Owning Your Goals is the First Step Towards Achieving Them
The 21st century has witnessed a plethora of changes and one amongst them is the greater inclusion of women professionals in the mainstream business. There are women entrepreneurs, women in leadership and women in professions. The transition to a dual role, requires great stamina, mental strength and endurance. It requires not only the women, but their social ecosystem to change. The change may take years but, until then, the unstated social roles played by women need to be handled well, in order for them to achieve what they really aspire for in their profession. Quite often, taking ownership of personal challenges, could be the first step that women professionals need to take in order to achieve growth in an organizational setting.
In India, organizations are quickly recognizing the business impact of having diverse teams, especially focusing on diversity in gender. A couple of decades ago, organizations started a slow journey towards increasing representation of women at the workplace, by putting recruitment policies in place and taking care of biological needs like restrooms etc. The Nirbhaya case in 2012-13 brought new focus on anti-harassment policies and safety needs. The last 3-4 years have seen a range of women-centric initiatives being introduced in organizations, to develop the leadership abilities of the women. The objective is to bring more and more women to the top and break the glass ceiling so as to say. Now that the stage is set, the demand is that women assume leadership, thus leveraging these recruitment and development policies. Assuming leadership, is quite different than being promoted to leadership. Assuming leadership, is a possibility, at whatever stage of life or organization one is. Sans this, women will always remain ‘beneficiaries’ of organizational imperatives.
What then, is crucial to women assuming leadership? A proven way, seems to be to invite and influence others to contribute to one’s goals. Especially useful, is to leverage the power of women’s networks. Here, one might imagine the network to be consisting of just the professional network, but, in the real sense, it is the support system consisting of parents, in-laws, friends, domestic help, your assistant at work, who might be the real enablers, the real energy builders, for a woman professional.
How does one ‘invite’ someone to contribute to one’s goals? I learnt it through a recent interaction with my domestic help who has been associated with me for the last 15 years. As she invited me for the first time to her home for Ganpati celebrations, she said, “Till now, we always celebrated Ganpati, but I did not have my own house. Now I have an ownership flat. Now I can invite you to my home”. Her comment made me realize that, ‘ownership’ of your own goals is crucial to ask for someone’s support.
The first step towards ownership, is clarity. What helps a lot, is to share your goals with the people who will contribute. A step by step short term plan, may be a 30-60-90 day plan, can get one the first taste of success, and also helps our near and dear ones to believe that we are serious about our goals. It is important to do what one says, with no compromise on values. Of course, for this, the clarity about values is of utmost importance.
In the earlier blog post about fearlessness and balance, I had made a mention about the DOR program from Element78. The program aims at helping women professionals Discover, Own and Reach-out (DOR) to achieve their goals. The program begins with 3-days of intense self-discovery sessions and culminates with evolving a committed 100-day plan to achieve a set of well-balanced goals. During the 100 days, a coach is available for 2-3 conversations, to re-discover, re-align and stay motivated. While this is an intense personal journey, not everything may go as planned. Learning, sharing and leveraging each other’s skills as a group, discussing with your coach, definitely boosts the confidence to take up the next challenge at the chosen pace. After all, as the phrase goes, “the fortune is in the follow up”.
Our experience over the last 3 years, working with close to 100 women professionals using the DOR framework, has given us at Element78, blessings of the divine feminine energy that we believe in. My recent visit to Pondicherry, to the ‘Matrimandir’ at Auroville showed me the power of this energy, and how it can engage people across nations and religions to contribute to a vision. We at Element 78, look forward to starting another batch of DOR soon and celebrating women’s day of year 2019 listening to the success stories of this batch. Do write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org, if you would like to enroll, or refer someone to this program. We will reach out to you.
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