In January 2017, I wrote a call to action to my community in response to the results of the US election:
We must solidify what we stand for, take action on what is within our grasp, and continue to work towards justice. We must find a way to participate in making this world a better, stronger and more loving place and we must do this by leveraging our own privilege, experience and positions.
It’s a year and a half later, and not only has the US political landscape continued to decline, but aftershocks of division, disruption and injustice are erupting around the world.
Now more than ever, the world is calling for bold leadership.
As business owners, corporate leaders, mothers, daughters and good neighbours, we always have the choice to be braver and bolder in pursuit of a better future.
This is what I know:
1. The world needs your exact style of bold leadership. Boldness can mean taking a stand, pushing boundaries, taking risks, speaking up and showing up in unconventional ways in your work and life. Boldness can also be quiet, introverted and intimate: leading by example, modeling kindness, compassion and inclusion, effecting change one relationship at a time. All of these choices take courage. Any of these choices will shake the world.
2. To be a bold leader, you only need to access what is already in your hand. You don’t need to become an activist or work on the frontlines of social justice to take responsibility for the changes that are needed in this world (but a HUGE thank you to those of you that do). You can leverage your privilege, experience, and position in other ways, like donating, educating yourself then educating others, creating art that makes a statement, offering services to the underserved, challenging bias when you see it in yourself and those around you, and turning up to vote every time. “The one thing about privilege is that it never runs out.” – Desiree Adaway
3. Once you’ve articulated your big, bold vision you have two choices in front of you: 1) You can dial back your vision so that it’s doable, achievable, and not too daunting, or…2) You can expand your courage, clarity, and commitment to answer the call of your bold and brilliant vision. I vote for you to expand.
Here’s something else I know: our life and work unfolds minute-by-minute and day-by-day. And in the day-in and day-out of working, living and facilitating change we can lose our spark. There will be moments, days, weeks where we get in our own way. We want to be bold, but we stumble. We want to be brave, but we don’t know where to speak up. We want to have impact, but we stay small. These are the areas that uncertainty, overwhelm or fear latch onto, to obstruct our view and keep us living and working suboptimally.
What’s blocking you from accessing your bold and brilliant spirit?
In my work with women leaders (both entrepreneurial and within organizations) I continue to observe how each one of us has a ‘boldness’ blindspot — and often more than one. When we shine a light on the blindspot, we reveal what’s keeping us stuck, which then presents a growth opportunity that helps us choose what we will change so that we can continue to grow and expand.
While we may not choose to lead boldly for political reasons, when we access clarity, courage and have more impact in service of a vision of ‘being and doing more good’, we fight the good fight either way. Answering the call for bold leadership might lead you to the frontlines of activism and social justice, or it may simply embolden you to use your privilege, platform and position to influence, impact and inspire others. Every act matters.
Discover your boldness blindspot, and related growth opportunity
I’ve identified FOUR of the most common boldness blindspots that my clients find themselves up against over and over again, and crafted a new quiz to help you reveal yours. If you’d like to examine what it means – for you – to be bolder, try the quiz and discover the blindspot that keeps you from working with more courage, clarity and impact, and learn how to turn it into your growth opportunity. (click the image!)
We are all born with brilliant dreams, but it takes a life of bold moves to fulfill our deeper purpose and potential. When we act boldly we can accomplish great things; we can be a catalyst for growth, progress, and movement in the world. It’s so important that you never give up learning, and leaning towards your greatest potential and making an impact in the world.
PS – A heartfelt shout out to InteractQuiz for inviting me to be a partner member and giving me the push I needed to create this tool for my community of bold leaders. It’s a great quiz-making option – simple and intuitive (no kickback for saying that!) and it’s been a pleasure working with them. The customer service was top-notch and the platform is easy to use, even for non-techies like myself. Highly recommended!