I recently returned from the ICAN Women’s Leadership Conference in Omaha, Nebraska).
Being in the company of 1800 women leaders (and a few brave men!) was simply AWESOME! Believe me, the energy and sense of anticipation in the room was ELECTRIFYING!!
I was privileged to be among the esteemed line up of speakers which included the Honorable Mary Robinson (her accolades include: first woman President of Ireland, United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, and member of the Elders global leadership team founded by Nelson Mandela, Graca Machel, and Archbishop Desmond Tutu) and Elizabeth Gilbert (author of the best-selling book Eat, Pray, Love). Both women spoke with authority, wisdom and compassion as they highlighted major themes of their individual leadership journeys. They were able to authentically combine their masculine and feminine qualities to uniquely express their message, strengths and talents in a way that had a huge impact on all present.
These women were perfect examples of maximizing your leadership through maximizing your uniqueness – the theme of my own session. In my hour-long workshop, I highlighted specific principles to leverage your leadership, impact, and influence, simply by consciously tapping into your uniqueness and distinction. That is the unique combination of your talents, strengths, passions and purpose that optimizes your leadership power.
I share seven insights to optimize your leadership effectiveness by maximizing your uniqueness. Enjoy!
Maximizing Your Uniqueness: Succeeding by Using The Power of Differentiation
Did you know that few people ever recognize their dominant strengths and differentiate themselves based on these strengths?
This explains why many people live lives unrewarded for their core strengths and talents. Nothing is more frustrating than living life uncelebrated for the difference within you. Knowing how to differentiate yourself is an invaluable skill that can be maximized and help you increase your market value, and achieve desired results in your professional and personal life, simply by tapping more fully and consciously into the power of the woman or man you already are.
Principles we can all practice on a daily basis to maximize our uniqueness include:
1. Orient Your Life Around Your Core Values
Identify the qualities and characteristics that you value the most in life and choose to align your life with your core values. Your values are the source of your deepest energies and passions for the goals and life vision that matter most to you. Your values are uniquely you and are derived from your DNA, personal history, personality, vision, life purpose, passions and goals.
2. Discover & Sharpen Your Dominant Strengths
Identify your natural talents and strengths. Your talents are those things you do best with the least amount of effort. Develop them as skills, gain knowledge, and increase your ability. With this formula, you are well on the way to living a strong LIFE.
3. Nurture Your Multiple Intelligences
We all have a range of multiple intelligences that go beyond our IQ and EQ. Some other forms of intelligences include musical intelligence, body-kinesthetic (superior sports/athletic) intelligence, logical-mathematical intelligence, linguistic intelligence, interpersonal intelligence, intrapersonal intelligence, and spiritual intelligence. Find yours without delay! Feedback from colleagues, friends and family; psychological assessments, skills-based assessments and identifying those areas of your life where you seem to be effortlessly successful will help you to discover additional intelligences. Since having a strong intelligence does not mean that one necessarily acts intelligently, conscious effort is required to increase your brain functioning and optimize your leadership effectiveness in all areas of your life.
4. Understand How You Deliver Value
In every arena of your life, understand what it is that others value about you. Ask yourself, ask others “what is it about me that really works?” “What is it about my team that really works?” You may be surprised at the feedback, which may be different in the different areas of your leadership. Chances are you (and your team) are far more multi-talented and multi-faceted than you ever imagined. You are so much more than your job description.
5. Maximize Your Head – Heart – Hand Connection
Integrate your life by maximizing the connection between your head, your hand and your heart. Use your thoughts (what’s in your head); your strengths, skills and abilities (what’s in your hand) to realize those things that are most important to you (what’s in your heart). Then live your life where your heart is!
6. Create Your Ideal Environment
I like to say “Go where you’re celebrated, not where you’re tolerated”. Choose your optimal environment. Optimize your environment: create an atmosphere where your strengths and talents, and those of the people you lead, are valued and can develop and flourish. Optimize your network – surround yourself with a team that represents where you’re going and not where you’ve been. As much as possible, improve the quality, stability and order of your environment, to make it as excellent as possible and a worthy representation of your values. You will have much more energy and things will seem to happen better, faster, and easier than before.
7. Love What You Do, Stay Passionate, Have Fun
People who enjoy their work do a better job than people who don’t. They work harder; they deliver better results and come up with new ideas. They can express themselves and their personalities; they feel valued for their contribution. They have fun @work. They like the people they work with – including their boss! And they believe in the mission of their company and their role in the organization. Find your flow, where your skills and passion are more than a match for every challenge that comes your way. And finally, fully embrace and enjoy being YOU!