel that I was on my way.
But this game also required some traits that took a great toll on me: working excessive hours, being controlling, positioning myself to look better than my competition (I admit, I did an internal fist-pump when they would mess up and looked bad). And I would say what I thought others wanted to hear, rather than what my real thoughts were.
There were some days I didn’t like myself. I wondered who I was eventually going to become when I did get to the top. Would I even be happy that I got there?
In addition to playing this game the Impostor Syndrome, the thought that I wasn’t good enough and had to hide it from others, was plaguing me. Who was I to be a leader and have the success I wanted?
What I thought was my lack of proper education, experience, and my tendencies to burn out from over-doing were weaknesses that others would catch on to and then it would be all over. I would be shamed!
This is only one way to go about finding success and I wouldn’t recommend it to anyone. For this game you negate your true value and try to mold yourself into a fantasy of what you think others are looking for. This is chasing someone else’s version of success and I’m doubtful it even exists.
Your success, your true success, requires you to be yourself. Sure, you want to educate and develop yourself in the areas you are passionate about. However, your success does not require you to ignore your values and instincts, or pretend to be anything you are not. It does not require someone else to fail in order for you to win.
Play to your strengths to bring forth your leadership
One of the ways I contributed value came in the ability to connect the dots. When new ideas were proposed I could envision how the changes would impact the company, the customers, the various departments and the employees, well into the future. Because of this ability we could strategically implement necessary changes with the least amount of resistance or fallout.
The more I expressed this ability by sharing my thoughts in meetings and water cooler chats the more I was asked to participate in these high-level meetings. It took small acts of courage to speak up each time but the payoff was amazing. Rather than being competitive I was working collaboratively. My goal was to have everyone win.
Because the value I provided was something I did naturally, I didn’t have to work so hard or to the point of burnout. I was able to provide tons of value within regular working hours, freeing me to enjoy my nights and weekends.
I had the recognition, the rewards and a life too! I would not have thought that was possible if I was still buying into the old myth of how success is earned.
What is the value that you bring?
What do you uniquely bring to the table that sets you apart? What is your unique perspective that you can share? Find more opportunities for these qualities to be expressed.
It takes small acts of courage every day to transform your perception of what it will take for you to be successful. Start today by answering the questions above and speaking up when you might have had a tendency to remain silent.
Share with us below some of the unique qualities that you bring to the table.