When we think of remarkable women in leadership, people like Oprah, Sheryl Sandberg or Brene Brown might come to mind. We might assume these women have years of leadership training, an incredible capacity for getting things done, or unmatched smarts and skills.
But, more likely, these remarkable women have learned to look inward first says Ali Boyd, director of Leadership and Professional Development at Daniels.
In this day of information overload, everyone is bombarded for time and attention. Women who are remarkable leaders learn how to be crystal clear on their purpose and priorities Boyd says.
“Coming from clarity of purpose means that you do life (rather than life doing you) is critical,” Boyd says.
She offers these tips to get in the driver’s seat for yourself:
- Consider your life from a looking backwards What major accomplishments will you be proud of at 95 years old, looking back?
- Just as your moments make your minutes which make your days and your life, create a “top 5” list of values you want to live each day or week. When you wrap a day or week, check your alignment with what you say you value and how you are living.
- Finally, adopt the mental model of a compass, rather than a map, because your focus will continually refine. Update your compass as you go in this continually shifting world.
Once you know what your purpose is, Boyd says it’s important to create practices to stay in alignment with that purpose every day.
She has these suggestions to orient each day:
- Reduce the workload on your brain to make a decision by automating and developing a ground practice that becomes a habit. For example, habitually practice self-care so that it becomes a reliable routine versus an occasional, optional activity.
- Create space to find yourself and to tune-in to what being in alignment feels like for you. This could be a daily meditation while the coffee brews, a ritual bath a night, or time with girlfriends that you do not miss. Pick something and don’t cancel no matter what conflict arises.
- Memorialize and document goals, process, progress. We do what we measure, and there is real power in clearly articulating your goals and what you’ll be up to each day. This include the internal maintenance goals of wellness and alignment with purpose. Detail and get specific about where your compass is pointing you in your days, weeks and life, and notice the shift in capacity and impact on yourself and those around you.