Welcome to the fourth installment of the Emerging Female Leaders blog series.
When we think of being influential we imagine those people who can just enter a room and light it up. Some may imagine those who others gravitate to. What people don’t realise is that these people of influence, particularly leaders, didn’t always have that influencing ability.
So let’s look at what being influential is. It could be either something that is powerful, such as a brand, or something important to, such as a person who is good at persuading people to do something for the good of others. Thinking about something as influential as a brand, companies like Facebook or Virgin may come to mind. These brands, or the people connected to them, stand out. Someone influential, in a global way, is Rosa Parks, who famously refused to give up her seat on a bus to a white passenger in Alabama in the 1950s. This created a turning point in the civil rights movement.
Now, if you’re an emerging female leader reading this, wondering how you can make your own mark on the world, whether it is in your organisation or community, wonder no more. We can all do it, so here are some of the ways you could increase your influence and become a leader who stands out:
Dare to do things differently. We all have things that we excel in, and can use to trailblaze. When I worked in the public sector, measuring effectiveness was very key, particularly for OfSTED (regulatory body for education in the UK). I used the research skills I learned in my Masters to measure the outcomes of the families we worked. I took it upon myself to write reports that would affect change within the local authority, and it worked. The model I created was used throughout the borough as a way to measure effectiveness and outcomes for families and services which were provided. Find your thing, make it look simple and easy, and let it work for others.
Stand out from the crowd. Nobody says you have to be or do things the same way as anyone else. So, be different! If everyone else is wearing blue shoes, wear red. Sometimes the thought of standing out from the crowd is scary, because to some, it may mean being the odd one out. As Michelle Obama said in a speech (Hilary Clinton’s election campaign) “When they go low, we go high.” Use your position to create change!
Dare to speak out. If there is something you feel passionate about, highlight it in a way that is calm and measured. We spend too much time worrying about what others think, especially if we need to address an elephant in the room. The disruptors of this world have been instrumental in creating change, whether it was refusing to give up a seat on a bus, chaining themselves to railings so that women could have the vote, or highlighting a solution to a problem.
All of this can help you to become a phenomenal leader. The more influence you have the more you can create change, and if you can create change on an external front, just imagine what you can do internally!
Here’s Something Exciting!!!
If you are an Emerging Female Leader who fancies Shattering Your Own Glass Ceiling come and join us at our evening event on Wednesday 14th June at 6pm. Click here for more information and to book your place!!!
Grace Leslie-Graham has more than 20 years in leadership and management, with almost 30 years working within the public, private and charity sector. She is a certified Emotional Intelligence Practitioner and has a Master of Science degree in Coaching. Grace runs Impact Coaching & Consultancy, which provides training and tailor-made services specifically for female leaders. Her passion is supporting emerging women in leadership who want to be the most phenomenal leaders they can be!