Written by Jane Goldner Tuesday, June 19 2012
It is time for another chat. Get comfortable in your chair. Dare I say…another glass of wine? Why not? I’ve brought along words of wisdom from some terrific successful senior-level women. They will share their strategies for becoming a “woman driven to success” by integrating multiple roles without sacrificing your dreams, health or sanity.
These women come from different backgrounds and family dynamics. They each tried strategies that didn’t work and created bumps in the road. However, these women also found strategies that did work for smoother driving and have achieved personal and professional success.
I chose women at high levels in a variety of industries whom, I believe, you could identify with as real role models. They are directors, vice-presidents, partners, entrepreneurs, a two-star general, a vice chair, a CEO and a retired executive who provides a ‘look back.’ (The full-length interviews will be included in my upcoming book, “Women Drive to Success.”)
Key to their success is that these women are clear about who they are at their center, their core (more about the core in another chat). They continually ask themselves questions so they gain clarity to reframe things as they enter different chapters of their lives. Life is fluid and dynamic so the more things change, the more things change! They know what they want personally and professionally.
Once these women gain clarity, they make decisions based on what gives them meaning. They are clear about the tradeoffs (and everyone makes tradeoffs because no one has it all, in spite of what others may tell you). Then, these women become strategic planners, both personally and professionally. They look at least two weeks to a month out in terms of scheduling family commitments. They sync up their calendars with their husband's and/or other people in their support network (You have to make significant others… significant.) to decide who can do what. One woman cooks all the meals for the week on Sunday so they are ready to go when she gets home from work, which is especially helpful when she has a day trip out of town. This type of planning helps these high-level women stay focused, integrate their multiple roles and focus on their top three to five priorities. They let go of things that don’t matter.
The biggest lesson these successful women have learned is that they don’t have to be ‘everything to everybody’ and do everything perfectly. Here are some of their comments related to that lesson:
- I have a light touch on myself. I don’t beat myself if things don’t go as planned.
- I say “no” when appropriate so I do not get into overload. The result is that I use my personal resources well. I don’t stretch my time and resources too thin.
- Sometimes, I have to confront others to respect my boundaries, so I’ve learned how to constructively confront to resolve issues.
- I also pick my battles. I let go of the need to win every battle.
- I practice the 80/20 rule. When it is right and 80 percent good, I go with it. The extra 20 percent of making something more perfect and more perfect is not necessary and a waste of time and resources.
- I try to be the best I can be at the moment without the expectation of being perfect or what others think I should be.
These wonderful and successful women give themselves permission to not be perfect. They are in control of their lives and don’t need to have it all to be happy. Actually, one CEO said, “You can have it all, just not everyday.” (Remember those choices and tradeoffs!) Here is a bottom line question to ask yourself next time you are tempted to say “yes” when your head is screaming “no,” “Will this matter when I am eighty years old?”
Read more in the series of Jane Goldner, life coach extraordinaire:
Goldner shares helpful tips for personal growth with this article which advises us to pause, think and try to stop being “everything to everybody.”
In this piece, Goldner reminds us of what we, as women, are capable of. All it takes is a little bit of self-awareness and realization of our self-worth.
A study reports that high-achieving women take on stress in a different manner than our high-achieving male counterparts. See why Goldner refers to these women as “Type-E” women.
Dr. Jane Goldner, author of “Driven to Success: A 10-Point Checkup for Achieving High Performance in Business,” has been quoted in The New York Times, CNN Money and AirTran Magazine among other publications. She has appeared on Atlanta’s NBC affiliate 11-Alive and is a member of the USA Today CEO Panel. Over her 30 years in business and family life, Goldner has learned the secrets of integrating multiple roles and great leadership for women, which she brings to companies and coaching clients. She is an adjunct professor at the Coles School of Business Kennesaw State University and PCOM. Her new book, “Women Driven to Success,” is due out in 2012.