I won’t lie, it’s been an intense few weeks for me. I’m still reeling from Charlottesville, Harvey, Irma, DACA under threat, and the 16th anniversary of 9/11.
While these events don’t necessarily have a direct and immediate impact on my day-to-day life today, nonetheless it’s brought up a lot of feelings of trauma and grief for me, especially around my own experiences with race, immigration, and personal loss.
Add to that the usual September transition back to school. What I’m realizing based on stories from other parents is that the meltdowns and exhaustion of the first couple of weeks back are common amongst kids of all ages (as well as their parents!) It has been exhausting.
I’m also feeling stronger and clearer than ever before.
I’ve taken some time out for personal reflection and growth as well as self-care, and the beautiful thing is that I can feel the results of that work start to seep back into my work with Photosanity. I’m very grateful that I’ve had this opportunity to create a more integrated and holistic approach to my life where synergies abound.
One of the places where it’s all starting to come together is in this series I’ve been working on about 5 myths of women’s leadership and how to bust through them (whether you're an established or emerging leader, or don't even think of yourself as a leader yet).
While this is still very much a work in progress, I am finding it really rewarding to dig in and draw from *all* of my experience, not just as a mom and photographer/photography coach, but from almost 20 years as an architect working for small, mid-sized and mega-large firms on workplace strategy, corporate and retail projects for major brands.
It is very exciting to have a platform to process and share my cumulative experience and to think about expanding that platform to reach more people.
Myths are stories that aren’t true, but that seem true and even become true through their systemized telling and retelling.
Believing that they are true often makes them so - they can be self-fulfilling prophecies.
These myths are so deeply embedded in our culture (at least here in the US and other industrialized countries, I won't speak for other parts of the world). They are also deeply embedded within us, internalized through years of external narrative as well as actual lived experience.
We experience these myths to be true.
But they don't have to be.
Let’s question some of these myths, look at who benefits if we believe them, and, most importantly, let’s talk about how to bust through them and what to do instead.
Even knowing that you are not alone in your experiences can help a great deal.
I am here to let you know that you are not alone.
I am here to support you.
I have something to say.
And I really want you to hear it.
Who this is for
If you are an emerging leader, it’s important to understand the internal and external factors that may hold you back, and what to do about it.
And even as a more established leader, it’s critical to know where these factors come from and how they get perpetuated so you can create new paradigms both for yourself and so that you can support those that are coming up.
If you don’t yet think of yourself as a leader - I am going to address that too.
This isn’t just for women with kids either.
This is for you if you are interested in shifting the narrative so that you can increase your impact without sacrificing yourself in the process.
And this is for you if before you even start thinking about increasing your impact, you first need to stop sacrificing yourself.
We can’t leave change to individuals, but we can start to make changes as individuals, which will, in turn, help us work towards change at corporate and institutional levels.
Here’s a bit of a teaser:
Myth #1: Motherhood means taking a hit to your career
I made this assumption when I became a mom - and it turned out not to be true. But assuming it to be true is often what makes it true.
In myth #1, I share my personal story of how I figured out how to leverage motherhood to ultimately move my career forward more than I think I would have if I had not had kids, and how this can apply to you.
Whether you currently have kids or not, and whether you currently consider yourself to be a leader or not, this myth is important to explore because it affects all of us, men and women, parents and non-parents.
Supporting women so they can do their best work is better for everyone.
Myth #2: Your availability affects your value
This is both a deeper dive into one of the underlying assumptions behind myth #1 and an expansion of it.
In myth #2, I look at how we all accept the most valued metrics of traditional paradigms of leadership - time and money.
But we do not have to accept this.
Our value does not have to be linked to the hours that we spend doing something, whether at work or at home.
Instead, I look at how you can increase your impact by doing less - and yes, it really is possible.
Myth #3: You have to be chosen for leadership
I see so many women waiting to be chosen for leadership before considering themselves a leader.
This presumes a hierarchical top-down structure of leadership that promotes a zero sum game of “power over” rather than “power with.”
In myth #3, I talk about how we can redefine what leadership is and the type of leader we want to be - and how we can start living it right away.
To receive the full series of myths via email, sign up below. It is totally free. I really want you to get this material and let me know what you think.