I often get asked to speak at schools and universities about my journey. Afterwards, many of the professionals feedback that they have also found it stimulating. This has made me realise that some of the fundamentals of growth and development is ageless.
Here are 5 nuggets which I share with a younger audience and believe that they are applicable regardless of where you are in life – perhaps just starting out or have an established career.
1. Continue to learn
Learning is all around you and not just from books.
One of the best way of learning is through doing.
Get involved in things – become a mentor, join a group or committee that you have an interest in, do an activity you wouldn’t think of doing….
This stretches you and puts you into new situations with new people…you learn how to adapt, how to interact, what works and what doesn’t …. That’s all knowledge.
You might not get it right first time, but making mistakes is all part of learning…
The good thing about getting involved in broader activities is that it helps you to get connected to other people. A network of people who can support and help you.
2. Be yourself
Tigger said ‘But the most wonderful thing about tiggers is, I’m the only one’. There’s only one you. You are unique with your own set of talents and gifts.
When you realise that, you will stop comparing yourself to others – we are all different, with different skills, and talents.
Find out what your talents and strengths are use them. What are you good at? What can you spend ages doing? What do other people say you are good at? What do others ask you to do?
Use your strengths – when you are stuck or faced with a challenge, ask yourself, ‘how can I use this strength to help me move forward?’
3. Have a voice
Don’t be a clone. Be individual. Stand out from the crowd. Know your values, your principles and stand up for you believe in. It will not be easy but will be character building.
Find opportunities where you can have a voice – speak up in meetings, have an opinion, enter into debate, give presentations… Put yourself forward when leadership opportunities present themselves.
4. Take responsibility
When things go wrong, don’t blame others and your life. Accept responsibility for it, learn from it and move on. Get into the mentality of seeing hurdles and problems as a challenge. ‘I am faced with this situation, what do I need to do to solve it – do I up, round , through, underneath, who can I go to for help, what have I done in the past that has worked, how can I use my strength to get through this ?’
You have it within you to find the solutions, believe you can
Strive to be you, only better.
Don’t let your past predict your future. You can’t do anything to change what has happened in the past but you can take control and create a different future for yourself
5. Seek help and take it when it is offered
Do not be too proud to ask for help. There are many people out there who are willing to support, mentor, give advice…. Make a list of 5 people who you think have the expertise and skills that you are seeking and be brave and ask for their assistance. Chances are 1 of those 5 will say yes
In your travels you will find people who will buy into you and your story, when they offer help, seize it.
What nuggets can you share?
What advice would you give to the next generation
My last blog looks at the importance of sharing your leadership journey to inspire and develop the next generation of leaders.
Photo courtesy of twobee at FreeDigitalPhotos.net
This blog is part of the NaBloPoMo challenge of writing a blog everyday in Nov
I’m a professional coach (MA in Coaching & Mentoring) working with women and aspiring leaders to build their confidence and know how to progress, make successful changes, leverage their influence, impact, presence and communication. I am a part-time lecturer in leadership and work within organisations to develop high performing teams, mentoring schemes and facilitate skills training in leadership and management development.
Join the Aspiring Women’s 3 month challenge. An opportunity to stop procrastinating, to let go of fear and what’s holding you back, to do something that you have always wanted to do but didn’t have the courage, know how, support…