Trust yourself = be successful!

I do not believe that – Think like a man = be successful! But what does? I decided to follow my feelings on this topic. A leadership congress, this week, helped me on the way!

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My turning point

In my last blog post, I shared my thoughts from an early stage of my career! Fortunately, experience, self-confidence, new female role models and research gave me the inspiration I needed. It is okay to be a true female leader. On the contrary, being a female leader can be an advantage.

This was my turning point:

  • Sheryl Sandberg launched her book Lean In. We are not bossy, we are bosses! A good colleague bought several copies, which we all read and shared at work!
  • Anita Krohn Traaseth launched her blog Tinteguri. She, at the time, as the CEO of HP Norway, shared her thoughts and leadership ideas. Instantly, she become a role model for many women. And, can you believe it, she sent weekly e-mails to her employees with smiley faces πŸ™‚
  • Aase Aa. Lundgaard became the CEO of Deloitte Norway. The only female CEO of the big 4 here in Norway. A strong woman with a clear vision and bold decisions. She is also active in the public debate, making us proud!
  • We grew fast from one to five female partners (Anne, Katrine, Kirsti, Eva and me <3)  in the consulting department of Deloitte Norway! Suddenly, I was not the odd one out. The partner group has now a mix of men and women. We have different backgrounds and a variety in age. A diversity, a balance and different opinions which move us forward. Along this road, we had a project called “Women and career in Deloitte”. We analyzed the as-is situation and developed a goal and a set of action points. We soon realized, the action points were addressing the company as a whole, men and women. The implementation lifted the whole organization.
  • I got clear feedback and advice from my colleagues at work! They like my leadership style, but also gave me some corrections ;)!
  • I became a twin mother! Wow! It has changed my life completely! I got a new self-confidence and new perspectives on my life. 110 % proud and very conscious on how I, now, am a new role model!
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One voice, one hour, dozens of messages

This week, I attended a leadership congress. One speech moved me. A strong female CEO, in a senior male dominated sector part of the public sector, shared her story. No slides, just her, her story and her words. She said:

  • I am a leader, just like my male colleagues, it is not about gender.
  • My leadership style is personal, but be conscious.
  • As a woman, you will meet many hurdles defined by the communities expectations. Choice of education, decisions about kids and career, behavior in the boys’ club and many more. Believe in yourself!
  • Men earn trust by their position, women must show that they are good enough, before they earn the same level of trust!
  • You need to be able to hang in there!
  • It is all about the balance!
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My conclusion

I often look to research. It gives me a foundation and I find that research strengthens my conclusions. This time, I decided to listen to my heart:

  • It is NOT about being a man or a woman, but your personal leadership style.
  • It is about balance and diversity. A longterm successful leadership group has diversity.
  • It is about industry, position and the setting.
  • It is about being human!
  • It is about knowing your female values, and use them wisely according to the situation.
  • It is about analyzing the situation and being conscious about your leadership style.
  • It is about learning from the best and the worst leaders.
  • It is about listening to your organization, being open to new ideas and learn from history.
  • It is about leaning in, but also about leaning out and seek advice from your power friends!
  • It is about stepping out of your comfort zone.
  • It is about knowing your vision and goals.
  • It is about going all in.
  • It is about trusting and being yourself!

So my encouragement to you, sisters, be the best version of yourself!

And, hell yeah, I put on that lipstick on wherever I am! Even though, I was advised, that it would ruin my career.

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Photo: Stian Schioldborg

Aaah… it felt good to write this blog post!

Did you like my story? Please feel free to share it in your social media!

Have a wonderful Saturday!

Cecilia πŸ™‚

PS1 – please subscribe to my blog post by signing up at the bottom right corner! I post once or twice a week and will not spam you πŸ™‚

2 Comments

  1. Has similar experience here πŸ™‚ but then realized that diversity meant that the point was that we are different and that has a value in itself! No point to have women in charge if they just act like men? And also that feminine does not mean anti-feminist πŸ™‚

    1. Good to hear, Gro! I totally agree. If we all try to act the same, we will not fulfill the potential. Diversity is about gender, age, ethnicity, background, leadership style and personality. πŸ™‚

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