Updated: Oct 9, 2020
With the work I do with women in our construction industry, the topic of leadership comes up a lot. More times than not, it's someone that is looking for a way to take that next step in their career. Unfortunately the industry is still very much male populated and making that kind of move when you are not in supportive company can be challenging.
My question to you today is, are you are leader? Not because I think you should or shouldn't be but because I genuinely want you to ask yourself that question. If you are, I want you to tell me if you think everyone is meant to lead.
Today, I attended a workshop that gave us the tools we need to start the conversation with ourselves about what we want out of our career. It illustrated that it's important to be specific about what you want and statistics say that by putting it down on paper it's more likely to happen. Then if you tell someone, it's like 90% going to happen. Sounds like a sure thing right?
Can being a leader simply be a product of autonomy or is it always about leading and taking responsibility of others?
For me, I think self governing is a must. You should always be in control and responsible for yourself. You should know where you are going and have a general idea of how to get there - not necessarily always, but more often times than not. You should have the skill set and knowledge in place to be in charge of you - responsible for you first whether it be personally or professionally.
What if you don't want to be responsible for others? Does that mean you cannot be a leader?
I like to think that when we come into this world, we are born with and then acquire special super powers based on how we were raised, our culture and the environment. It's up to us how we apply those super powers and these powers are what make us individuals. Some of us do a damn good job of being head wolf while others do a better job of following. I think it's important to let the women of our industry know that it's okay to be content in that supportive role because without you there would be no leaders.
I am super on board with empowering women in their aspects of their lives and I choose to do this through education. Much like you would when you chose to go to school for a degree or training to learn a new skill.
I want to empower women to make their health a priority and give them the tools and support they need to do just that. Health equals success on all fronts. I also want to let those same women know that it's totally okay to be satisfied with where your career is right this very moment. It's okay to have other interests and it's okay to make those interests a priority instead. And just because you might not want to take responsibility for others does not mean you are not interested in advancing as an individual or helping others. I think for some - some women - it's about demonstrating equality with our male counterparts in this industry. It can turn into a bit of a pissing match as well when this should, rather, be about collaboration towards a common goal because we are not equal - we are different. We look different, we think different - it's a function of diversity.
As any estimator would say, let's get this apples to apples before we compare, but can we compare? We are individuals and so very unique in our own individual ways.
If you want to be a leader, that's great, but if you don't want to be a leader, that's great too.
We all need each other to make it through this thing we call life.
Just do you.
It's you who decides if you are enough and once you do that, others will follow.