I promised myself I will beat the stereotype and be ‘easy-going’ as a manager, but what should I do when my team members aren’t producing at the expected level? I don’t want to be considered a b****.
I am sitting for coffee with a friend as she expresses a sentiment so many of us share, and I instantly think about my call with Jacki Zehner a few days before:
“Acting like a b**** comes from insecurity when you feel you have to over-compensate and prove yourself. So be self-aware. Invest in that. With self-awareness and self -confidence you can show up as your best self. Be observant of how you land on people and open it up for a discussion. When you are aware and open, you don’t owe anyone else anything.”
So who is Zehner, and why is her advice on how to lead while embracing your feminine qualities so substantial?
For starters, she was the youngest woman and first female trader to become partner at Goldman Sachs when inclusive hiring practices did not really exist. She is a wife, a mother and an advocate for a gender-equal workforce. Through her substantial work with Women Moving Millions, Circle Financial Group, her TED talks, and so much more, Zehner empowers women everywhere.
What stands out most about her is how she views power.
As an intern at Goldman Sachs, she was victim to sexual harassment but did not let that abuse stop her.
“For him it was all about power — power and intimidation,” she said.
Rather than leaving, Zehner agreed to take on a new, more senior position, which meant he became her boss. Although a hard decision, Zehner asserts the importance of “other male mentors and champions who helped and supported me.” She decided to focus instead on the sea of good people around her, and she found her voice.
“I know powerlessness. My way to create change is to support women to know their own power though their voice, influence, talents and their monetary resources. We hold so much purchasing power and investment power. The feminization of power is a force to change the world.”
Women Moving Millions is just that. It is a donor community for women, and some great men, to support and amplify leadership of other women. It is a “sisterhood in that we have your back. [We help you] find your voice as agents of change. We will help you [make the world a more gender-balanced place] in any way we can.”
Her successful philanthropic work, which is rooted in her vast experience, research, smart financial perspective, and optimistic personality, makes her a Wonder Woman of today.
So, how does she manage it all?
“Because my life is on message. I deeply know why I am on this planet. I really care, and I really want to do it all right all the time. It is not about your career because if you’re succeeding in business, then there is ripple effect. Be a good person and use your resources to support others and be kind. I can’t emphasize that enough. It is good to want things, but also do so with mindfulness for others. And sometime no matter how hard you try, you make mistakes. So play some Taylor Swift and ‘Shake It Off.’ Forgive yourself and then keep trying.”
All images courtesy of Women Moving Millions Facebook Page
Gal grew up in the world of theatre and dance. She loves using that creativity to find what moves us and awakens our inner passions. Through sharing inspirational voices on bold.global and Bold Blend, Gal hopes to help ignite the belief that when we celebrate each other, it is possible to break boundaries and live a bold life!