We’re at the end of 2019 Spring Programme and one of our participants, the wonderfully resilient and brilliant Lamese, shares her recent experience on the programme. Registrations are now open for our Autumn Programme.
Women know the stats and realities of how hard it is to break the glass ceiling – even harder if you are a woman of colour. We’ve been told to step up and speak out, yet not to be too emotional. We have played down our feminine qualities to adopt the widely accepted more masculine style.
At the same time, we’ve heard the importance of soft skills in the impending AI era, the importance of being authentic and that we need to have the type of purpose that can drive change in the world. We’ve been told that vulnerability can give birth to greatness … but how?
While there’ll always be predictors for leadership success and traits we can aspire to, She Leads Change has made me realise nothing sticks without the personal journey. It is only possible to produce our best work when we work with who we are in our entirety.
I was attracted to the course because it spoke about leading change in myself, about giving me the tools, skills and courage, I need to create change in the world. Change, which at times can be completely overwhelming and paralysing.
For three months this Spring, a group of diverse women came together in London to learn, share and grow.
I pitched up for the first session, standing so far back in the waiting area that I could almost morph into the wall while fake typing a message on WhatsApp, but I left standing tall, speaking up and seeing myself as a leader. The course provided me with sisterhood and a space for vulnerability … for growth.
I knew I had to get out of my own way. I knew I had blocks. I knew there was so much noise around me. Now I know:
- Leadership is not for the selected golden circle of senior management and above. Leadership training is at its most powerful when we all step up to lead change.
- Being a changemaker is about courage and a self-belief deeply rooted in vulnerability, knowing that the only way you can go is up.
- My presence and gravitas is underpinned by awareness of the self, others, the systems I work and operate in on a daily basis and the resilience I allow myself to develop.
- My ability to be accountable for the who I bring to meetings, projects and relationships is paramount.
- Peer-to-peer learning and storytelling in a safe space provides a powerful level of learning and understanding for women.
- Who I am, what I’m capable of, what my authentic leadership style is and that I am indeed leading change in this world.
Surrounded by extraordinary women, in an extraordinary course and gifted extraordinary coaches for 1-to-1 sessions, leaders ready to innovate the future are being born. She leads change, we lead change.
Lamese has been working in the digital space for about 15 years, with the feeling of often hitting limits. Partly because opportunities for progression didn’t seem abundant but also because she didn’t know how to speak up to claim credit for what she brought to the table and not seeing herself as leader. Now she does.