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First, let me apologize for not writing more original content lately. I am working on a few things right now while trying to catch up on my reading. I promise to post something more insightful from a personal perspective soon. Meanwhile, I want to alert you to a study from McKinsey to understand what drives and sustains successful female leaders. In particular, they have distilled the leadership model into five broad and interrelated dimensions:
- Meaning, or finding your strengths and putting them to work in the service of an inspiring purpose
- Managing Energy, or knowing where your energy comes from, where it goes, and what you can do to manage it
- Positive Framing, or adopting a more constructive way to view your world, expand your horizons, and gain the resilience to move ahead even when bad things happen
- Connecting, or identifying who can help you grow, building stronger relationships, and increasing your sense of belonging
- Engaging, or finding your voice, becoming self-reliant and confident by accepting opportunities and the inherent risks they bring, and collaborating with others
Here is the link to the full article (you may have to create a free account to access the article).
In assessing my own career, I am probably the weakest in connecting. I am naturally an introvert, and I’ve struggled all my life in building and growing lasting relationships. But it’s a weakness of which I am keenly aware, and I am actively trying to overcome it by trying to meet more people and learning the art of initiating and carrying on small talks.
If you need a little bit of helping assessing your own career and life in relations to the five dimensions, you may find the following helpful:
- To find your strengths and put them to work, you may want to get Stregthsfinder 2.0 by Tom Rath. I first took this test many years ago, and I’ve since used the principles I learned in many aspects of my life, including the inspiration for my post about defining your strengths.
- To get positive framing, I recommend Carol Dweck’s book called Mindset, The New Psychology of Success. In the book, she talks about how just by changing the way you think will change the way you view the world around you.
- If you want to learn to connect with others, Never Eat Alone by Keith Ferrazzi is a must-read. I actually borrowed my friend’s copy but found the book so helpful I will be purchasing a copy myself in the near future.
For my review of some of these books, please visit my post on my reading list.
It’s magical what a 3.5 weeks vacation can do for one’s psyche. It also allowed plenty of time for me to reflect on my own life. When I reflect, I usually come up with more questions than answers. For one particular question, however, I thought I would try the wisdom of the crowd to get some insights. This question is for women just like myself: single successful career women who are too busy with life most of the time to think about where her personal life is heading. If this sounds like you, please chime in.
Here is the question — Imagine you are in your 50s. If you have a choice, would you rather:
- Have a successful career and a personal net worth of a few millions but single?
- Be happily married with or without children of your own but living a middle class life?
Up until my recent trip, I’ve always believed that I am in charge of my own destiny therefore if married life is not meant to be, I can take care of myself. Up until then, the two choices above made no difference to me. But when I actually took the time during my vacation to really examine my deepest desire, I realized I was wrong. I do have a preference, and my preference is to love and be loved in a happy relationship. I will gladly give up a successful career to help my husband be successful at his. All I want in return is somebody who is loving, somebody who cares and cherishes my presence in his life.
If the above question resonates with you, please drop a line.