Observed since the early 1900s, this event celebrates the achievements of women and girls — and looks for more opportunities for progress.
Check out the International Women's Day website for activities in your area. In Dallas, where Newberry Executive Solutions is based, former first lady Laura Bush will be part of the "Voices of Hope" event on March 8. I'm also excited about the graduation of the latest Women's Initiative Fellows Program class at the George W. Bush Institute the following day.
I started off my day by speaking at Ceridian’s global International Women's Day event. I spoke about the power of recognizing your unique value and looking for ways to maximize your impact. And I want to challenge you to do the same, so that others can benefit from the value you bring.
As an executive coach who regularly works with high-performing women, I've seen that even accomplished leaders have trouble noticing what they bring to the table. I'll tell you what I tell my clients when they're having trouble seeing their own value: Think about how powerful it would be if someone else knew how to do what you do.
This is the first step to having impact on a larger scale. When you know how you make a difference, you can start identifying ways to amplify your contribution.
To help you get started with creating your own ripple effect, answer these questions:
What results do you consistently deliver? Don’t worry about how easy it may be for you to get these results. When you’re using your core strengths, the work may not feel that difficult.
How do those results that create value? In other words, how do they the impact others and the organization?
How do you consistently get those results (i.e., how you accomplish what you do)? Break down what you do so that someone else can understand the essential steps, follow them and get similar outcomes. This makes the process repeatable and increases your impact. To map out the steps, try writing them down, drawing them out, or talking to someone about your process. Remember that these are your own personal best practices. ("Strategically Standing Out," part of the Leadership EDGE SeriesSM, can help you zero in on what's helped you succeed in the past.)
Your answers to the questions above will have you well on your way to building more capability in others and magnifying your strengths.
Let me give you an example from my own business. In my work with executive coaching clients, I saw over and over that helping them implement small, seemingly simple steps or changes led to big results (e.g., over 65% of my clients get promoted). I have now taken the strategies that have proven successful with my clients and turned them into a variety of products, such as books and audio trainings, so that more people can put them to use. My products help spread my impact beyond the clients I work with directly. But I was only able to create them after clarifying what works, the process and tools I use time and again to get consistent results.
Doing the same thing for yourself is one of the most meaningful things you can do this International Women's Day. The issues facing women are complex, and there's no blanket solution, but I believe that individual shifts like these can be the start of powerful movements as we all inspire one another. Picture what would happen if every woman who thought she was "nothing special" started putting her unique gifts more fully into play into the world. Now that's something to celebrate.