Are there people in your family that were business transformational champions? Were there women that work in traditionally male career fields and advocate for “diversity and inclusion” before it was a common day phrase? If yes, I encourage you to share their leadership stories as we all can learn and benefit from those born before us.
My Grandma, Dorothy, was a certified public accountant, which was rare at the time. While she is a role model in so many ways, I appreciate my Grandpa Phil, who supported her in getting educated and pursuing her passions while caring for her family. She might not have been as successful without his encouragement and reassurance.
Apples do not fall far from the tree. My Mom, Eileen, and her three sisters followed in my Grandmother’s footsteps. They were accountants too. Over time, my Mom and one Aunt left the field to pursue other passions while two continued as women leaders in their industry. My Mom found her way to Wallstreet and never looked back.
Visiting my Mom at the American Stock Exchange during my childhood years was a common occurrence. It was fun; however, I did not comprehend what she did for a living as an options trader or why she was yelling “buy, sell, puts and calls” while doing odd hand signals with others in the room. I also didn’t understand how she had a “seat” on the floor, yet I saw no chairs anywhere. While there was a lot that I didn’t grasp then, I saw and appreciated that my Mom was among the few women in the room. I also noticed that she wore a jacket color that signified prestigious status. (Interesting video about the history of trader jackets from Peco CEO). While I admire that my Mom had one of the “cool” jackets, it’s the fact that she earned her way to the top that impresses me most.
There are many stories to share from growing up with women leaders who were ahead of their times. The following is a summary of what I have learned to inspire you to pursue your passions no matter what.
10 Leadership Lessons to achieve goals even when roadblocks exist:
- Believe in yourself. When there is a will, there’s a way, even if you’re a minority in the room.
- Have a plan while open to detours, such as switching careers, to achieve more happiness.
- Take nothing personally, as my favorite book, The Four Agreements, explains. People may not welcome you with open arms. Kill them with kindness and proceed.
- Acknowledge negative emotions and then set them aside. As the author, Susan Jeffers, says, “Feel The Fear and Do It Anyway.”
- Focus on relationships and strengthen your network. Express appreciation to everyone who helps along your journey.
- Establish and lean on your tribe to elevate confidence. A support system makes a huge difference.
- Be a change agent. Trust that everything is possible over time. (You’ll need #7)
- Adapt to the times. While my Mom is no longer at the American Stock Exchange (it closed), she leverages technology and trades online from home.
- Use your expertise to help others. My Mom teaches people how to succeed as a Stock Options Trader and other hobbies that she’s mastered.
- Know what you are good at and stick with it. My Mom excels in Math, contributing to her success in Accounting, Stock Options trading, Bridge, Backgammon, Blackjack, and other strategic games.