A Social Network for Women in Business, Women Entrepreneurs, and Bloggers
For more than twenty years now, I’ve trained and coached women in leadership and business acumen and I am a staunch advocate for women being afforded the opportunity to utilize their talents and leave their mark as leaders in corporate America or the small business arena. It gives me great pleasure to see so many women today pursuing their dreams as entrepreneurs and corporate executives. In an uncertain economy, women have proven that we are a stalwart force in the business world.
Consequently, as we sashay our way down the road to success, we will inevitably face a few storms – and some will be intense. Sales are down, your marketing strategies aren’t working, and your small business is quickly losing money…. Your corporation is undergoing an acquisition and as a member of the management team, your position is being considered for elimination…. Your doctor discovers a clogged artery in your heart during a routine checkup and immediately schedules you for surgery…. Your marriage of eighteen years has suddenly come to an end…. One of your ailing parents has been diagnosed with cancer and you will have to serve as caregiver during their treatment…. The list of personal and professional storms could go on and on.
Every woman has braved, battled and survived many storms in her life. Some of us are even perceptive enough that we can actually smell the storm coming and we brace ourselves, because we know that this latest one will eventually pass just like the rest. If you’re experienced in dealing with life’s storms you can often see what caused them and you understand the internal and external forces behind the strong winds. Wisdom teaches you what doors to close, which windows to barricade and alerts you when you need to take shelter. You either take shelter in your faith, within yourself, or with those who love and support you.
What makes some storms more difficult and disturbing is not simply that we are facing problems or emotionally difficult times; it’s the fact that it knocks us down before we’ve had a chance to brace ourselves. Some storms are neither light, nor gentle, nor quick in passing. Have you ever been through a storm that was so demanding and dramatic that it forced you to pay attention to your life, relationships, professional circumstances and inner self in a way that you never have before? I’m transparent enough to say that I have – recently and more than once. Some storms can be stubborn, compelling us to face the things that we want to avoid and insisting that we address those things that we have been reluctant to even imagine, let alone endure.
The word unexpected doesn’t even come close to describing how it feels when our reality is suddenly disrupted by circumstances, challenges and issues we never thought we would be facing. One moment, you’re going about your business, and suddenly you look up and to your utter astonishment, everything has changed. In a state of bewilderment, you ask yourself, “What happened?” Isn’t it amazing how some storms present themselves in the most shocking and surprising ways imaginable? They don’t always afford us the luxury of preparation. Personal and professional storms also don’t discriminate. A surge of problems can erupt in your life whether you’re an executive in a C-suite role or a mom blogger working from home.
The good news is that storms aren’t necessarily indicative of your skill, talent or effectiveness. They also aren’t always a sign that you have veered from the course and are heading in the wrong direction. In business and in life, storms occur to help us learn, grow and improve. As professional women and entrepreneurs, we do not have an endless flow of stamina, ideas or skills. That’s why Resilience is vital to our success. Resilience is the ability to bounce back, cope, renew, and revitalize, and learning to be resilient is a full-time job. Most women can demonstrate their ability to lead and wield influence during the best of times, but it’s the tough times and stormy moments that really breed and define a woman who is a great leader and role model for others.
Even though I have a successful career and a loving, supportive family, in the past few months, I have been in the midst of a storm. It started with a diagnosis & treatment for deep vein thrombosis. Then it brought significant changes & challenges in my corporate consulting role; the ending of a few personal and professional relationships that had been an anchor to me for several years; and it ended with an unforeseen major surgery that required six weeks for recovery impacting my ability to work or take care of myself. I share my personal experience only as a means of encouragement for other women in business. Wonder woman is a fictitious character – real women in today’s workforce have to contend with a number of different challenges both at home and in the office.
I feel more empowered and renewed now than before. The storm watered several dry places in my life and career, and revitalized my commitment to being a leader and a business coach for women. If you are in the midst of a personal or professional storm, this is your opportunity to take control of your future, strengthen your resolve, and enhance the value that you bring to others and to the business world. Whether you lead a business, nonprofit organization, civic association or a family, here are some thoughts for you to consider on being a resilient leader during tough and challenging times.
We can’t stop the storms from coming into our lives, but we can use the storms as turning points. Remember, what will make you a more powerful business woman and extraordinary leader is your ability to weather the storms, and come through them renewed with the wisdom and insight that you need for the next part of your success journey!
Question: Have you been through a personal or professional storm recently? How did it make you a better leader and business woman? I'd love to hear your story.
Visit www.moniquestoner.com to connect with me, read more blog posts and articles, or to download one of the many business insights articles for women.
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