In some circles, we praise a leader for their military-style command, high-demand for excellence, and ‘no holds bar’ approach. In other circles, we view good leadership as steadfast support of their people, an attitude that embraces equity and diversity, and a mindset that promotes a culture of innovation.
What type of leadership style resonates most with you? While the aforementioned styles are both disruptive in their own way, I believe the latter proves to be more effective over the long-term. Such style will decrease staff turnover, increase high-performance, and instill a sense of pride of work.
You don’t have to be an ass to be a disruptive leader. In fact, I believe leadership that relies on intensive criticism, lack of emphasis on consensus-building, and a style that places an unhealthy demand for excellence will be met with organizational resistance and lack of organizational success.
Antagonistic leadership styles such as a calm or aggressive, consultative or authoritative should not be the extremes we focus on. When we segregate ourselves within opposing leadership approaches, leadership divides will often play out in the workplace. This is an important reason leaders often fail in transforming their organizations. They believe they need to choose one particular leadership style over another. But in fact, a balance of leadership approaches make for more effective leadership in the workplace.
What is Disruptive Leadership?
In recent years, there is widening discussion on disruptive leadership as we prepare for the future of work. The future of work is described as a focus on technology, innovation, and creativity. In a White Paper from the Centre of Creative Leadership (CCL), they discuss disruptive leadership in ways that challenge leaders to disrupt their role, identity, and meaning. The CCL suggests this emerging leadership style should:
Focus on vertical development concerning the advancement in a person’s complex interdependent thinking.
Encourage professional growth and self-development is the priority and owned by the individual.
Increase focus on collective, consensus-building approaches, embracing inclusivity at all levels within the workplace.
Ensure Innovation in leadership is the new norm.
Disruptive Leadership Is Not New
Disruptive leadership is not a new form of leadership; thought I believe it is the way of the future. If we look to history, disruptive leadership has existed over the centuries. We have witnessed disruptive leaders as early as Biblical times all the way through to the Modern Era. A disruptive style of leadership is about pushing the status quo, creating a vision, and facilitating the action of that vision.
Authoritative, directive or hyper-focused leadership is not the appeal in disruptive leadership. Some of the greatest ‘disruptive’ leaders we know did not possess these qualities. Consider the leadership traits of Muhammad Ali, Mahatma Gandhi, Nelson Mandela, Martin Luther King, and the Lord Jesus Christ. What leadership qualities did they possess? They were characterized by charisma, grace, fortitude, self-awareness, persistence, and creativity. Frankly, leadership boils down to vision, attitude, and perseverance. I am not saying you will be the next Mandela or Gandhi, but you can possess similar leadership qualities in your personal leadership style.
Here are 5 Key Qualities In Good Leadership
Believe In Yourself
If you don’t believe in yourself, you likely don’t believe in your vision.Effective leaders always believe in themselves and the vision they have. Without it people will never understand their purpose, executeethe plan, and move to action.
Showcase Your Worth
Your worth reflects your dedication and perseverance. Maybe you are finally up for a promotion, recommended to apply for a job, or finally making a career change. Whatever it may be, the fact is, you bring worth to an organization; the key is you must showcase it as often as possible. Take every opportunity to show your worth. Speak up at a meeting, over-prepare for an interview, or take a lead on a project- these are all opportunities to shine bright like a diamond.
Communicate With Grace
No one likes an abrasive or over-bearing leader. Leaders with grace communicate effectively. They are easily understood, and inspire and motivate their teams. With a graceful interpersonal style, you will probably be more self-aware and skillful in perceiving and understanding the emotions of others. As a result, you are more likely to gain team-players and supporters of your vision.
Own Your Mistakes
Leaders who can admit to their mistakes are more likely to be respected and valued in their organizations. The greatest leaders always admit to their mistakes along their professional journey. When you do this, you become respected for being open and transparent. Leadership is not a solo occupation; you can’t lead in isolation. Those who lead as if they are on an abandoned island are letting their egos and self-serving agendas get in the way. When you admit your mistakes, you build capacity in learning and new ways of doing.
Take Educated Risks
When you take educated risks you are challenging your fears, pushing your professional boundaries, and increasing your effectiveness as a creative thinker. Not all risks will result in success. But, it will remove you from your comfort zone, and directly increase your learning capacity, and perhaps even your earning potential when you are successful.
If you are a practicing a leader, or on a journey to be an effective leader, remember that you need not be an ass to be a great one.
The post Disruptive Leadership: Why You Don’t Need To Be An Ass appeared first on Kizzy Bedeau.
The time was bound to come. Your maternity leave is about to end and you need to prepare for your return to work. You feel the anxiety settling in and the growing knot in your stomach signaling your lack of preparedness, or perhaps a lack of willingness to head back to the workplace.
I have two boys, and with each of them, I harbored equally different feelings when I began to transition back to my job. It felt bittersweet. Other times I couldn’t wait for the day to come. But, most times I felt unadulterated dread with the thought of going back to the office. No matter how you feel, it is okay.
Don’t Judge How You Feel
My feelings changed day by day, especially as the return-to-work date approached. What I came to understand was that I just needed to allow myself to go through the motions, be present with my feelings and not judge myself for the feelings I was having. This involved me speaking truthfully when caring people asked me how I was feeling. When I felt sad about it, I would say it. When I felt dread, I would voice it. When I felt relieved, I would let them know. It became more liberating when I allowed myself to experience through authenticity. No matter how you feel, it is okay. Chances are there are many women feeling the same, or who are experiencing a mix of feelings day-to-day.
Ride Your Emotions Into Your Place of Calm
There is no right or wrong way to feel. You are going back to your job after a life-altering event. You just created life, and that is no easy feat. Your heart may be filled with different, and often conflicting emotions, but that is normal. For some of us, it riddles us with anxiety, other’s excitement, and other’s guilt. The emotional roller-coaster you are on will take you up and down until you find your place of calm. The calm will eventually come, but only when you do things right for you as you prepare to return to work. I write this post for those mothers who have no other alternatives when their maternity leave ends but to return to work. Not all women are given the choice to stay at home full time or quit their jobs altogether.
My second son was born in June which meant I had to return to work in the middle of the summer. This was admittedly hard for me because summers are the most exciting time of the year for me when I get to enjoy the most with my family. Luckily, I negotiated some extra vacation time at the end of my maternity leave to extend my summer fun. I recommend doing this if you are able too. If you are not ready to return, tack on some extra vacation time if you have it – it will make a difference in your mental preparation before you return.
Reality check: you may not feel fully prepared before you go, but here are some tips to help ease you back in.
Prepare yourself mentally
Think and remain positive. Remove all negative thoughts from your mind. You need to embrace a positive mindset. Your state of mind will truly set the tone for how you feel on your first day back and beyond. At least 4 weeks prior to returning, you must condition your brain to see all things positive. You must constantly tell yourself the things you like about your job, the opportunities that are waiting for you, and the great work you will be involved in.
Touch base with your boss or colleagues
Connect with your boss. Call, email, or even schedule an informal face-to-face meeting. This will give you an opportunity to ask questions about your transition. Ask about any major changes that happened while you were away, new things in developments or things you should know. A personal visit also helps you to visualize your new reality. If you have a personal space, see how you can decorate it to make it more welcoming upon your return.
Complete any last-minute housekeeping
Take the weeks leading up to your first day to do some housekeeping. Once you get back to work, your days will be full of preparing the kids for childcare, school, meal preps, and basic cleaning. Give your home a good clean so that when you are in the day-to-day hustle you will only need to worry about tidying up rather than big cleanups. If you are like me and hate a messy home, get it out of the way, so all you need to do is ‘tidy up’ rather than deep clean.
Prepare your child(ren)
Communicate with your kids about what will happen when you go back to work. Kids are smart and know when a change is about to come. Don’t keep them in the dark and spring it on them last minute. Talk with him about it and let them know that ‘mommy’ is going back to work. Explain that some things may change and no matter what changes occur, you love them, and you will always ensure they will be safe when you are away Kids need reassurance and constant reminders that change will never change how much you love them.
Plan your routine with your partner
Try creating a daily routine that includes morning preparation, drop off, pick-up dinner and bedtime. If possible, try it out a few times before the big day. This trial run will be good for everyone, not just you. See what worked, and what didn’t. Maybe you need to wake up earlier, prepare lunches the night before, catch an earlier or later train. Try out different things and see what works best for you and your family.
Take some time out for you. Book yourself an appointment at the spa, go shopping for a new back-to-work outfit, or if it suits you, send the kids and your partner away and catch up on your sleep. Do whatever you need to do before you go back to work if it will make you feel happy and well-rested. You deserve it.
I hope this post helps you to understand that you are not alone in your feelings and gave you some tips on how to gear up to go back to work.
The post When Maternity Leave Ends: How to Prepare for Return To Work appeared first on Kizzy Bedeau.
I never thought I would be married, with 2 kids and have a six-figure income. But I finally got what I wanted. The things I wanted to achieve in my life became my reality because I stopped looking for it. When you stop looking for things you realize that you what you want you already have.
Instead of looking for confidence I decided to realize it. I realized my worth and the things I was deserving of in my life. I realized who I was because I became proud of myself.
Who Am I?
Well, honestly I am a black woman living by my own standards. Today, I love the skin I am in, the hair I am in and the clothes I am in. And more importantly, the voice I am in, the mind I am in and the truth I am in. Now people often say to me, wow, you seem so confident and put together? And most times I tell people I did not always feel this way. It takes work, focus and belief in yourself.
I want to share with you how I became the confident woman I am today using 3 daily practices.
Take time to reflect
Over the last decade, I stopped looking for confidence in the outside world and took the time to reflect on my transformation, internal healing and what I wanted for myself. I pushed myself to put things in place to help me get there. But, who I am today and what I have achieved did not come without moments of anxiety, jealousy, unhappiness, and feelings of inadequacy.
In the past, I constantly looked for others to affirm my confidence. I compared myself to others because I thought I wanted to be where they were. I wanted to live someone else’s life and I constantly asked myself questions.
Why is everyone getting married and not me?
Why am I not married yet?
When will I feel valued in my job?
Why don’t men look at me like they look at her?
Because of the constant comparisons, I realized my life was overrun with negative thoughts and doubted everything about my future. I was looking for confidence in the wrong areas of my life.
Feeling insignificant in the presence of others, led to low self-esteem, anxiety, and inadequacy. But one day, I decided to confess my true feelings to my closest friend in order to unhinge myself from my self-deprecation.
Notice Your Vulnerabilities
I put my vulnerabilities on the table and told my closest friend about my feelings of inadequacy and incompetence and that became a defining moment in my life. When I heard the words slip from my tongue, I confronted my story. It was a story of misguided perceptions that grew in my head because of a negative mindset. I began to believe and convince myself of things that were not there or even true.
When I announced those feelings out loud I stopped looking for confidence. I recognized I already had it within me and by making myself vulnerable to it healed and allowed me to see my greatness outside my perceived shortcomings.
I reasserted myself and embraced me and all my imperfections. Being imperfect is what is perfect about me and I now know I am valuable and beautiful from the inside out.
Confidence cannot be sought or found because it is already in you. If you don’t have a friend to help you see the truth of who you are I will be that friend.
Know this about yourself:
You have gifts, beauty, are strong and loving. Those qualities push you high above your perfect imperfections. It is important to stop living beneath the surface, find inspiration to rise, live above and be proud of all of you. You are an amazing individual.
If you practice these 3 actions daily, you will no longer need to look for confidence because you will naturally be confident.
Always remember, you don’t need to look for confidence with a fancy photo shoot, designer clothes or someone holding your hand. All you need is to look within and you will find the undeniable you.
“Only when you recognize your value and worth; the world will follow”
Spread the word
The post Why you should stop looking for confidence? appeared first on Kizzy Bedeau.
There is you, me and she which is what I call the “trinity of hope and healing”. When women speak, it signifies our bold growth both on individual and collective levels.
As individuals, we live our lives separately, yet we constantly intersect with each other through work, family, and relationships. Not surprisingly, these intersections bind, support, elevate and make us strong.
In this post, I will share the power of what happens when women speak.
Today, the challenges women face in both our personal and professional lives may afflict us, but despite the struggles we face, we continue to endure and persevere. A woman’s ability to rise is a result of the experiences she shares through her personal stories.
A Woman’s Experience Unites
Now let me ask you? Have you ever felt alone in an experience, only to find another woman who has experienced the same thing?
Or, have you ever been in a sharing moment and another woman says to you “OMG I felt the exact same way”, or maybe someone said “Yep! I have been there!” Sound familiar?
It is likely you and I have experienced similar joys and heartaches in relationships; similar challenges or successes in our careers, and similar growing pains with our children. The list is endless. But, it tells us is the experiences we have form a special life bond between all women that will forever support us.
There is no denying the fact that a woman has the power to create life. We have the power to create and design life based not only on the laws of nature but also due to the multiplicity of our experiences.
It is no coincidence your next-door neighbor, colleague, cousin, or friend has shared in your adventures, confessions, trials, and tribulations.
A friend who has survived divorced has the superpower to support another woman suffering the same pain. Just like a neighbour who just lost her job can find support from a woman who recently bounced back from losing her job just a year ago. This is an extensive, unbounded support system to help us heal and flourish.
Our Story is Power
There is power in both our heartache and successes because they help us grow, learn, sustain, and serve one another. So always remember the pains we experience now, only set us up for the grace we will soon receive.
Right now there is a rise in our power and confidence to stand up and stand strong. It is all about You, Me and She. Together, we must continue to talk and give testimony as it becomes our power and our strength.
It is important for women to speak. When we speak, we create power. This can be applied to any aspect of our lives. For example, when you speak in an interview, you are proving your worth. If you are called upon to speak at a meeting, you are sharing your value. As women, it is not every day we are given opportunities to have a voice, therefore if the opportunity arises, speak up.
I want to remind you to share your story. There is so much learning from what you have to offer. The power in your story is helping so many of us survive and thrive.
The post When women speak it signifies power appeared first on Kizzy Bedeau.
Finding a career is no easy task. In fact, it is often a painful and arduous exercise that causes increased levels of anxiety for many of us. If you have no clue about what you want to do, the task can feel even more daunting.
Career exploration often involves a mix of understanding your skills and interests, knowing your values, and could involve everything from taking career assessments, personality tests, informational interviews or enrolling in training programs. But when all this fails, what is next?
Let me start by asking you this:
Do you believe in the signs of the universe? Do you believe that the universe has the power to show us meaning and purpose?
In the post, I want to share with you how you can use the signs of the universe to help you find a career.
The Universe Is Preparing You
I started this year knowing and believing a big change was headed my way. There are signs in my path reminding me to remain faithful, believe in myself, and stay the course.
Do you ever feel like the World is trying to tell you something? Do you ever feel like there is more out there for you to discover? Or, do you feel like you are being prepared for something else…something new?
With every passing day, month and year, you are being prepared for the next best thing. Your experiences, opportunities, and failures are all preparing you for a big reveal. And the reveal will be extraordinary. What will be revealed is what you have been asking for consciously or subconsciously all this time.
The signs you encounter are being passed through people, places, spaces. While you may not always be immediately aware of them, they are being presented to you. Your mood and emotions may change in those moments.
Don’t ignore those feelings! This is the world preparing you to live your life and move you closer to finding a career. Your life is ultimately designed and created by you. Your life is only what you make it. Take every opportunity to level YOU up to get what you want for yourself. This can be anything from changing careers, ending or starting a new relationship, buying a home, changing your mindset, or having a different attitude…it can be whatever you want. Just remember you cannot fully actualize what you desire until you use the world around you to achieve it!
Decode the Signs You See
Your life is a story that you must decode. Take time to listen, see, hear or feel what is going on. Our lives churn like waters. And only when the water is still can we begin to see the life and career we are meant to have. This is what you need to look out for every day.
Be honest about what you see and hear as the world will always show you promise and opportunity in the right places. Accept what is shown to you no matter, who or where it comes from – it could be a stranger, a dream, an encounter, a prayer, an animal, a flyer, a commercial, a billboard…it could be anything.
Pay close attention. Things are intentionally placed in your way towards a bigger plan.
Maybe you are always seeing the same numbers, or the same phrase showing up in your life. These things will constantly be repeated or put in your line of sight until you take note and take action.
Trust your instincts. Your instincts will alert you to the prominent signs of your life.
Up for a little challenge?
Steps to Finding A Career Through the Universe
Take a piece of paper and write down a change that you want to happen in the next 3 months. This could be anything you desire…such as a career opportunity or a call for an interview…it can be anything, but be specific. If you prefer, you can put it in your phone or a device you use. Just make sure it exists somewhere.
Now fold up the paper, or save it to the device. You are now sending it to the universe in order for it to come back to you in full manifestation.
Over the next week, I want you to be more aware of the things you see and hear, people you meet, and the conversations you have.
Is there a relationship between what you sent to the Universe, and what you are seeing and hearing? Has any encounter, experience, or vision made you feel a certain way?
Once you see it, hear it and feel it, you will naturally know what to do next. Be present, get clear, take note and take action.
And once you can master this skill, you will be one step further in experiencing life, being you, and doing more.
I would love to hear how this small challenge worked for you.
The post Career Exploration: Learn how the universe is preparing you to find a job appeared first on Kizzy Bedeau.
Your happiness is a choice and is highly dependent on your state of mind. Let me explain by telling you about a woman I know. Maybe you know her too, or perhaps can relate.
This is HER story
She was an unhappy woman, who was living an unhappy life because she was full of anger and rage. Trying everything within her not to explode into a million pieces, she woke up every morning feeling a deep knot in the pit of her stomach that grew bigger with each passing day. The knot in her stomach was her anxiety about everything in her life.
This woman was not excited about her career, and hated the way she looked when she looked in the mirror. Her negative attitude fueled her anger which took a toll on her personal and professional relationships, and slowly diminished her smile, zest for life, and the twinkle in her eye.
Feeling unheard, misunderstood, and undervalued, she believed her life was not hers and just wanted to feel free and liberated to act, think, and be herself.
Fed up of feeling this way, she knew she needed to do something, or she would be lost forever. To get out of her rut, she took time to stand outside herself and figure out what caused her turmoil. In her time of deep of introspection, she realized she constantly compared herself to others, felt controlled by others, lost her voice, and believed she was less worthy.
Introspection to Action
Moving from intropsection to action, she began her personal journey to be heard, understood and valued. This meant she needed to confront her demons, truths, untruths and fears. It was scary. It pulled her outside of her comfort zone but it was the only choice she had to feel better about herself.
The 3 ways to think and be happy required her to surrender, reassert herself and reset her life through reconditioning her mind to think and act differently.
Surrender Whatever is Going On in Your Life
Let go of your anxieties, frustrations, anger, and impatience.
Stop comparing your life to others; you are not living their life, you are living yours.
Ask whatever spiritual entity that guides you for a sense of calm through the storm, a sound mind, and grace as you move forward.
Ask to receive strength as you deal with and walk through the seasons and the storms they bring.
Remember, every season we experience has its reason. With every season you pass through, you will experience various things that are intentionally meant to prepare you for what is to come. Not all seasons will be easy to walk through, but take comfort in knowing something great will soon be revealed in seasons to come.
Be honest with your thoughts, and outward feelings. Don’t limit yourself and what you are capable of because you need to believe that you can do and be what you want as long as you are willing to try. You may fail at first, but you need to keep trying until you see the results you want.
Always speak your truth in respectful ways and hold true to your opinions. Don’t be afraid to live and think outside the box. You are not like everybody else, which is something to be proud of.
Hit the Reset Button
Time to take action with a clear mind. Stop negative talk, move forward and be mindful of what makes you happy every day. If something does not make you happy, don’t do it.
Take time each day to remind yourself of what makes you happy. Dress the way you want, eat what you want , or do something you love.
There is a message in the woman’s story above. Did you hear it? Start small and do something for you 1 hour each day. and slowly increase the time you spend doing things for you. In order to break your unhealthy cycle of negative behavior and anger, you need to have faith and surrender yourself as you walk through life.
Drop a comment.
The post Happiness is a state of mind: 3 ways to be happy appeared first on Kizzy Bedeau.