When I was little, I thought I wanted to be a teacher because I liked to write on a chalkboard. True story. What I found out with a bit of maturity (and a few years’ of babysitting), is that I didn’t have the patience to teach children, but that I liked to a) share knowledge and b) to stand in front of a crowd and speak. While I did serve two years as a co-Cub Master to a group of first and second grade Cubs (including my own), I’ve pretty much stuck with working with grown-ups. Raising my three kiddos has been its own whirlwind leadership challenge.
My first stint as a leader came in high school as the editor of the high school paper for two years. I’m pretty sure I made my writers upset because I gleefully took a red pen to their submissions. While I thought I was making their stories stronger, I severely lacked the emotional intelligence to be an effective leader. I didn’t know how to communicate or as Brene Brown says, “have tough conversations.” Honestly, it didn’t get that much better until my thirties when I had the self-awareness to realize my weaknesses and work on them. I also realized while I like to be in charge, I didn’t really like being a boss because I don’t like telling people what to do. I still didn’t grasp that a great boss is actually just a darn good leader! I thought good managers were just born, not made. Wrong.
Oh, where was Brene Brown all those years ago? I’ve worked really hard on my people skills, and yes, that still requires work on my part. I’m a natural fixer, an independent extrovert with a strong personality. I used to be an awful listener. Who knew listening was such an important life skill? I didn’t. I was too busy talking. So here’s the thing. We grow. We change. As Oprah famously said, “when we know better, we do better.”
That’s why I’ve come to a really good place in my life where I get to work with business owners and fellow boss babes on their brands and content and as get to help our Chicks in Charge community to gather and grow (and have fun in the process). We’re going to read six leadership/business/personal dev books per year and discuss them over a glass of wine. Ah, three great passions in one! Girlfriends, books, and vino. I’ve found my sweet spot and I’d love for you to join me if this sounds like a group where you feel you can grow and share and prosper.
Our first book is Brene Brown’s Dare to Lead (Brave Work. Tough Conversations. Whole Hearts.) to be discussed on Wednesday, April 24th at 5:30p at Chalk on the 2nd story outdoor patio in Chisholm Creek. Our Read & Lead Book Club is exclusive to Chicks in Charge Members, but our +1 policy means a member can always invite a new guest so we are constantly meeting new people and growing our coop.
We will also discuss the book in our private Facebook group just for the book club. Membership rates coming soon, but you can attend one event for free to check us out and learn more about our community.
If you don’t have time to read the book, I’ll be reviewing the highlights and key takeaways, but of course, I hope that you will read it and we can discuss how it’s made you feel differently about how you lead. I know I still have a long way to go, but the book was just as insightful for me as what Daring Greatly was back in 2012.
Joining a group requires our vulnerability as well – to not only put ourselves out there to meet new people, but to share with them our experiences in our work and leadership in all areas of our lives. I get it. I thought about that a great deal as I worked on opening this group up to formal membership. I so get it! I’m here for your questions, your concerns, and hopefully to be a cheerleader, advisor, party pal – whatever the situation calls for!
“I define a leader as anyone who takes responsibility for finding the potential in people and processes, and who has the courage to develop that potential.” — Brene Brown