NAWRB’s Diversity & Inclusion Leadership Council (NDILC) recently introduced their Ten Women Leadership Principles, which they collectively created to help women in the workforce become more effective leaders at any stage of their careers, and empower other women to reach their full potential. This is a universal guide for all levels of leadership, and any woman can benefit from applying them. This week, NDILC presents the second principle, “Keep Achieving,” shared in a personal story by NDILC Member Kellie Aamodt, Board Member of Marine Research and Exploration (MARE) and Retired UPS Vice President of Corporate Inside Sales.
In the upcoming weeks, each of these principles will be presented in detail with a personal message from an NDILC member about her experiences applying these principles to her professional and personal life. To learn more about the NDILC, please visit www.NAWRB.com/NDILC/.
Women Leadership Principle #2: Keep Achieving by Kellie Aamodt
Keep Achieving: Effective leaders always keep learning. There is always something to learn and improve upon.
Achieving. Learning. Growing. Changing…all words that are used very often to tell us what we should be doing and what we must be doing in order to survive and be effective in today’s world.
No one would debate the need for continuous learning and growth. Information continues to bombard us from every angle, but is that really knowledge? Change is occurring at an ever-faster speed, but is it really helping us grow? And learning? Who has time to learn anything new when our work lives are blurring into our personal lives, and technology has crept into every crevice of our home life.
Yet we all also understand, without learning there is stagnation. Without new ideas, concepts, and thoughts, we begin to “get stuck” in old ways and do not challenge ourselves. Without growth, comes decay. Like a plant that stops pushing its way through the soil, we must continue to learn and grow just to stay relevant. It’s not to say that the old ideas are wrong; but we can certainly continue to add to them and strengthen them as well. Yes, continuous learning is easier said than done. And yet never before has it been more important.
Continuous learning allows leaders to stay on the forefront of their profession. In fact, some professions require a certain amount of continuous learning credits to maintain their licensing etc. and realistically all professions should. Can you imagine a lawyer not keeping up with current legal precedents, or a realtor not keeping up with new real estate laws? Being at the top of any profession requires expertise, which can only be maintained with continuous learning.
In addition to keeping your skills current, continuous learning promotes open-mindedness. It broadens perspective and provides a pathway to understanding another point of view. It strengthens our ability to have civil discussion and debate without utilizing inflammatory language. This ability seems ever more important in today’s world of sound bites, insults and bullying.
If we have any positives from the recent COVID19 pandemic, perhaps it has been the ability to take a breath, slow down, and take time to embrace our family. Perhaps it is giving us the ability to learn again, and improve ourselves. Time to learn what is truly important to us, time to learn how we can help others and time to learn what makes life matter. Whether you spend time diving into a new hobby or a new field of study, or you spend time learning what your spouse/partner cares about and what makes your children smile; it is all learning. And all learning makes better leaders.
NDILC’s Ten Women Leadership Principles
- Acknowledge Trailblazers: Know and learn from the women who came before you. We are all standing on the shoulders of giants: “So, what does a trailblazer even mean? Defined in the formal context, it is a person who blazes a trail for others to follow through unsettled country or wilderness; pathfinder; a pioneer in any field of endeavor; a vigorous independent; a person who is the first to do something that other people do later. Implied in this definition is the fact that these people are leaders, risk takers and are not afraid to push boundaries.” Read More.
- Keep Achieving: Effective leaders always keep learning. There is always something to learn and improve upon.
- Believe: Whatever the mind can conceive, it can achieve.
- Pass the Torch: Give opportunities to future generations of women. Your legacy will be the people you help along the journey.
- Know Yourself: Be authentic and lead in a way that is true to you. Own your unique talents and strengths, and empower those around you.
- Speak Out: Unconscious bias is present, but ignoring it only perpetuates it. Take a stand and speak out.
- Listen: Never assume anything about anyone. Everyone has their own story that makes them who they are.
- Be Present: Sharing your time is one of the most valuable gifts you can give. Do it with intention by truly being present.
- Prepare for the Future: Women with advanced skills today will be ready for tomorrow’s challenges.
- Lead by Example: Inclusion isn’t enough. Press for parity and strive for excellence in everything.
Stay tuned for other articles that will expound on each of these principles to assist women professionals in applying them to their individual goals.
The NDILC is dedicated to raising the number of women leaders and growing women’s employment and empowerment at all levels in the housing ecosystem. The Council, composed of senior executive women, works diligently toward gender equality and obtaining equal opportunity for women across America. To learn more about the NDILC, please visit www.NAWRB.com/NDILC/.