Who here is currently facing some type of adversity?
If you didn’t raise your hand, who are you trying to fool? Even Disney princesses have to overcome some type of challenge to find their happily ever after. Granted most, if not all, of them have the ability to communicate with animals which tends to ease matters greatly. I mean how easy would things be if you had a team of wildlife to clean your house and make you ball gowns so that you’re able to focus on tackling the things that really matter; like running a business, pursuing your passion of writing a book or climbing the corporate ladder until you’re the only female in the C-suite of a financial institution.
That’s where our most recent guest Meridith Elliott Powell comes in.
Talk about a tale as old as time. Girl meets boy. Boy suffers from debilitating addiction. Girl expends all of her energy trying to save him from himself until he passes away before the age of 50 and she’s finally free from her duties as his enabler. Oh and Girl was raised in a family of addicts and enablers which severely complicated her view on relationship roles and gave her a front row seat to entirely too much death and destruction at the hands of addiction.
But Girl, after doing the necessary work on herself, “worked her way up from an entry-level position to earn her seat at the C-Suite table”, was “voted one of the ‘Top 15 Business Growth Expert to Watch by Currency Fair’ and became an award-winning author, keynote speaker and business strategist. Turns out all of that adversity set her up for success or as Meridith says “all the things that were weighing me down…were also the things that propelled me forward; you know, the tenacity, the ability to look at a bad situation and find the one positive, the ability to have so many failures [and] get back up and keep trying.”
And she didn’t even have a fairy godmother.
So what does someone who has found so much success in the face of adversity say about navigating the current economic climate as a leader?
Focus on relationships, connection and trust. In a time where people are working from home it’s imperative that you make sure those working under you not only have the tools they need to succeed but are also very clear on what is expected of them during this time. Communication is key. “That means you have to over communicate. You have to make sure people have real clarity as to what’s going on and a real transparency as to what you have answers to and what you don’t have answers to.”
“And you have to care,” Meridith encourages “you have to check in with them.”
Tapping back into the human side of business and being emotionally aware of your team is going to help you engage them at a more productive level than if you’re more concerned with what the executives want and their end goals.
What’s the best way to do that even if we aren’t amidst a global pandemic? “Learn to lead through the power of the question because when you lead through the power of the question, you give people a voice and responsibility. So if you have a goal, take that goal to your team and ask ‘What is the best way to make this happen?” Meridith ensures “it gives you a way to get them engaged, excited, motivated and a part of it.”
What else can you do in this time of crisis? Listen to Episode 69 of Women Your Mother Warned You About and “if you don’t want your kid to live in your basement for the rest of your life, teach them to talk to people” because networking will be what opens doors not a fairy godmother.