According to a recent issue of Fortune (Oct, 2011), women leaders are on the rise. And from the looks of their “50 Most Powerful Women”, women are making a greater impression than ever before.
However, it seems apparent that many women don’t feel significant, let alone a leader.
I had finished speaking at a women’s conference, and a friend I hadn’t seen in several years approached me. This old friend was a remarkable woman that I always admired. She was the kind of person you wanted to know. She was involved in her church, the PTA, a mentor to many, and an amazing, over-the-top mother and wife. After giving each other a big hug and the obligatory “so good to see you…” it didn’t take long for me to see that she was troubled.
Tiffany began sharing that she didn’t feel like she was making a difference. “I wish I knew my purpose, like you”, she said. She continued to talk about how trivial her life was, how her contributions felt meaningless. I shook my head in disbelief. This truly was one of the most extraordinary women that I know.
So what separates those that feel they are leaders and those that don’t? Often times I think two people could be doing the exact same thing, but one feels like she is a leader, making a difference, and the other feels insignificant and inadequate.
I believe that coming to the understanding that YOU are important; that your life touches and impacts others – just from you being YOU – can be a great revelation. This revelation is especially important to women who tend to be more relationally driven, so they need to know that their relationships matter. Tiffany had lost sight of her true value and worth, which caused her to feel worthless and lose the perspective of her unique significance. If you can be robbed of your worth, you will be robbed of your purpose.
I also believe that living life with intention – doing things on purpose – can make a dramatic difference in understanding your influence. It may not change what you do, but it can change your perception of what you’re doing.
And let’s face it. What you do matters. There’s a unique contribution that can only come from you… and others need what you have. Don’t let the feeling of insignificance rob you of being who you are, a leader.