The challenge and opportunity of being a woman in technology leader is what excites those who enter the tech arena, whether they are in grade school S.T.E.M. programs, high school “girl smart” programs or pursuing college tech degrees or a part of a startup program.
It is the newness, the freshness and the bringing of something inventive, innovative and unique to the world. Who wouldn’t want to be a part of this “force” in the universe?
In addition, the potential for both financial growth and impact creates an enormous lure for the “dreamer” and inventor who see the tech industry as a bright shiny object to be captured.
What lured you, dear woman in tech leader? Was it the opportunity to learn about and immerse yourself in new technologies? Perhaps it’s the thrill of an ever-changing environment where Moore’s Law is a very distant memory…and for some, the answer to a trivial pursuit question.
What matters is that you’re here. You’re needed. You’re wanted. You matter.
And that’s why it’s so important for you not to lose your faith. Faith in what brought you to this auspicious place in the technology revolution. Yet, having been there, I know that faith is just the start, right? You require so very much more. More patience, more resilience, more adaptability and more understanding of what the hell you took on joyfully, at one point.
How you get to the patience, resilience etc. comes in a lot of places, spaces and flavors. It is the “hand at your back” which guides and holds you up along the journey.
When you’re new to the role of leader, you’re excited about the possibility and the change you can make in your world. Your employees are excited yet apprehensive about what’s next with the “new” leader. You face each day with a mix of joy and trepidation.
- What will my manager/leader need or expect?
- What will my team need or expect?
- How can I ensure everyone’s needs get met?
- Who can I talk to when I have a moment alone?
- What can I read that will give me the quick insight I need for the situation I’m up against tomorrow?
Believe it or not, this is a really exciting time for you, new leader! You’re brimming with excitement, enthusiasm and all the attributes that get you out of bed each morning ready and willing to take on the day. Sure, you’re at a stage where you’re building your confidence and credibility as a leader, but it’s still so fresh and new that you’re practically giddy.
I fully recognize that many of you, like I, are putting in long hours, trying to please everyone and not at all sure that you knew what you were doing was right. It’s how we learn.
Enjoy the freshness of this experience. Then, start now to use a tool that I highly recommend will be invaluable to you as you grow in this illustrious career as a woman in tech leader… Get a journal.
A journal will give you the opportunity to say everything you’ve been celebrating, enjoying and gritting your teeth about from the first day in your leadership role. It’s your private “space” to truly express what’s working and what’s not working. A journal will also give you the place to look back and see how much you’ve grown, how small some things really were and how big things got handled.
You’ll begin to see your own growth, your triggers, your patterns, and your experiences that you often forget you’ve mastered, when things get sticky. In addition, at this stage of your career as a leader, you are your own worst enemy. You don’t see how incredible you truly are.
You are harder on yourself than anyone (even the mean spirited) could be. It’s how we’re wired. Using a journal will give you the clear evidence of your brilliance so that on those “dog days” or during that performance review, you can reach back to those places and times when you freaking rocked.
For those who want to be sure that you’re developing every muscle you have (notice I didn’t say weakness) you will begin to see which muscles you exercise and which you don’t. Now you’ll know where to truly invest your time and energy vs. thinking you have to change or be everything, all at once.
Your journal will be an invaluable tool for your personal and professional development. This is your powerful tool to make a significant and personal impact for this stage of your leadership.
Chris Makell is a fierce advocate for women in technology leaders. She connects you to the simple strategies, like "curiosity" which accelerates your success as a confident leader and engages your employees effectively. Discover how to turn generational/diversity issues in the workplace to your advantage in this executive briefing here: http://chrismakell.com/generational-advantage/