A seasoned professional who is both knowledgeable and comfortable, exuding an inner confidence will often look for an opportunity to make a greater impact in the world.
At this stage of leadership, you are likely both mentor and sponsor of talented men and women in the organization. As a mentor you’re offering advice, playing with strategies and tactics to improve their experience of career advancement and offering tips to keep them from derailing in their pursuits.
As a sponsor you’re looking for talent who you can “back” for their career aspirations. You’re now the “hand at the back” of the newly minted leader who wants to make an impact on the world.
You’re so comfortable in your role that you may not view what you do as being a “leader” and therefore may miss the opportunity to inspire and uplift others, particularly if you’re still on a career advancement track. However, what you give you get. Therefore, you want to be sure that you are reaching back and guiding those who demonstrate the drive and desire a path forward.
The true measure and success of a leader who reaches upper executive levels and makes the greatest impact is one who provides a legacy of opportunity. Many an executive has crashed and burned because their “followers” did not look out for them. They became the “one man band” and when the chips were down, they were as well.
Brilliant leaders, like you, recognize that to be truly successful there is still a requirement to “have hands at their backs.” Those who you influence, mentor and sponsor will be pushing you forward so that they can find their own path forward.
Truly, this is leadership through legacy with love. It’s an emotional perspective that many will shy away from, but consider that it can be extraordinarily lonely at the top. There aren’t many who look like you and oftentimes you may be the only woman leader in the room. How do you find the support and upliftment that you too are entitled to as a woman leader?
So yes, we come full circle at this stage. You began with needing that “hand at your back” to help you climb. Now you require many people with their “hand at your back” pushing you forward.
Through the strategies you learned in networking externally, getting joy and fulfillment in mentoring and sponsoring and remembering that your legacy carves a path that many will aspire to, you begin to relish the role you’re in.
Making a difference internally – including influence and leadership, can be more powerful when you use external activities to gain greater visibility. Consider finding opportunities to speak on panels, keynotes, and interviews with key influencers.
You may want to write a book about your business experiences, i.e. what you learned, what you want others to know and how the future appears for you and those who follow you.
It’s about creating and leaving a legacy because the road you’ve traveled is one few will withstand and others are hungry to try. Your amazing experience can and will transform both their experience and their lives.
How will you chronicle your journey? How can you share the keys? When will you start?
Congratulations for being a pioneer and a true inspiration…for us all.
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/